31 Days, 31 People
Day 04: MARIE

My amazing, beautiful cousin Marie. I swiped this photo from her Facebook album. ❤

When I think about Marie, I think about fun and creativity. I loved hanging out with Marie.

Marie was one grade ahead of me, a year older, and pretty much one of the coolest cousins a kid could ask for. Before our family moved to Panaca, NV, we’d drive up to visit Grandma and Aunt Ann, my mom’s mom and sister, a couple times per year. I remember day-long hikes out into the deserts and sledding until our feet were so frozen they hurt. We still did that stuff after my family moved there, too. We just upped our game.

I remember spending hours recording our own radio shows and commercials on our tiny portable cassette player stereos. We’d write and record our own songs inspired by Weird Al parodies. I still remember one called “Camouflage Curtains” that we sung to the tune of George Michael’s “Faith”. We’d record these things then play them back with the play button pressed half-way down so it played back high-speed, in chipmunk mode. We’d play and replay over and over and we’d laugh hysterically every time.

One time we baked a bunch of cookies and Marie had the idea to dress up as elves and take plates of these cookies to the senior citizen’s home about a half a mile away from her house. Our elf outfits consisted of purple footie jammies, purple faces and some beanie hats and gloves. We loaded up a red wagon with paper plates full of cookies and took them door to door. I still remember how surprised and cute and grateful our cookie recipients were.

I admire Marie for being exactly who she is. She inspired so much of my music and clothing sense because she was different. And fun. A good-hearted, creative soul to the core.

Marie, even though you live all the way across the country now and I rarely see you, thanks for always being an awesome cousin and friend. You pioneered a lot of creative thinking that I grew to embrace and run with, in my own direction. I’m grateful and enriched by having grown up experiencing your independence and imagination.