Today in NOTL: A gorgeous day - sunny, breezy and cool with a high of 57F/14C.
Today is rosary-making day. I got some lovely centerpieces from a nearby retreat center that will no longer be selling them, so was able to get really nice centerpieces at a bargain price (which is about the only price I can afford, lol). It's a good thing, as Martha would say. So today I'll be busy in that gentle, prayerful, peaceful way of rosary-making.
When I work on rosaries, I think of my dear Cousin Mickey. He was my father's first cousin, and since my dad was an only child, very much like a brother to him and an uncle to us. His wife was my mom's very good friend; I recall a Mardi Gras photo from the 30s or 40s of my mom, Cousin Clara, and one of their friends, three smiling clowns posing merrily for the camera.
Cousin Mickey and Clara had six children do my parents' five, a mix of girls and boys as opposed to our all-girl brood. When I was young, Mama and Dad would take us to visit and it was such fun. The older boy cousins would tease us, and we'd battle them alongside our girl cousins who were conveniently aged to befriend my elder sister and me.
The adults would play cards or cook or just chat - whatever they did was accompanied by the gales of laughter you hear when good friends get together. We kids' bedtimes were forgotten, and we'd get to watch the late Saturday night horror movie. I remember being terrified by The Blob, as my older cousins teased me mercilessly.
As much of a tease as my dad was - and he loved nothing better than teasing us - Cousin Mickey was his match. I remember when my youngest cousin fell asleep on the sofa, rather than simply waking him, Cousin Mickey took a broomstraw and began tickling his upper lip. We all smothered our laughs until Mom and Cousin Clara took pity on my cousin and made Cousin Mickey quit.
Devout Catholics, they sent their children, as did my parents, to the local Catholic school and were fixtures at Sunday masses and devotions. Making rosaries was both a way for Cousin Mickey to share his faith and to create beauty. I once saw his beads spread on the table, gorgeous sparkly crystals of many colors. How they took my breath away! He made my First Communion rosary, which I cherish even more today than I did as a first communicant.
As I string the beads, Cousin Micky comes to mind. I remember his smiling teases and laughter and even as my eyes mist over I smile. I hope he helps me now, as I make my rosaries. It would be so like him to do so.