A Winning Favorite

californiachromeI love the Kentucky Derby;   a cherished event celebrated worldwide for its charm and charisma, its excitement and sophistication.   The Run for the Roses is not only the most exciting two minutes of sports, it is also family tradition.

Our annual adventure has evolved from a large party to a more manageable meaningful gathering of family and friends, always anchored by our Cool Cousins Club. The balmy breezes and seventy degree sunshine were a welcome respite from derby downpours of years past.

It rarely pays to bet on the favorite, but this year I couldn’t resist.   As a native of California, and a huge fan of frugality, I picked California Chrome by name alone, before I knew he was the favorite.   I pulled him from the ‘pot’ too; the red solo cup containing each of the horse’s names, drawn randomly for the price of $2 each.  So  my  $2  investment  earned me $38 and my $2 bet to win won me $5 .  Not a huge haul, but it covered most of my bets for the day.  Obviously I am not a big gambler, but the thrill of picking horses, surveying who picks who, and watching them race to the finish line is one of my favorite  family events.

And cousins are the coolest; they are the siblings you get to grow up with but don’t have to deal with daily.  They are friends AND family who really know you, understand where you come from and love you unconditionally anyway.  Just as friends are the family we choose for ourselves, cousins are the family we choose as our friends.  Though our times together seem few and far between, the older we get the more we cherish our connections and the special bond we all share.

Cousins are also adept at holding up the social mirror, making me keenly aware of characteristics I may or may not appreciate about myself.  Perhaps I know, but chose not to acknowledge my tendency to steer situations to meet my desired outcome.  It wasn’t until I acquired the nickname ‘Miss Sassy Bossy Pants’ on my recent visit that I realized just how set in my ways I can be.

So what if I prefer hanging out on the deck with my favorite aunt and her dog to going out on the town?   Being old school, she left the planning up to the guys.   Really?  That’s not how it works on my annual homage to Louisville when I have limited time and lots of ground to cover   I educated everyone on how to have the best of both worlds.  Yep, I’m also ‘Miss Have it Both Ways’, or as Keith Urban so eloquently articulates;   “I just want a little bit of everything’

And Cool Cousins on Derby Day are definitely my winning favorites.



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