Pulling up to the long dirt drive I slowly remove my headphones. I have waited this long to do so to avoid my mother's lecture on how to behave. Apparently I took them off a little soon because her mouth begins to shoot out reprimands at amazingly fast speeds. I glance at my brother, and lucky him, he hadn't removed his headphones yet. I look at my mom, nodding, as the words dodge around my head and fly out the window. At the end of the dirt drive we come out in an opening with about ten parked cars. Ahead of us lies a huge garrison house, white with navy blue trim. I gawk at the house and wonder who the heck in our family owns a house like this. I rack my mind and realize that at every family cookout I have been to, I have never known the people that own the house. My family probably rents a house and a family to go along with it so that everyone else in the family is impressed and thinks that somewhere along the line we have an important family. I'm sure it is something very complicated along those lines. My brother finally removes his head phones as the car comes to a stop and we begin to get out of the car.
I hear muffled voices from around the back of the house and my dad signals to trek across the lawn and follow the house to the back yard. The first person that comes into my view as I round the back of the house is my uncle Paul. His face is large and flushed and he is flipping burgers on the grill with a neon green "Kiss the Chef apron on. This is my family, I laugh to myself. Among the yard there must be about 70 people; the young kids are running crazily around the yard, the older kids have a game of touch football in play, and the adults are mingling in small scattered groups. A few people begin to approach us as we arrive, my aunt Gertrude (Trudy) is the first to reach us. I am now seventeen, going on eighteen, and that means I am practically an adult so I get by with a big kiss on the ch