Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Week 29: Family

Week 29 of the 30 Week Writing Challenge


When I was in 3rd grade, 
the teacher sent us home with family tree templates, 
asking us to fill in our family tree up to our great-grandparents. 
This was very difficult for me, 
because which family do I choose? 
My mom?  
Or my Mommy Cheryl
My dad solved the problem for me. 
He took the paper to his work, 
photocopied it, 
manipulated the photocopy, 
and added on a third branch to the tree!
My teacher was so impressed, 
she had me stand up and explained to the whole class what my dad did. 
I felt so special and awesome
My family was unique!

Over time, as I met kids with divorced parents, 
I learned that my 3-branch tree was not unique after all, 
but I didn't care.  
My family is still special. 

My Mommy Cheryl's family came from Oregon. 
My grandfather's family had (at one time) the largest wheat farm in the state, 
and was among the first to export wheat to Russia after the Cold War. 
My Grandma loved to tell the story when my Granddad woke up in the middle of the night and declared: 
"I don't want to be a farmer!" 
And she replied: "Great!  I don't want to be a farmer's wife!" 
My Granddad eventually got a job at General Electric, 
and climbed up the executive ladder, 
which meant relocation, relocation, relocation. 
My Mommy Cheryl and her siblings moved a lot, like every two years
Can you imagine?

(Hannah, please validate the above that I didn't screw up the facts again!)

My dad's parents were missionaries to the Marshall Islands
where my dad and my uncles were born. 
My grandmother has so many fantastic stories to tell about island life. 
She could write a book with her stories. 
Many of these stories I've heard over and over, 
and never once do I tire of them.

My mom's family were farmers in Central NY, 
where the farm still exists today and supplies the local grocery stores. 
My grandmother had a favorite chicken who laid an egg on their doorstep every morning. 
One Sunday, her father went out to get a chicken for the Sunday dinner, 
and accidentally selected my grandmother's favorite chicken.  

Jumping ahead a few years...

My dad and my Mommy Cheryl met in highschool, 
when they both received a perfect score on the Math portion of the SATs. 
(Believe me, that gene did NOT get passed down to me!). 

They married in 1980, 
and my Mommy Cheryl died 6 months after I was born in 1985. 

My dad and my mom met through church. 
 My mom says the first time she saw my dad, 
he was holding me in the church nursery. 
My dad and my mom married when I was 4. 

I wrote about my sisters in this post here

My family lived in Upstate NY, 
until we moved to the Philadelphia area when I was a senior in highschool. 

There was a time in my teenage years 
where I would declare that I was moving across the country from my parents 
(sooooo dramatic) 
but I have to say that now with Aaron around, 
I LOVE having my parents only 25 short minutes away. 

To date, this is probably my favorite photo of my family, 
and I am SO upset that Adam was working late so he couldn't be a part of it. 
Stupid, Big Law Firm!


  1. I love this! You're fortunate to have two moms' families that love you (along with your dad's, of course). I'm not quite sure what direction I want to go in with this prompt... my original nuclear family? My current nuclear family? Mine and Brian's families? So many choices... my dad is a huge family tree dork, so maybe I should just make him do a guest post ;)

  2. This was a great take on a difficult writing prompt. I took the easy way out and just shared our most recent family pictures. I also think it's great that you live so close to your parents. I did move halfway across the country when I was 18 and, now that I have kids, I regret it. Blah.