Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Family Ties

My family was large. Each of my parents came from families of 11 children. That meant lots of cousins.

I had 6 brothers and sisters. As we grew up and married we had our own children.

My husband had 8 brothers and sisters. More cousins for my children.

I love having a large family. When I was growing up I did not even have to leave the house to have someone to play with. We were a complete unit all by ourselves.

The drawback might be that every person needs some alone time. In a large family it can be difficult to have that. Luckily my parents encouraged that too.

Sunday dinner at my grandparents' farm was fantastic. Some of my aunts and uncles were not much older than me. And cousins would come. We grouped off according to age and had the whole farm to explore. Or maybe we would have a sporting contest of some sort.

That was my mother's family. Most of my father's siblings were much older. I have cousins who are the same age as my parents. But their children were our age. And the older cousins would often take me places with them.

Of course as families do people moved away. I have cousins all over the country and occasionally all over the world. But I know they are there.

Now all these people have friends too. We may have been happy and comfortable with each other but we welcomed others.

Most of our friends were normal like all of us. Then there were the oddballs we seemed to collect.

My parents wanted us to be open to new things. They wanted us to know interesting people. Unfortunately some of those interesting people were quite strange. As my mother often said, "If there is a nut anywhere I can count on at least one of my children to bring it home!"

I can only partially say that we are better about that. We still seem to have an attraction for the oddities of life.

As I said I married into a large family. I was so lucky that it is a good family too. And they have many of the same quirks I see in my family. That means that my children also have known their share of "characters".

My parents wanted us to be self-sufficient.  There is nothing wrong with asking for help if you really need it but try to take care of things by yourself first.

The asking for help part is something I still have a hard time with. It can be a handicap at times.

My husband and I wanted our children to be self-sufficient as well. At times I think we may have taught them too well.

Because I am the oldest child in my family there was a time I was the only one. My brother was born one year and two and a half months later. I do not remember being the only child. Thank goodness.

I have one grandson who is grown and still wishes he had been an only child. Most of my family has reveled in the gigantic group we call family.


  1. That is one large family, it must have been quite interesting growing up. Warm greetings!

  2. Warm greetings to you too. I had a remarkable and fun childhood filled with lots of love.

  3. I can very well relate to the completeness of a large family, like you, my playmates were just the family around me, my brothers and cousins, however, we all have moved and now far from each other, but nevertheless, still family :)

  4. You come from a large family! The family of my father was large too, but my parents had "only" my sister and I. Our son, an only child, enjoyed it - and I always ensured that many of his friends were in our house.

    1. Families take many forms. Your son had a chosen family. I like it.

  5. My family was relatively small with only my brother and myself. Pat is an only child. We both have several cousins, but our combined families are nothing as large as your family, Emma.

    1. I remember when my father-in-law died his obituary in the paper stated that he and my mother-in-law had 105 direct descendants! That is not counting adoptions and "steps" or in-laws. Can you imagine? On top of that my daughter and at least two others were pregnant at the time. Many more babies have been born since then. My own family has slowed a bit. In the past two years we have only had 6 new babies.