All in the Family

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Yesterday my cousin Joel decided on an impromptu day trip to Chicago. Sadly, I was freelancing downtown and missed Joel’s first attempt at street parking, riding the bus and hailing a cab. Big day for Little Joelie (Joeley).

Couldn’t really tell you the last time Joel and I hung out, but he’s always been like a psuedo-younger brother for me. We grew up  close to one and other (only one stoplight separated our houses) and it feels like nearly every weekend we had a cousin slumber party (these parties consisted of my brother, Joel, his sister and me, so it wasn’t technically a full-blown cousin slumber). He was there in the ANP room when they called my name for Homecoming Court and I was there for every talent show in elementary school (Splish Splash and Hey, Hey We’re the Monkees). I helped him get his first job ever at the one and only Oberweis Dairy (oh, the pull I used to have there) and he would road trip out to Kansas for my 8 a.m. Journalism Graduation ceremony.

I was ever so excited for his visit to the Windy City while we sat around at Castaways enjoy drinks and reliving tales for his girlfriend Lauren. I’m not a huge homebody, but as of lately, I find myself getting occasionally homesick. I think it’s because I’m finally at a “permanent” place. It’s not college anymore. I’m not stuck in a desert contemplating my next move on Southwest Airlines. I’m finally at a place where I feel like I’m home, where I feel like sticking around for a bit. This in turn, makes me miss the Heintz Hill, Camp Edwards and sounds of a normal ice cream truck.

Joel helped me get out of my funk with his tales of Judy the Jetta and golf lessons with Chick. I came to the conclusion I was a pretty stellar older cousin. And Joel was pretty fantastic too despite not bringing an Imo’s Pizza with him as a form of payment for letting him cool off in our apartment.

Cousins sittin' on the dock of the bay

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