Family for the Holidays

While COVID-19 put a dent in most folks’ holiday gatherings, I personally was unaffected. I spent the entire day of Christmas with my sons and their families, taking photos and making new memories. But the warm and fuzzy didn’t end there, watching grandchildren open gifts, eating Christmas dinner together, yacking over a cup of coffee and a sweet treat.

I am close to several cousins in both my parents’ families and it was phone calls and text messages back and forth, sharing moldy old photos electronically. I’m not a touchy, feely person so if I can’t hug folks, that’s ok. I do like spending time with them.

For Christmas, my son and his wife took boxes of slides – photos my dad took years ago – had them scanned and put on CD and a flash drive for my mom. My siblings and I also received copies because, of course, we are featured in them. Having posted these on Facebook in the vein of sharing and gathering more info, I made close friends of cousins far away: Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, Kentucky, and Florida. Needless to say, I was on the phone quite a bit with my closest cousins in West Virginia: Joyce Hannah and Bill Harrison. I love these two people so much it hurts sometimes.

Bill has promised that he’s headed this way in the near future when he heads south for a jaunt. And he’s bringing photos. Hopefully hundreds of them. He’s older than I and more knowledgeable about a lot of things and people in the family tree. I can’t wait to see him because its been several years since we got together. We keep in touch regularly.

Joyce is like a butterfly. She’s all over the country and I never know where she is when I call or text: At Christmas, she was in Maryland. But that stone gathers no moss but she’s all about history. So if I need to know about a particular event, she’s the first person to ask. Golly, I miss her. The last time we were together was when her mom, my great-aunt Gloria, died from Alzheimer’s. There was a memorial service that I would not have missed for all the gold in the world. Aunt Glor was my buddy, my best friend, my partner in genealogy as well as crime. I ache sometimes to talk to her.

But that was my Christmas: Networking with family, if you want to call it that. Staying in touch with family members, gleaning all the info I can from them, sharing what I know, and all-around listening to each other’s troubles, jokes, and foibles. THAT is a holiday! Its New Year’s Eve. I wonder what 2021 will reveal.

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