Cousins who live nearby are even more important, especially when the parents interact daily. That cousin for me was Sherry Dell who lived across the highway.
Sherry Dell was my "little" cousin because she was two years younger. That gave me the advantage of being "the boss" as she called me. Our mothers were sisters-in-law who had also played on a locally well-known girls' softball team together. Aunt Louise was married to my mother's youngest brother Dick who she adored. Dick and Mother both worked for their father at his chicken production business. The families were entwined and in touch with each other nearly every day of their entire lives. One family's issues, problems, and celebrations were shared with the other's.
When Aunt Louise and Uncle Dick had my other little cousin Nancy, she became our little doll. Most of the time, however, Sherry and I were "too big" to play with Nancy so we often adventured alone. Nancy was my mother's absolute favorite, and I was even sometimes jealous of the attention my mother gave her.
Sherry and I spent many hours playing in the pastures on Hancock Hill. We hung out together at Big Mama's house. One of our favorite things to do was to take baths together. We didn't notice each other's nakedness because we were so busy playing with our toy dishes and
"cooking" in the bathtub. Here we are with little Nancy in the middle.
Sherry Dell has not only been my cousin but my friend. After she married and moved from our hometown, we were not able to spend much time together. She and her husband have produced a beautiful family who are close and loving. She has always been my biggest supporter as I am hers. We are friends and cousins for life.
Sherry and her husband are the last of the Hancock's to live on Hancock Hill and lives in the same home she grew up in with her parents and sister.
My other cousin who I adored was Jay Lockhart, son of my dad's brother Hardy and his wife Beth. Jay was 7 years older and left for college when I was 13, so I did not get as much time with him as I did with Sherry & Nancy.
Other cousins, Randy, Mike, Ann, Jan, and Dianna lived away from Texas therefore I did not get to see them very often.