The Mind of Bluesleepy

Hanna Banana 5 September 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 9:34 pm

That’s what we used to call Kurt’s cousin’s daughter — Hannah Banana.  I can’t remember if it was her or her mother that really hated that name, but my in-laws are still known to refer to her as such.

Being Kurt’s cousin’s daughter, that makes Hannah his first cousin once removed.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this chart I found on Wikipedia.  Kurt would be “me” on that chart, and Hannah is the daughter of his first cousin, therefore she is his first cousin once removed.

I have no idea why I know all the names for the familial relationships.  My in-laws will argue with me when I tell them how various people are related to us.  One of them told me that Hannah is Kurt’s second cousin, and when I corrected them that Grace is Hannah’s second cousin while Kurt is her first cousin once removed, they disagreed.  Their reasoning?  “There’s no such thing as ‘removed’ anymore.”

Huh.  I had no idea genealogists would chuck out a describing term just because it got too hard to figure out who was removed and who wasn’t.

My favorite genealogy-related moment was when I finally figured out that Kristen, whom Kurt had been taught from childhood was his aunt, was really no relation to him in any way.  See, Kristen is sister to his uncle John, who is his uncle simply because he married Kurt’s Aunt Carol.  Since he and Uncle John share no blood at all, there’d be no way he shared any blood with Kristen either.

Of course, we call her Aunt Kristen even still, and her husband is Uncle Mike.  But Kurt was really surprised to find out that she and her family are technically no relation whatsoever to him.

Maybe it’s my Jewish heritage that’s to blame for my interest in genealogy.  I don’t mean that to be disparaging in any way.  It’s just that I have never met a Jewish person who didn’t know how s/he was related to someone down to the nth degree.  Growing up, I was always taught that this person was my first cousin, or my second, or my aunt’s sister, or my grandfather’s brother.  My grandfather’s cousins have always been close to my father and his children, and while I have always simply referred to them as “Cousin Betty” and “Cousin Myrtle,” I have always known at the same time that they are my first cousins, twice removed.  Every time we visited with one family member or another, it was always made clear to me exactly how they are related.  “Now this is your father’s cousin on his mother’s side,” or “This is your grandmother’s younger sister’s husband.”

Speaking of familial relationships, we were sitting at the table eating lunch with my grandparents in Pennsylvania, when we started talking about who we are most like in our family.  My great-aunt Sue (who is technically no relation to me, being both a relation by marriage and a relation on my stepmother’s side) mentioned that every day, she is becoming more and more like her mother.  That made me think of my own biological mother, and I asked my father what of my biological mother I have.  Personally I see nothing of my biological mother in me, unless it’s my blue eyes that come from her mother.  I am through and through my father’s daughter.  Maybe it’s hard to see the facial resemblance, since I look more like his father, while he greatly favors his mother, but most of me comes from my father.

I am short (5’3″), like my father (5’6″).  I have short legs, like my father (we both require a 27″ to 28″ inseam).  I have small, chubby hands with stubby fingers, like my father.  I have small, short, stubby, and wide feet, like my father.  Standing side by side with my father, you can definitely see the physical resemblance.  And that’s not where it stops.  I’ve picked up so many of his mannerisms.  When I’m thinking, I will sit with my chin in my left palm, with my fingers covering my mouth and my nose.  If I’m thinking too hard, I start to pick at my left eyebrow.

When I look in the mirror, I see my father.

I just wish he’d given me his swarthy complexion.  I guess that is the one thing I have from my biological mother’s side of the family — my fairness.  I know no one on either side of my family that is as fair as I am, unless my maternal grandmother, the one from whom I got my blue eyes, was this fair.  Everyone else is either dark due to their Eastern European ancestors, or because of American Indian blood.  Me, I got none of it.  Put me in the sun and I burn.  And that burn will never fade to a tan.  It will be red till it fades back to white.  Put my father in the sun, and he burns a bit if he’s out for too long, but it turns to a deep, dark tan.  He gets nearly as dark as my brother, who happens to be a Mayan Indian and therefore naturally dark.

Kurt’s the same way, so maybe Grace won’t be as fair as her momma.  We’ll see.

But now we are battening down in preparation of Tropical Storm Hanna.  We’re supposed to start getting storms ahead of Hanna herself starting tomorrow, and Hanna will hit sometime tomorrow night.  We’ve gotten a preparation packet from the management office as to what to do in case of a hurricane.  The information contained in it cracks me up.  It’s obvious that the information contained therein was simply reprinted from packets given to the residents of military housing in Norfolk, Virginia.  The residents are encouraged to head inland towards Fort Eustis, which is located in Newport News, Virginia, and to listen to the Fort Eustis radio channel for further information.  It also gives a phone number to call, but the exchange is one I don’t recognize for Newport, so I’m pretty sure it too is a Virginia number.

You’d think someone would have realized that the information should be made applicable to this region.

Kurt’s excited that we’ll get some heavy rain and some strong wind.  I’m just praying we don’t lose power, mainly so we don’t lose the contents of our fridge.  It seems so strange to be preparing for a tropical storm when we live in New England.


8 Responses to “Hanna Banana”

  1. msbeanie Says:

    If your power does go out, just keep the fridge closed as much as possible. Frozen things should last for 2-3 days… you can always buy a bag of ice, keep it in your freezer.. if the power goes out, stick it in the fridge to keep that part cold. but the most important thing is to keep the doors closed as much as possible!!

  2. twisterjester Says:

    Ugh – I didn’t think about you guys being in the path of the storm. Take care!

  3. Aimee Says:

    Yes take care. Hopefully it’ss be pretty mild by the time it gets to you. Uggg I can’t handle anymore of these storms!

  4. ShearMadnez Says:

    Get fresh batteries for your flashlights and radios! Pack your freezers with ice. Get bread and water early. Those items sell out first. Be prepared to go without electricity for at least 3 days. (((Hugs))) I’ve got y’all in my thoughts and prayers! Love ya bunches. Stay safe!

  5. cardiogirl Says:

    Every day my love for Wikipedia grows by leaps and bounds. Today my heart swells. Thank you so much for that chart, my kids are ALWAYS asking me, how are related to (whoever).”

    The only time the answer is easy is when they say, “How are we related to Hannah Montana?”

    We’re not.

    Oh, yeah. The storm. Pack up tight, good luck and I hope your internet connection stays in tact! And the family and the baby.

  6. Chez Nous Says:

    I second cardiogirl’s sentiments about Wikipedia. I LOVE this chart!

  7. whatdayisit Says:

    You have good advice re: the storm and any power failure. I enjoyed catching up since you returned from the wedding…great photos by the way. I loved the colors in the wedding party. You, Kurt and Gracie looked great in the family photo too.
    I bet if you had a chance to get over the shock of being groped by the Wal-Mart employee; you would have told her about the rudeness of touching your belly.
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. I hope you take it easy next week whle Kurt is busy with his job so you don’t go into labor. You look great!

  8. sleepyjane Says:

    Thinking of you guys during the storm! It would really frighten me as we don’t really get things that bad here in South Africa.

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