Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shubutta

My little baby cousin, the youngest, at 18, of 22 grandchildren, moved to Tuscaloosa to attend college late last summer. In the beginning we were like, "OMG, we will see each other ALL of the time." And the sad reality is that we've seen each other, in Ttown, exactly 2 times. But I see her all the time when I go to Mobile. Crazy right?

We drove down together, for the first time, last weekend as we attended a Mardi Gras festivity. And fulfilled our commitment to hanging out more by promptly going out for sushi and a movie on Monday night when we returned.

Occassionally we'll take the road to Meridian, Mississippi, then come into Tuscaloosa from the west (y'all get yer maps out now, ya' hear?). When we do that, we see a sign for a little town called Shubutta, off Highway 45. Lindsay initially thought it was pronounced, "Shoe Butta," like it was from Queens or something, but it's really "shu-BOOTa."

And so now she's officially nicknamed Shubutta, but we have shortened it to Shubooboo. Shubooboo and I share birthdars (not a typo, that's how we say it) 10 days apart; we're both raging Cancers. I had just turned 19 when she was born, though I was away for the summer working as a camp counselor in North Carolina. My family had rented a beach house when I returned and I will never forget seeing her for the first time. She was the sweetest baby - so much so that I would drive all the way out to the country in between college classes just to hold her - and has maintained that fabulous trait as she reaches adulthood.

This year on our birthdays I'll be exactly twice her age (God how did that happen?). It's funny because I still feel like I'm such a seeker - that something big is going to eventually happen - and Shubooboo has a dream that many discourage her from pursuing. As I've climbed this tree called Life, it brings me such joy and honor to look down the trunk and say, "Put your foot there, reach for that branch - it's stronger" without over-directing.

Maybe I am fulfilled because I sense purpose and that's something I can lack as a single person without any dependents. I have been contemplating a new puppy, but for now I think I'll just stick with Shubooboo. She's already house-trained AND she is very hip to cool bands and music. That's just something a Jack Russell Terrier cannot bring to the table.

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