All about how to stay connected, strengthen ties and talk politics with your big, happy extended family.
The Treasure Box
A number of years ago when my granddaughters were all younger from 4 to 12 we would go on a week long camping trip along with other friends who had small children there was a mixture of boys and girls, the mothers and aunts would get together and decide what would make the camping trip a memorable one. This year I decided to do something on my own for the kids, I created a authentic looking map stained with tea on parchment paper used black ink with a odd looking compass but you could well see that it was a compass, then I had a wooden box made with a pirate and crossbones burned into it, rummaged through my cosmetic jewelry and stuffed it into the box this was looking pretty cool for kids to dig up!
One Strand of Blue Lights
No matter how old I get I’ll never forget all those Christmases we spent at my Aunt Lee’s house. The year I was eighteen was particularly interesting. It was my senior year of high school. My Dad had just moved back in with us. Nancy, my little sister, was twelve and had recently decided that she hated me.
The Next Few Years Will Be Good for Ancestral Research
Back when I started researching my family tree in the early 2000s, there were a lot of personal family tree websites online (with varying degrees of accuracy) and often the creators of those sites lacked a sense of privacy and identity theft concerns. Fortunately, people seem to be more aware of those issues these days. Family history books which contain private information about living people and were written before the internet existed no longer seem to appear in Google searches, which is a good thing!
Three things a $2 hair straightener taught me
"If he wanted to, he would have." If I had a penny for every time somebody said that to me, I would be able to take out a loan and buy a house for myself and keep away from hearing that phrase ever again. Let me take you back to the early 2000s, back to the islands where I spent my childhood in Niugini, back to where I did not have enough life lessons to know any better and neither did the people who owned the biggest thrift shop on the island.
The Last Word
Salvatore Terranova hates to sweat, but not as much as he hates the idea of getting fat like every other man in his family. Which is why, in spite of Trenton’s unseasonable heat and Sal’s aversion to perspiration, he is at the park for his twice-weekly game of pick-up basketball. The game has just ended in a loss, and he is seated on a bench near an asphalt basketball court drinking from a bottle of water. Paulie sits beside him, once again starting a conversation Sal wants no part of.
Hot Summer Nights
Hot Summer Nights My moms sister, my Aunt Sally, was kind enough to offer to take Matt and I for a month in the summer before my eighth grade year, the parents couldn’t pay for the plane tickets fast enough. I was twelve and Matt was ten and this was to be our first vacation away from the parents, and Vice versa.
LuLu came into our life desperate to get out of the place her old people called home, she was a mess, at best. She hadn’t been bathed or groomed in years and had been living under a porch for going on five years. She’s a sensitive gal, eighty pounds of sensitive. When her owners brought her over we weren’t looking for a dog this big, this dirty and this ungroomed, but destiny strikes at odd times and you take advantage of it.
Sighing, I placed my paintbrush on the drip tray. My swollen feet and aching back were crying out for a break, but with the baby's due date rapidly approaching I'd been hoping to finish the mural on the nursery wall today. I took a few steps back to survey my handiwork. Friendly animals peered out at me through lush vegetation and a riot of wildflowers. I had incorporated Gertrude's favorite colors and flowers in the mural as well as placing little mementos of her throughout the room.
My Cousin Naomi, Knot Redefined
Dear Naomi, I've been thinking about you a lot lately, with fingers crossed, sending out prayers and good intentions that your up-coming appointment with the specialist will bring good news and a healthy prognosis. You're an amazingly strong woman, and I know you will get through this, but it's so unfair that you have to face it. You've been through more than enough shit already.
I believe the last few years we all have been doing a little soul-searching and with things becoming chaotic and then an abrupt standstill... anyone could start thinking. Thinking about the past as well as the future...
Grandma, I'd Like You To Meet My Wife
Dear Grandma, thank you for watching over me these past thirteen years, for your part in keeping me safe, and for inspiring my continued love for pumpkin pie.
Tiny but Mighty
Dear Aunt Maggie, No one in the family ever talked about it. But in order to be brought to the States by your uncle and sold to my grandfather’s brother at age twelve, you must have been around seven when you were orphaned. Auntie Filor was even younger, maybe five.