Recently, we went to see our new granddaughter in South Carolina. This blog was delayed because the app I was using did not work when iOS5 was introduced. I just found a new app that works with Blogger and the iPAD!  The trip got me thinking about the word family.  It's a word that brings many connotations to mind; perfect TV families of the sixties, Archie and Meathead, mob families focused on crime, tribal families that rule villages and regions, royal families, religious families and the nuclear family with its many variations. But it's the nuclear family with its extensions that most of us experience and cherish; moms, dads, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents and cousins.

The family is were we spend our time and expend our energy.  It's where relations begin, are cultivated and grow.  Marriages are planned and celebrated here. Husbands and wives learn to live and work together as a family. It's where dads learn to provide, moms to nurture and the reverse as well!  It's where children grow with love, learn how to live with others, fail, retry and experience success. It's where they develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. The family transfers values from one generation to the next; moral, spiritual, cultural and political. It's where kids learn about responsibility, about motivation and work ethic and about healthy life styles.

Distance in our mobile society makes it more difficult for family members to gather, but we do; for births and birthdays, anniversaries and marriages, graduations and holidays, reunions and visits and of course funerals. It is always fun to be with family members who have moved to other locations. So it was in August when we gathered in SC for Maggie's birth and later for her homecoming! We look forward to gathering for other special occasions in her life, and in the lives of other members of the Alexander, Arenz, Bender, Bolton, Gorman, Hill, Olmes, Phelps and Morgan families. We are all indeed blessed for the strong, extended family we all foster and enjoy!

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