Thursday, May 9, 2013

Andrea and Vanderhoop

This is my first cousin Andrea, to whom I refer often as my sister. She's the closest thing I have to one. She spent a lot of time with my parents, brother, and me when I was growing up, and Cade and I lived with Andrea and her daughter Brandi for about 1.5 years after my ex-husband and I separated. Also, far as I know, Andrea and Brandi are the only relatives I have within an hour's driving distance.

Photo by Anjie Kay

Andrea stopped in, today, with her best friend, an eighty-one-year-old Native American named Vanderhoop. He may well be the most fascinating person who's ever graced my door. This is Vanderhoop, holding Baby Chip:

I could write many things about our wonderful visit, but the thing I want to share most is the conversation I overheard between my daughters, after Andrea and Vanderhoop left. The girls were playing in the other room, and Clementine (age 4) asked Charleigh (age 2): "Did Andrea come today?"

"Yep," Charleigh said. "She came. And her fadder [father] came." Clementine didn't respond at all.

Now, obviously, Vanderhoop and Andrea look very differently, but my little girls paid no nevermind. All they could see was the love between these two people. And that love was bright and strong enough for them to conclude: Vanderhoop and Andrea must be father and daughter. 

Would that it were always so.


  1. I can't get over the awesomeness that drenches this post. The names, the relationships, the conversations!

  2. awesomeness................ all over this post and um........... you have an "adopted" relative .......... only 15 minutes away... :)
    love you , love andrea and sorry I missed this visit

    ps i got the most beautiful black and white card in the mail yesterday that made me tear up.......... I adore it...... I'll have to hang it on my fridge

  3. What a wonderful visit. You collect some amazing folks in your life. :)

  4. Very sweet, Brandee. What great people to influence your children. I haven't popped by for so long I didn't know you had your gorgeous baby! Congratulations!

    Btw, just to comment on your comment... I did not take all of the photos on my phone... but half or more. Definitely some are from my camera. I do, however, edit all pics to some degree in Picasa :)

  5. would that it were always the case for sure...that we could let them hold onto that as well...the eyes to see the people for who they are not what they it...