On the July 30, I connected with a very distant cousin, through an ancestry program on line. After non-stop emailing for three weeks, it was agreed that we'd go to East Hampton earlier than we'd planned, and meet with them there. They drove from Maine. We drove from SC. We met on Aug 20, and shared a cottage in East Hampton with her and her husband for a full week.
While it is not my usual M.O. to be so 'brave' as to plan a trip and share a place for a week with someone I don't know. Somehow, I felt that it would all go well, at least with the two women. I had a little question about how the men would fare, but they both had been introduced through our emails, and seemed to look forward to the time we'd spend together. With so many similar interests, my wondering soon dissipated. When we met that afternoon, it was as if we were greeting old friends.
Aine is as tall and thin as I am short and round. We're an odd-looking couple! She's a full foot taller than I am, she's younger than I am, but her hair is prematurely white, while mine is still dark, with some threads of gray sprinkled thorough it. She is an educated and interesting person. She wakes with words on her lips and retires at night still much to say. Bruce is soft spoken, easily amused, well-read, intelligent and filled with good, common sense. He and Mike hit it off like long-lost brothers. They are quite similar in personality and interests, and I had no need to give a second thought to them being 'forced' to spending so much time together. There was no pretense in any of us, and our conversations were sincere and very animated. There was much laughter and sharing of lives.
We spent the week watching the sailboats on the Harbor, photographing sunsets and each other,
site-seeing, and cooking simple meals to eat. While the men opted for sitting in the yard, enjoying each other's company, Aine and I went out to cemetaries and libraries in search of ancestry records.
Sometimes life brings opportunities for adventure. While I would advise people to be cautious in making decisions regarding strangers, there are times when you just know. This was one of those times, and I'm glad I listened to my heart, and stepped away from all the 'what ifs'. It was a wonderful experience with a terrific couple, and we are already planning another time together.