The last of the extended family left today. I should explain that my family is like something out of Norman Rockwell. I’m talking reunions, Christmas Talent Shows, and being close to people who are third cousins. I mean, Walter is actually my 1st cousin twice-removed, which means that he’s my grandmother’s first cousin. I grew up thinking this was normal, because it’s that way on Mom’s side too. I realize now that my family is very unusual.
My parents own the conjoining property that two of the family homes live on. Woodthrush Woods, which is the house that my grandfather built, and Robin’s Roost, which was Walter’s House and moved down to a plot next to Woodthrush. Confusing? Just roll with it, the important thing to know is that it means that when everyone convenes they come here and there’s plenty of room for all. (Some day I’ll have a writing retreat here. Thirteen acres, nine bedrooms, five baths, wi-fi and a creek.)
Where was I going with this? I got distracted by visions of writer’s retreats… Oh yes. So, there are lots of family photos stored here, going back to the 1800s. We even have a couple of tintypes. In among these are the comparatively recent photos of my childhood. Here I am as a blonde with my brother. His hair is dark brown now.
Anyway, this has been an excellent trip home, even if the reasons for coming were sad. At one point yesterday, my dad said, “I love funerals!” I gaped and he continued, “It’s the only time you get to see people.”
Crazy, but yeah, I know what he means. So, being a geek, I decided to put together a website for my extended family and have been busily scanning in photos from the boxes that Robby, my dad’s mom, had stored here. My grieving process often involves making something. When Robby died, I sorted all these photos and labled them. Now I’m scanning and uploading.
Grandma, by the way, is looking quite spry at 102. I’m going to see her tomorrow, but I’m waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. Oh, did I mention that I came down with strep on the flight from Hawaii? Dad didn’t want me to talk about it because, “No one likes to hear you complain,” but it’s just so funny. And, because I’ve worked in the schools and have had it enough as an adult to recognize it, I went to the Doctor almost as soon as I hit the ground. I feel great, but just don’t want to take any chances around Grandma.