|Vita, Merrick, Carolyn, Mackenzie & Molly|
The town itself is small but I have the joy of having three relatives own houses along main street--just before the railroad tracks that lead into the real "downtown" area of Main Street. My Uncle Mike has owned an old house on Main my entire life (I'm pretty sure) and my mom and sister actually lived in a house across the street for a time before moving to Kentucky. Just a few doors up is my cousin and her family of five--three little girls and her hubby. Then just about three years ago my other uncle--my Mom's other brother--bought another house on the street, which was actually where my Uncle Kelly (my mom's brother-in-law) grew up. (I told you: SMALL TOWN!) The houses are all so old and beautiful. It makes me SO jealous to not be able to afford to build a house with as much character as such houses used to have.
Since my grandma's passing in 2009 our gatherings have typically been at one of my uncle's houses since both have splendid porches to enjoy summer days. It also makes it hard for anyone in town who knows the family to miss the fact we are having a get together. It's never a surprise to have someone just drop-in when they see an event taking place. It's also easy, from either house, to take a stroll to downtown. Antique shops, boutiques, a great toy store, restaurants, the public library and great coffee shops all line the picturesque streets. Maybe it's just me but it feels like something from a movie.
The more recent great thing about our gatherings is the ever-growing number of kiddos present. The family had an explosion of girls several years back, so there are always lots of pig tails running about. Since then we've added some boys to the mix. These kids really are just stair stepping along. I believe the oldest is going into 4th grade with several more that range down to kindergarten. Then we have a few toddlers--two boys and a girl (who was sadly not there this year...) And rounding it out: a 16-month old, 11-month old and 7-month! The trend is obviously not ending soon with Michelle and I finally pulling the weight for my Mom's share of the next generation kiddos. Despite these kids only getting together maybe once a year--twice if they are lucky--they always seem to have a fantastic time together.