Monday, November 14, 2011

My Cousin Keth

My cousin Keth is a bit of a wild man/party animal. He also happens to be an aerospace engineer/rocket scientist. On weekends, he's having huge keg parties at his beach house, playing gigs or playing beach volleyball. During the week, he's flying to Florida to help NASA solve a problem. Only in California, I guess.

Keth's one of my Uncle Johnny's many offspring - I think he's the son of one of my cousins and so technically a second cousin. I feel a little bad not knowing for sure, but my Uncle Johnny had several wives and many, many children. And some of them moved out of Texas and over to Iowa. Keth is from that branch of the family.

But he walked back into our lives several years ago. He turned up in Southern California, on my brother Carlos' doorstep, and Carlos took him in. Because that's what the Ontiveros family does for family. And Carlos had a big old empty house. Keth didn't pay rent, but he did help Carlos on the many, many fixer-up projects that big old empty house so desperately needs. To be honest, I thought Keth was a drifter and was a bit skeptical of his motives. My bad. Turns out Keth is wonderful - smart, organized and quite able to take care of himself. He just needed a base of operations while he decided what job to take and where to live.

Keth usually drops by on holidays - at least for a quick "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Thanksgiving." And he always invites us to his various outrageous activities. Like when he and a group of his work friends dress up as "The Little Green Army Men" and compete in a flutag (a contest to see who can create a human-powered vehicle that will fly - off a pier - into the ocean!). Or when the same group decides to compete in a Soap Box Derby down a very steep hill in downtown Los Angeles. The soap box derby took place last May, and, since we were in town, we decided to go watch. A good time was had by all - but then it usually is when Cousin Keth is in the mix!

Is there a Cousin Keth in your family? Was there every a time in your when you were like him?


Today I am grateful for: Parents who taught me and mine the importance of family.


Sian said...

Well, we have Uncle Dave, who travels the world..but we are a very small family with few cousins, so I love to hear about the adventures of your big family!

scrappyjacky said...

I love hearing about all your family as Sian's.....mine is quite small.....though my great-grandfather did apparently own large amounts of land around town....and drank it all away!!!!

Gloria said...

He sounds like a great person who needed help for a little while to get back on his own and that's great. Then there are those that just want to live off someone else and yes I know someone like that but....end of story.:)) Nice post Maria. Have a great rest of the week.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Keth sounds like a lot of fun.

My family is small, my dad an only child & my mom has one brother. There are 4 of us in my generation. My mom's folks had lots of siblings but they all left town when they married or their kids did when they were grown, so I don't know any of them.

laurie said...

keth sounds like a fun, interesting, well-rounded person! it takes all different kinds to make up a wonderful family like yours.

The Mann Fam said...

Thanks for sharing about your family. You are so right. Family is important and we need to be there for each other.

Enjoyed going through your posts from last week. Thanks for sharing your Journal Your Christmas albums. I'm thinking of doing that for the first time this year and seeing your albums has been helpful.