Monday, May 24, 2010


Yesterday Husband and I went to visit my aunt and uncle about 90 miles away. This is something we do several times a year, talk for a few hours while we are there on a Sunday afternoon.. We decorate the graves of my parents, aunt and sister, then visit with the aunt and uncle for several hours before heading home.

And for the first time in a long time, our daughter elected to come with us.

I should mention that conversations with the relatives are not the most exciting. They tend to cover local news, family news, and political news. But daughter, 30 years old, sat and listened and contributed and (she said later) actually enjoyed herself. It wasn't a red letter visit; they are redoing their kitchen and have everything all helter-skelter, piled on every flat surface while the work is being done. We sat on the front porch, a nostalgic place in its own right.

But I think I know why R wanted to come.

The day before yesterday she went to the wedding for one of her co-workers, someone she didn't know very well from work, but whom she liked a lot; a funny, outspoken woman that means a lot to her happiness at the job. Turns out she has a huge family clan -- R was one of very few who wasn't related -- and all 10 of the bride's aunts and uncles attended, along with most of their offspring. Our family, you see, consists now of the 4 of us, and the aunt and uncle we visited. It must have engendered in her a desire to at least know them better, to participate in the catching-up and reminisces that are a predictable part of any visit. The tales they tell end up usually in my ongoing genealogy files, which I assumed would interest our children not a bit, and so I plan to donate them to the WV family archives at WVU when I am unable to pursue them further.

It was pleasing for me to think she seems to really enjoy time spent on extended family things, and not just in the here-and-now of work and friends that is so much a part of daily life, and in the end means little enough at all.

Three years retired, I know whereof I speak. Friends and co-workers come and go, but family (for better or worse) remain a part of who we are long after the names of friends have slipped away.

So here's to relatives, near and far, who carry a bit of history and share it with us.

I won't forget.

Bumper Sticker: To err is human to ARRR is pirate!

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