Does anyone else have a family? I've got 2 when you count my out-laws! I thought it was a lot of work when I was a kid because I had parents. Now I have kids of my own, or so I'm told, I hope she's not just funnin me, and they are more work than having parents! As I've gotten older I still have a sister and brother and they have kids. Yes I have to be nice to them too, even to my sister in-laws kids, and some of them have kids. This goes on forever! I still have Aunts and Uncles, cousins, ditto for my wife. It just hit me, again as it has many times before, I'm pretty blessed.
My mother, God daughter and her little girl, who is absolutely one of the cutest babies born in the past 46 years, are staying with us for a few days. My family is pretty spread out now. My brother and I are the only ones that still live in Baltimore. That's something you don't think about when you're a kid. We lived 2 doors down from my Grandparents, my uncles lived close by and my aunt would drive 300 miles to get crabs, so we saw them all the time too.
Holidays used to be the best. We would always go to my Grandparent's house. All of us! Their house was as cute as a doll house and almost as big! There was the kitchen, living room and the back bedroom. Everything else was off limits, including the bed in the back bedroom. My Grandmother used to yell, "You kids better not be up in that attic"! The house was under 1000 square feet. Where did our grandmother think we were? There were 13 grandchildren, 8 aunts and uncles, 8 or so extra grandparents, a great grandmother and whoever else stopped in.
There was also a basement we weren't allowed to go in. My grandmother had a grocery store down there. Rows of canned goods, sugar, flour, canned meats, and rows of things that had been "put up". Also down in the basement were my grandfathers "treasures", which consisted of a lot of trash he thought should worth something. It was a dark, dank, scary place that was safe from children when it was dark.
I remember the older kids would go into the back bedroom and get up on the bed to climb out of the window to go out and smoke on the roof of the patio. I went with the older kids, I mean I was 8 or 9! We would always somehow manage to pull the curtains down off the window each time. Luckily we could always blame it on our one younger cousin. He got his ass beat every holiday! Ah, the memories.
It was there in my grandmother's house that I learned how to eat with a plate on your lap, balance a drink, and laugh at stories. You could watch my grandfather start a fight, my uncle play the organ or the accordion, or my father take a picture of my one aunt while she ate. It was crowded and it was loud and I miss it very much. You knew you were going to eat the same food, here the same stories, watch the same fights, and get yelled at for the same things. I wish I could sit on the floor and have my grandmother rub my head again.
So now you take family when you can get it. We don't get together as much as we would like. The whole family never gets together. This aunt doesn't talk to this uncle. This uncle is mad with this aunt. We are spread out from New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, to all over Maryland. Having some of the family stay with us reminds me of all of the things I miss and how much I wish they all still lived in Perry Hall.