Sunday, January 11, 2009


From an early age I was taught the importance of family. Fortunately I had two sets of grandparents and remember my great grandfather, George. I barely remember my great grandmother, Opal (my father's grandmother). My father had a brother and sister which is not considered a large family by any means, but throw in cousins and nieces and nephews, it seemed to swell.

My January birthday usually falls in the midst of the worst weather in Nebraska...snow, wind, and frigid cold temperatures. Occasionally mother nature surprises us with a breath of fresh air, only to throw us back into the Nebraska-tundra of winter. With this uncertain weather, my grandparents very seldom came from out of town for my birthday.

That was okay, because we had one big celebration in March. My paternal grandfather, Freddie's birthday was on March 9th and my paternal grandmother, Irene's birthday was on April 3rd. They were married on March 20th. My Aunt Cheri has two boys, Daniel and Jason, and their birthdays are March 12th and March 18th. How many more could we add to March? My maternal grandfather, Bob, was born March 31st. My great grandmother, Opal, was born March 12th and my Aunt Stella was born March 31st. Okay, so March was THE month.

Sometime when the weather man reported descent weather, we would get together for a family dinner in March. Because of the size of the group, we would usually have it in a special room at a restaurant. Sometimes everybody would be together in Grandma and Grandpa's house. There would be a lot of smiles, a lot of visiting and for us kids, a lot of playing with cousins. Always there was a special cake. Most importantly it was a time to realize how thankful we were for relatives...our family.

As my brother and I grew older, these get togethers became more difficult. My brother was in college, I was married. But we tried and we did manage to get in our March celebration. I can remember a cousin commenting about my brother driving from Iowa to the panhandle of Nebraska in March for our usual birthday party. He said, "he really does love his grandparents." It was a natural...we had plenty of love to go around for everybody.