Tonight Dave and I took a drive out to the airport to pick up my Aunt Ellen who is here for the holidays. Ellen was married to my dad’s oldest brother Keith. They divorced awhile back but Aunt Ellen has still stayed close with the family, especially my grandma. Ellen lives in Utah and hasn’t been here for about three years. Ellen and Keith have four children who are all married with families of their own right now. They all live out west. Two in Nevada and two in Alaska, where Keith and Ellen raised their family.
The “Westerners” as we call them, come to visit New Jersey now and then. We usually get to see that part of the family about once a year. Never all at once, but they come here in shifts. Unfortunately, we don’t get out there very often. We took a big family cruise to Alaska before any of us had kids of our own and got to all be together for a bit. When we do get together, we have a great time. We are all close in age and our children all get along very well. A few years ago, when my grandma celebrated her 95th birthday, almost all of us were able to get together and celebrate. We met at a resort not too far from New Jersey and all celebrated her. There were at least thirty of us all together that time! We are hoping to do it again when she celebrates her 100th birthday in two years!!
This year having Aunt Ellen with us at Christmas will add some of “The Western” spirit to the holidays.