Other than myself, I guess I’d say that one of my Uncles would be the “Cousin-It” in my family. About me, well for a long time one of my passions was flying, not powered planes, but instead I owned and flew a Sailplane, no I’m not really crazy I stayed from away Hang-Gliders. After my eyes aged to a point that I grounded myself, I took up kayaking, gentle sea-kayaking, not white-water paddling. Yeah mom thought I was sort of crazy.

But the real “Cousin It” of the family was mom’s brother. Though at times she’d say he was our uncle, there were 4 of us kids to share him as an uncle. We’d all say “No, HE is your brother!” So just what was it that earned him the reputation.

One example I still remember. We all lived in Maryland, so he bought a 30′ sloop that was in a marina near Chicago, on Lake Michigan, and wanted it on the Chesapeake. No problem. He’s sail it on the lakes. North from Chicago around lower Michigan then south on Lake Huron then pass Detroit onto Lake Erie to Buffalo. We were going to take it down the Erie Canal, Hudson River, the Jersey coast then up the Delaware Bay and down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis. But that trip is for another story

That was his part of the journey. Once in Buffalo, the mast was ‘stepped’ and dad built an A-frame to hold the downed mast so we could take the boat, now named “The Wench” down the Erie Canal. While dad was prepping the boat for the rest of its journey, mom and us four kids loaded enough clothes and food for a couple of weeks on-board.

Before we set off on the cruise we all went to a Chinese Restaurant for dinner. I was still in elementary school at the time and hadn’t been to many Chinese restaurants so being a bit curious I asked my uncle “What’s that yellow stuff?” His answer was “Chinese Butter, just put it on thick.” As a foolish kid I believed him. No it wasn’t butter after all. You can guess, it was HOT Mustard. I think I can still taste it burning my tongue. I still like Chinese food but stay away from the mustard.

That’s just one of the ways he earned the reputation.

Oh, yes. The trip down the Erie Canal was memorable, but for a pre-teen it waw boring at the time. It was about half a century later when I bicycled the entire canal two years in a row. That’s probably earned me the cousin-it for my generation. The ride was easy, only 420 miles, but I did get to spend lunch breaks and evenings walking through all the small towns that we only saw as the boat motored by.

for The Daily Post Cousin It


About Mike

I'm an avid bicyclist, that also enjoys Kayaking, Nature Photography, Cross Country Skiing and Geocaching. There's nothing more boring than sitting indoors in "good" weather.
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