Monday, October 8, 2012

A Piece of Family History

It is very rare that we get a chance to see most of our extended family, since they live in other states, so when my Great Aunt Gail and Cousin Debby came from Montana to Washington to attend a wedding, we decided we could not miss an opportunity to catch up with them!  Here is how I always think of Aunt Gail, frozen in time, showing her great-nieces hospitality (and a rare treat of soda pop) with a lovely smile on her face.  (I am the ridiculously chubby munchkin with the crazy blonde hair in the picture below.)  
I wanted to make sure than my kids would have a chance to meet their Great-Great Aunt, so my mom and I loaded them up in the van and took off for what became (thanks to traffic on a Friday afternoon) a four hour drive.  

But thanks to a milkshake break along the way:

some naps to make the trip go a bit faster, along with Micah's incessant but cheerful humming and growling (this is his chewing-on-his-hands-while-humming-and-growling-in-the-car face):
 and a stunning view of Mount Rainier:
. . . we finally arrived at the motel where they were staying!

Micah climbed right up on the bed and made himself comfortable (I think he decided we were sleeping there) and the rest of the kids were pretty calm and well-behaved, considering we were all crowding into  a rather cozy, not-so-kid-friendly motel room) and they finally got to meet Aunt Gail!  She is just as lovely as I remembered her from when I was a kid, and it was so neat to be able to give my kids another piece of family history.  They don't get to meet many people from my side of the family, due to distance, and Gracie was so excited to hear that she was named, not only after her Daddy's grandmother who was named Grace, but also after Gail's sister Grace (my grandmother, whom the kids never had a chance to meet).  I love seeing the light bulb go on when kids start to really piece together how extended family works.  Like that moment when, after years of being around their Grandma Doris, it finally occurs to them that their Grandma is my mommy!  So sweet.  I just love that.  
Micah and Aunt Gail getting acquainted 

the Tinkertoys kept the kids pretty busy, thank goodness!

Isaac showing Cousin Debby one of the movies he has made
Gideon is very big on sorting these days
My Aunt Gail is back in Montana again now, and I have no idea when I will be able to make it back over there again.  A visit like that involves a brutally long two days, full ten hour days, of driving, with kids strapped in carseats . . . It is just a really gruelling trip to make with this crowd.  So I was so very blessed to be able to see Aunt Gail like this, meeting in the middle, and give my kids the opportunity to make memories with this lovely lady.  Our visit ended all too soon, but it was so worth the drive!     And despite the fact that I have seen her recently, I think in my mind, I will always remember Aunt Gail like this:
(And just as a side note, that adorable brown-haired cutie on the left is my sister, Mary.  
No question who my little Gracie takes after, is there?)

1 comment:

Jolene said...

She DEFINITELY looks like your sister! I guess that means you already know what she will look like when she grows up too. :-)