I come from a big family – which is good. Because when I say I have a crazy uncle…it could be one of several. And when I talk about a “certain cousin” it could be one of dozens. Makes it a little safer to post about them.

You can hide in a big family. And mine is big. Now, when I say it’s a big family,  consider the following:

  • Dad is one of eleven siblings.
  • Although not all eleven have children, most do.
  • And most of those children have children, too.
  • There are no great-grandchildren…yet. But the grandkids are getting married, so children can’t be far off.

We recently had a family reunion for my dad’s family. At our reunion two years ago there were almost 100 people.  This one was a little smaller – but still quite large.

Our family is crazy awesome. Emphasis on the crazy. We’re not like most other families. We still have sing-alongs. We have talent shows. We can talk for hours, interrupting one another constantly. We build campfires. We build PowerPoints. We build memories.

One of my favorite parts of our reunions is story time. Aunt Roseanna herds us all together around the campfire and we each take turns reminiscing. Some of the stories are so funny. Some are heartwarming. Most have been heard before. We don’t care. It’s fun to hear them again.

Like the story about how when the eleven were growing up food was a premium. As soon as you sat down to dinner the portions were on plates and the serving bowls were empty. But, apparently, Aunt Madeleine didn’t like peas. And her mother wanted her to eat her peas. So she would put a mouthful of peas in her mouth then take a sip of milk. At the end of the meal she still had quite a bit of milk left. Dad asked her if she was going to finish it. Before she could say anything he had drunk her milk…and discovered all the peas that she had been depositing in the bottom of the glass.


Or the time my dad left his brand new Florsheim shoes on the bus bench. When he and his father got home the shoes were nowhere to be found. But the policeman knew dad and grandpa, found the shoes, and returned them. Tell me that would happen nowadays!


Or how my dad sprained his ankle “parachuting” from the second floor with only an umbrella. (He since became an engineer and has realized his miscalculations.)


Or the gallons of pumpkin sauce my grandfather made. Without sugar. And how they had to eat it at every meal.


Or how everyone in that family pitched in to make it work. Helping around the house. The older ones helping the younger ones. Taking jobs to make ends meet. Because that’s what family is all about.

Our family may be a little off center, but they are all amazingly talented, generous, huge-hearted people. I’m proud to call them mine.

Your bedheaded blogger,