I've been remembering more about my family.
I remember going back to Yuma quite frequently between the ages of 8 and 12. I usually spent time with my (great) aunt and (great) uncle, Josephine and Ron. Josie went by the name Cheppie. They were not only my dad's aunt and her husband, but my god parents. They couldn't have kids of their own so they took very good care of neices and nephews. They had a large house, like 3 or 4 bedrooms, and a revolving cast of young people came and went. My uncle Stevie was among them. He was like 21 when I was young, and was a wild reckless bachelor. He once got detained in mexico for weeks. We thought he'd just disappeared or worse, and one day just returned with a tale of corrupt mexican cops holding him for flipping his truck.
I called Ron and Cheppie Nini and Nono. I know, sounds super mexican. But that side of the family had all married mexicans, so that's what I grew up around. And everyone had Nana and Nini and Tata and weird names like Linca and Lupe and Hender. Anyway, Nini and Nono had a huge yard with goats and a german shepard named Basha and a boat and a satelite for the tv and basically all this cool stuff that I didn't. Of course I'd love to spend the summer or xmas with my rich, childless relatives who loved me dearly.
Now, in the summer, Yuma gets above 120 degrees. Its hot as fuck. Return Of the Jedi was filmed nearby. There were cactus and gila monsters and well, it was the desert. During the day they'd go to work, and my aunt would come visit for lunch. When she got off, we'd go to the video store and rent 3 movies, which I'd watch the next day. On the weekends we'd go to the river or lake and fish and swim. I learned how to drive and dock and launch a boat at an early age (my moms family had boats as well). There were a few other neighborhood kids I ran with as well.
Toby lived next door. He was the all american golden boy type. Copey lived across the street, and he was a real nutjob. His sister was like a valley girl and very flirtatious. J.R. lived at the end of the block, was the richest and was very proficient with a bow and arrow. All of the kids on the block had hunting weapons of some sort, bb guns/ pellet guns, bows, etc. And we would regularly go out on the block in the early morning hours and hunt birds.
As I grew older, my frequency in visiting dwindled. I think the last time I was there to visit was maybe 8th grade. I had a picture for a long time of my dad and I in my Nini's yard, with her dog, me wearing a Genesis "susudio tour" shirt. Writing this makes me want to write to them, telling them about my life.
I've never been good at communicating with my non-immediate family. While I talk to my mom 2-5 times per week, I talk to my grandma 2-5 times per year, and the rest less than that. Maybe I should work on that.