Spending all this time traveling has given me a wonderful chance to catch up with family I rarely see. My friend Jennifer calls it the family and friends across America tour.
It was amazing to see my Aunts Lucy, Dot and Mary Helen and Uncle Mark and their families in NJ last month for the occasion of my cousin’s wedding. I lived near most of them during my childhood in NJ but saw them rarely after 1980 when my family moved to Oregon.
It was striking how well we get along. My uncle reminded me so much of my brother Jeff even though the last time they were together was more than 20 years ago. Genetics seems to a very powerful force.
Another treat was getting to see my brother Eric and his husband Charles several times in Canton, Ohio and New York. Because they live in Manhattan and I live in California, I usually get to see them maybe twice a year.
My pal Jennifer also flew out all the way from Oakland, CA to NY to see me. We spent a couple of great hours talking in Central Park. It is so wonderful to talk to someone who has known me 25-plus years.
Earlier this year Lee, the boys and I had a blast hiking in Zion National Park in Utah with my brother Jeff, his wife My Thanh and their two girls, age 8 and 9. In Wisconsin, we shared a meal with my cousin Heather, her husband and her 2-year-old son- same age as Arthur.
Now we’re staying in the Virginia home of my brother Brantly, his wife Krista and their 3 adorable children, age 1-5 (perfect fit with my kids age 2-4). My boys are in heaven playing with their cousins and enjoying all their toys!