Friday, October 28, 2016

The long lost uncle and a tiny travel journal

This past week a long lost uncle from Australia came for a visit.

My uncle is my father's brother. I do not have a relationship with my father. I haven't seen him since I was about 16, and we had a single email exchange about 13 years ago. Until last year, I hadn't seen my uncle in about 35 years.

We reconnected on the internet through an ancestry message board. One connection led to another and he soon discovered that he had many old faraway friends. It was enough to prompt a visit from halfway around the world.

Our first visit lasted about two days. It took place in a house crowded with people, me run ragged taking care of cooking and cleaning and hostessing. It really wasn't much of a visit at all. More of an introduction.

He decided on a return, this time determined to have a proper visit. A full week with a practical stranger.

It's a very weird situation. I very nearly had a panic attack before his arrival. It's frightening... and exciting at the same time.

But it was great. We joked, and laughed and touched on some difficult topics. We discovered things we have in common. We even managed some 'firsts' like jack-o-lantern carving!

To send him on his way I made a tiny album/diary filled with the inside jokes, the misadventures and memories of our shared visit.

I won't share it all, most of it is rather silly anecdotes, but I will share this memory with you...

Together, goofing around in an old school photo booth, in a cafe, after a terribly anti-climatic visit to a lighthouse and looking at a disappointing dead salmon on the beach.

It sort of sums up the whole experience really.

Surreal, weird... but a lot of fun.