They're Cousins- Identical Cousins....
Ok, we're not really identical... We don't even really resemble each other at all. But we *are* cousins. I've known Dede for ages and ages. I don't remember when I met her. I imagine we were both pretty young. She always lived far, far away so it was a rare occasion for me to see her. When we did get to see each other it was at family reunion type functions in Salt Lake. All I remember about little Dede was that she looooved horses. If it had a horse on it, she loved it.
My first real memory of Dede was when I was 11. She was... 9? (Crap Dede, how much younger than me are you?) Our entire family took a road trip to Disneyland. Her family piled in their MM (Mormon Mover) and our family piled (quite literally) in our BMW (Big Mormon Wagon). We stayed in the Jolly Roger Hotel near Disneyland. I remember we would go swimming in the pool in the evenings.
Back in those days it was safe to let your kids roam freely at Disneyland. We all had these H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. yellow shirts with our names on them. They said "We finally made it!" (because the trip had been postponed a few times). All over the park people would recognize us and say, "Hey! We just saw some other people from your group at Mr. Toad's!"
Dede and I decided to ditch the family and do our own thing. We made our way to Tomorrowland, where we stayed. And stayed. We didn't know where anything was, any rides or anything. So we just wandered. Finally we found the People Mover, a ride that no longer exists. It was a slow train ride around Tommorrowland. It kind of took you... forget it. If you don't know what it is and want to learn about it, go here.
We would get off the ride, run around and get on again. We were the only ones on the ride. Finally the worker just asked if we wanted to stay on instead of going through the line again. So we just kept going in very slow moving circles. We wasted the whole day doing that. My sisters were aghast when they found out I'd not been on any real rides and forbade Dede and I to go off alone again.
We were always pretty good at being pen pals. Years later, when email became the new rage we got even better at it. She was at School (Dixie?) and I was living at home and working (sounds familiar). We were email buddies when she met her future husband, Joey. I got to hear all the twitterpated silliness that goes along with new love. I lived vicariously through her. That was my boy craziest time so I had lots of stories to tell her too- but nothing *nothing* as exciting as a real live boyfriend.
When Dede got married I made one of my rare trips down to Orderville. I'd only been there once before, for here sister's wedding. After marriage we lost contact a little (it happens) but she wrote me while I was on my mission. She sent me pictures of her new baby while I was gone.
Now Dede is this *ridiculously* talented designer. She works from home in Orem and makes digital scrapbook pages.
We got to have a repeat of our Disneyland vacation a couple of years ago but with her own kids- and no more People Mover we weren't able to completely recreate it. She had a hand though in our family of matching shirts. At least this time they were a lovely red instead of smack-you-in-the-face-yellow. We went to Seaworld and stopped ever so briefly at the beach. It was a good trip. Instead of our own vehicles we rented a big red bus (lovingly christened Mushu) so that we could spend more time together. It was funner than it sounds, seriously.
Dede is the closest cousin to my age so naturally we gravitated together. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful cousin-friend. I just wish we had more time to see each other.
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