Sunday, May 12, 2013


Webster’s dictionary lists 8 different definitions, number 5a being the one that we most often think of in the context of the single word family: ie “the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family>”.

I spent the weekend with parts of mine. Yesterday my sister and her husband picked me up at the Union Station in Portland, OR and today we drove to Battle Ground, WA to attend the Qualley Family Reunion. Andrew Qualley married Emma Johnson/Peterson in Washington and they had two children, Emma dying just days after the birth of the second child in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Shortly thereafter Andrew married one of Emma’s sisters, Hilda, and had 5 more children. In 1931, Hilda traveled back to Wisconsin to visit her mother and the third sister, Amanda. Seeing how poorly her mother was and that her sister was also not doing well, Hilda returned to Washington with the two middle children, Emma and Julia, in tow. Thus it was that my mother, Emma, grew up with her cousins. Those original 9 are now 102; the oldest being 94 years and the youngest two months. You talk about family – and that’s just on my mother’s side!

However there are also other definitions of family including that of friends whom one has chosen to form a close group. Regardless of the definition I am blessed to have “family” many places in this world and my travels to visit them are always entertaining and heart warming.

As tomorrow is Mother’s Day and we all had one, Family is important – may yours be ever present in your life!