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#WQWWC #15: Family – An Affair That’s Thicker than Mud

“Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

David Ogden Stiers

My friend Connie told me a great family story where they went picnicking at Murray Park in Porterville with friends, eight children, (I think – fourteen maybe – big numbers overwhelm me). They left and had gone no more than five minutes before someone counted and the five-year-old was missing. They drove back to the park and found her sitting alone on a hill crying and sucking her thumb.

As the first of two children born into our extended family in twenty-five years, I never went anywhere as a preschooler without holding at least one adult hand.

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” 

George Burns

In spite of the fact that Randy and I were only two years apart in age, we were never together until I had to stay home to stay home and attend kindergarten. We had grandparents and great-grandparents and they took turns passing us around. But nobody wanted both of us – at the same time, even our parents. They were all used to only children. (My parents and one grandmother were only children.) So we went different places or one of us stayed home. (I rarely stayed home).

I remember Grandma Golda, tired after two days with a preschooler, driving me to her mother’s house, not my mother’s house!

“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.”

George Carlin

When we were teens and hung out in a group of about six to eight kids. Mom had restaurant rules.

“No talking about bloody operations, body parts, sex or other bodily functions at the table or in the restaurant.”

Peggy Morris, aged 40

By this time our parents had divorced. Dad hooked up with a woman with only one child. LOL Mom moved us 2,500 miles away to avoid him, and Randy and I suddenly became besties and shared friends. On Saturday nights either we had a huge dinner party at our house with ten or twelve of us, or we went out with all our friends, and Mom’s friend from work, Margie who was widowed and laughed like a sea lion.

The rule came about when Tina, my friend Terry’s flat-chested younger sister, aged eleven, announced to a whole line of people at a smorgasborg restaurant, in her best stage voice, “I’ve got a big breast.” as she picked out the largest piece of chicken she could find in the tray. She waved it around for everyone to see.

That made all of us teenagers snort our guffaws, crouch half way to the floor, cross our legs, hold our stomachs with one hand and try to walk and push our food trays at the same time.

“Come on kids, you’re holding up the line.” said my mom being the one adult in the group. Margie barked so loudly at the sight of us getting our food to the tables that it seemed that the entire restaurant joined her.

“You live such an exciting life,” my mom’s college classmates told her when she shared her weekend adventures with them.

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”

Albert Einstein

Those were great years for Randy and me. We didn’t have much in common, but we had no one else. Now we celebrate life, go on a vacation somewhere, just the two of us, and reminisce about the crazy friends we had and how funny Margie was when she laughed. We all did whatever we could to make her laugh.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Mother Teresa

Neither Randy nor I had children, not out of choice, but we didn’t come from a prolific lineage. My first husband passed away and I remarried a man with – wait for it – an only child. His son has no children and is fifty-one this year. Our hopes for grandchildren are busted. His son is with a woman who has – you guessed it – one child.

“Friends are the family you choose.”

Jess C. Scott

What do you do when you don’t have family? You make family. I was fortunate in that Vince adopted my “family friends” when we married. We’ve made more along the way. We both keep in touch with our siblings who live happily in distant cities. We brought my husband’s unmarried sister and her pets with us when we moved to Prescott.

Now it’s your turn. Find a favorite song or quote and tell me about your family.

35 replies »

  1. No, LOL! I cut back on the time it takes by putting the links into my blogging journal then clicking from there rather than going back and forth between reader and blog or blog and blog.

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        • That’s ok, Cindy. I’ve felt the same way. I finally just had to add you to my list of reads and stay up until I read down all my list. It’s the only way I can stay up even a little bit with my reading. So I can imagine that your reading list is even greater. It takes me hours just to scroll down all your comments without even reading them. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • When you have a challenge that is a going concern, it can be overwhelming. I developed a great blogging tool for myself that helps, but it still takes several hours of follow up to visit everyone in the challenge, or wherever your list originates. You have a ton of followers, so I imagine it takes a lot of time responding, let alone visiting their blogs. I appreciate the time you spend reading my blog. I know how busy you are. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • I bet that’s true! I love the idea but I’m thinking of blogging less not more because of time and then I would be in trouble because I do like to respond to my followers you’re right. I’d take 3 hours.. lol 🤣 but that’s still a lot!!!!! awww you’re welcome and I appreciate your support as well!!! 💖

            Liked by 1 person

    • No worries, Monica, love. It is super late for me, too, but not as bad as yesterday. My days and nights are spinning around. It sounds like Jack is still in a lot of pain. I’m still working on getting V out of his rocking chair and into vacay mode. LOL He loves it here. It’s supposed to be snowing right now, and we have to drive to Scottsdale tomorrow over a mountain pass. I’ll talk to you soon. Lots of love to you both.

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    • Wow, Lisa. Those numbers are almost too big for me to imagine. I’m so sorry about your sister. Cancer has hit everyone in my family but my brother, but all except my dad, lived into their late 70s and 80s. I can’t imagine how devastating it must have been to lose a sister.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was a couple of weeks after her 50th.. My folks both in early 60’s.. I try live my life to the fullest.. Covid has certainly been a bit of a hand brake but you just have to make the most of it.. 😉 have an awesome weekend..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow, Lisa, I’m so sorry. Your pictures do look like you live life to the fullest – even with all the COVID restrictions. You can’t live your life scared, and probably the same things won’t happen to you. My father died young but my mom was 80 and had all sorts of health issues from age 60 to 80 and she enjoyed every second except the last couple of weeks. Keep posting those amazing pictures of YOU in action! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Your life is so different from mine, Marsha. I am one of ten. My mum was one of five, my dad one of nine and his dad one of sixteen. I have a large extended family with many cousins on both sides. I don’t see a lot of my immediate or my extended family. Sometimes being one of a large family can be just as isolating as being an only. I have two children. With 12 years between them, they were both onlies, but they get on well and love each other very much. My hub has one sister who has no children (through no fault of her own). My son has two and my daughter has none, with no intention of having any. She has dogs instead. 🙂 That’s the short story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Norah. Your family lineage has narrowed drastically in just two generations! What I want to know is why you didn’t have sixteen children???? I’m kidding! I can’t imagine that! Do you think you stay closer because your family is smaller now, or is the opposite true?

      My other grandparents had more children. My grandfather – 4 sibs (2 I knew, he was the baby), One sister had no children, the other had 2 but one was killed in a bus accident when she was 10. Hal is still alive and well at 96. My paternal grandfather had 4 sibs, I think. He was older, but I don’t remember all of the siblings. I did know several of them. My paternal grandmother had 2 sibs, both girls. One I knew well, the other one lived far away in CA, but my dad visited her on occasion after my parents divorced. She had an only child. Grandma’s other sister had an only child. and he had three girls who I knew well. My maternal great grand-father was illegitimate and an only child. My great grandmother had 3 older half sisters, most of whom I visited as a child. Wow, I haven’t listed them out like that for like forever. And that’s about all I can do – a list.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that list is a good start, Marsha. I think I need to see a tree. 🙂
        One word that really leapt out at me is ‘illegitimate’. That’s a word that is fast losing traction and importance isnt’ it, as many now are not marrying at all, and don’t see the importance of marriage to having children. In just a few years (my lifetime – actually my adulthood) it has gone from being a disgrace to have a baby outside marriage to being almost the norm. Once it would have been embarrassing to say you were a single parent. Now it’s often worn as a badge of pride. I think the number of children in a family has also undergone a similar change in attitude.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Norah, sorry I blathered on so much! Way too much information that wasn’t really important! I have a baby picture of my great grandfather with his mother. Illegitimacy was quite important in 1881, apparently, and it made an impression on me when I was a kid and Mom told me about it. But you are so right. Things have changed 180 degrees from when I was in high school. Girls who got pregnant at that time often went away to have their babies or dropped out and married. We NEVER saw pregnant girls in school. It was a very different time. Even my use of the term reveals my age and the “horror” that my mom instilled in me that the same thing should happen to me. There are programs that help teens now that were not available when I was a teen. As far as numbers of children in a family, it seems like people are not so afraid of having children as we were. We were bombarded with overpopulation scares. However, they don’t have children as farm laborers as they did in my ancestor’s era. It’s more a matter of choice.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re right, Marsha. There are so many improvements to our way of life and many more choices that are now acceptable. It’s good to not be limited by fear and guilt. You’re not right about blathering too much though. That was probably me. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Not at all. I love our conversations. We ought to use our phones or zoom, though! We’d still have to limit ourselves! 🙂 LOL I enjoyed our talks around the Carrot Ranch Rodeo. Have you heard from Irene? She has not been blogging since October and I’m a little worried about her.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. H, Marsha – I greatly enjoyed this post. Here is one of my favourite family quotes:
    Barbara Bush
    “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that! I am so guilty of that! Thanks so much for the reminder about what is so important. Thanks for participating. Have a wonderful week, Donna.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wouldn’t know where to start! I’m an ‘only’, who was gifted a half sister, 11 years my junior. She died, suddenly and shockingly, aged 40, leaving me an only again. I guess my huge Polish family is a counterbalance to this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Jo, I’m so sorry about your half sister. I lost my first sister-in law at age 36 – her age, not mine. Both she and my husband had a rare genetic disease, so It was good that I didn’t have children.

      Liked by 2 people

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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