Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meet the Family

Submitted by Michelle

I was born and raised in Southern California but I've always had an affinity for New York and I am confident it is because of my wonderful family in Utica. Utica is my father's hometown and his sister Rosemarie (Aunt Roe to me and my brothers) has lived there her whole life. She married Uncle Dave (UD as we call him) when she was just 19 years old and has lived on Melrose Ave. for the past 45 years.
Kathy and her 3 brothers had an idyllic childhood in Utica and though everyone is now a grown up and raising their own families, the entire clan still gathers for an early Thanksgiving the first weekend in November.

On Friday Kathy and I rented a car and made the 4 hour drive from Manhattan to Utica to join in the fun. Along the way we saw lots of fall foliage,
and I fantasized about my beloved Half-Moon cookie that I knew Aunt Roe would have waiting for me.
Though we have lived 3,000 miles apart my entire life, Aunt Roe and UD have always been like a second set of parents to me. As a child I always looked forward to seeing them even though our visits were few and far between, and as an adult they have served as amazing role models. They make marriage and parenting look easy, and their huge hearts and love of family are a great example for all of us kids.
My cousins are extraordinary people and when we get together it is such a blast to hear them reminisce about their childhood and tell hilarious stories of the shenanigans that went on in the upstairs of their house. Bill is a physical therapist who lives in Buffalo and missed his true calling as a rock band roadie. Kathy is actually Dr. Kathy, English professor extraordinaire at St. John's University in NYC. Steve is an educator too. He teaches science at a Junior High School and nourishes his love of shooting hoops by coaching the 8th grade boys basketball team. Rich is an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who flew the now retired F16 fighter jet. He single-handedly keeps America safe through his work at Eastern Air Defense Sector, where he monitors the skies for homeland security.
Bill, Kathy, Steve, me and Rich
All the boys are married to equally extraordinary women. Angeline is married to Rich and was an elementary school teacher who now specializes in homemaking, with a special talent for home decor. Kelly is married to Bill and is also a physical therapist, and excels at being a home engineer, keeping the master schedule of all 4 of her children. Linda is a Civil Engineer working for the New York State Department of Transportation, and in her spare time is an Adirondack Mountain specialist who one day aspires to meet a moose.
Angeline, Kelly, me and Linda
I haven't visited Utica for 3 years so you can imagine my surprise when I encountered this group of kids! They are all growing so quickly and if they are growing up then that means I'm getting old and I don't even want to entertain that thought.
This picture, though cute, horrifies me! How can a 13 year old boy be taller than me????
This weekend has been filled with lots of good food, laughter and love. As the season of Thanksgiving approaches I feel so blessed and grateful to be a part of such a wonderful family.

1 comment:

Nelda said...

Thanks for sharing this great experience. What a good looking and loving family!