cousins_1550952025226630_233433268_oCousins…they sort of look like us. We have that gene thing going on. Maybe you have to squint your eyes a tiny bit to make it so—but a part of you is in their face, or a lot of you is in their walk. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to think they are so cool –because you think to yourself, “Wow she’s got it going on—and we’re related …so I must too!” –Or “Mannn he is hysterical—we definitely are related!” Somehow, we tend to overlook the bad genes and that’s okay. Like the ear lobes that belong on Jack—as in “Jack and the Beanstalk”, or the double chin that you’ve had since you were six.


We also hang with the cousins that are in our age pool—at least when we are younger. On my mom’s side, I had 4 boys close to my age. They were my first introduction to having guy-friends. Every year when we would make our summer trek to Nebraska, we invariably went through that awkward ritual of becoming reacquainted. We gathered at my Grandma’s house and sat in the same room taking quick glances at each other and making stupid comments until our parents would bar us from the house and simply say, “go play”. With that, we immediately were pals again as if time stood still.


When I was with my cousins, my imagination spiked too. Maybe, again, it was because I experienced an added sliver of the same creative gene from this cousin, and a slice of it from another. One summer we had to name 13 newborn kittens. That’s when I first loved dreaming up names. A couple of names, I suggested, were “Turkey” and “Raisin”, not a “Fluffy” nor a “Tiger”. This was where the mutual creative gene came into play. When I suggested those crazy names, my cousin whole-heartedly agreed that they were extremely smart and perfect for the kittens. Yikes…we must be related.


I could ramble on about my cousins and my life stories…


A couple of weeks ago, my uncle, my mom’s brother, passed away. I didn’t hesitate to be there for my guy cousins. It is a small town, and a cool town, with so many fond memories for me. That night we all gathered and told stories and reminisced of our childhood. There was something very special about my summers spent in Nebraska and hanging with my cousins, my cousins on my dad’s side, too. They are a large part of whom I am—genes and memories, and now my older cousins are included. We are all in the same pool…that gene pool. I think my cousins are pretty cool. I’m fortunate to be a part of them…literally.


Here’s to cousins!


–jules gissler

Posted on January 17, 2016 in blog

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Jules Gissler

About the Author

Jules, originally a Montana girl, has travelled many creative trails; books, paintings, cards, prints, giclees, pillow design, and hardware jewelry. Her original designs have sold in retail shops such as Barneys New York, Ballard Designs catalog, ABC Carpet & Home-New York, and The American Craft Museum.

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