With the holiday season officially up on us, its time to think back and remember friends and family, and make new memories as well. Looking at this picture makes me think about the great fun we had when my cousin came to visit. She is far away, in California, but never far from my mind.
I can remember as kids when she came to visit us. Her mom was my mother’s oldest sister and we were always close. My sister Debbie and I would fight over Cheri and spending time with us. Then I remember my late cousin Louise who along with her brother Patrick would visit once in a while, but mostly I remember us traveling up to their farm in Wisconsin and eating farm fresh eggs, walking through the pines and playing checkers. When I was young I couldn’t spell Louise and she got several letters to dear Louse. Thankfully she still loved me and responded. I am grateful that her children and husband are still willing to come and visit.
I remember going to Charleston to see Pearcy relatives. Uncle Gene and Aunt Carolyn rolled out the red carpet for us and Richard, Bob, Tom and Steve were always up for fun. Memories of the Clark cousins linger and I do recall one visit when my Uncle Darrell hung by his toes from our swing set, we were duly impressed. My life has been interwoven with the Clark cousins and I love to see them and learn what they are up to, all six of them!
Friends like Linda who my dad called his 3rd daughter help make the holidays fresh when she is able to join us. She and I have created our own visiting traditions involving wine, nachos and lots and lots of talk.
Marriages and grand children have brought both gain and great joy to our families. Loss has brought great sadness. With both gain and loss we have changed the holidays and we have had to rearrange traditions. With all the losses of the past few years this is especially true this year. It will be hard to imagine a holiday without my mother-in-law Henrietta and dear friend Betty and Mike plus I am still adjusting to holidays without my dad. “We have to make new realities”, my sister said and she is right.
She is cooking this year and the holiday will be filled with a mix of her immediate family, my friend, her husband’s family and her friend. She is opening her doors to all of us and we will celebrate and be thankful. Thankful that we can be together, thankful the contentious election is over, thankful for the memories of the past, and most of all thankful to live in a country where we are free to worship and celebrate our wonderful Thanksgiving Day tradition.
May you have a roof over your head, warm clothes on your body and food on the table. Beyond that, only the relationships we weave and the memories we make matter. God Bless you as you make your own holiday traditions.