Saturday, April 6, 2013
I remember holidays at our house when I was growing up to be small gatherings, usually just my father (until he passed in 1979), my mother, my brother and me. Several times in the past 7-8 years, we have driven from Somerset, KY, to the Fort Worth, TX, area for Thanksgiving or Christmas with some of my in-laws. In the last four years, we've made the trip twice - with our dog. Luckily we had gotten a Suburban a couple of years ago, which made that a lot more feasible. Once, we borrowed a local family member's van.
[One nice thing about the trips, however, was that we seem to have overcome our 'Arkansas Curse'. Twice, when we lived in Texas and visited Kentucky, our vehicles broke down on the same 20-mile stretch of I-40 in Arkansas, necessitating my FIL (father-in-law) to drive down from Kentucky and rescue us.]
My MIL (mother-in-law) likes 'big'. She does big gatherings really well. Family at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and her husband's Marine buddies on Independence Day. When we are there at Thanksgiving, we help decorate for Christmas. When we are there at Christmas, we help take down the holiday decorations.
Anyway, here's who showed up to the last couple of family celebrations:
- Cheryl and Vince - MIL and hubby
- me, my husband, son 1, son2, daughter
- Aunt Rose, Uncle Johnny, Uncle Johnny's mother
- Cousin J Lee and his wife
- Aunt Sheila
- Cousin Jennifer (Sheila's biological daughter whom she was forced to give up the day she was born), her husband, their son and daughter
- Cousin Jason, his wife, their two sons
- Cousin Tara and her husband (and at the next celebration their new baby will be there as well)
That makes 23 at my count. So different from the first half of my life (so far) ... and nice, as well.
For instance, the year I moved out of my mother's house, she went to a 4-ft "fake" Christmas tree. I'm sure the last few years, since my mother had moved to a nursing home, no decorations went up at all. In Texas, there is a big tree in the living room, a smaller-yet-still-impressive tree in the family room (where the presents go), a Marine tree in Vince's 'man-cave' and bits of green wrapped around room accent that doesn't move.
Yup. I'm a lucky gal when it comes to family!