A Cartload Of Monkeys.

Without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold.~Andre Maurois

Sometimes It’s Good to Get Out Of Your Head

I have a large family where generation lines are are kind of fuzzy. My parents had five children, of which I’m the youngest. My oldest sister had her children fairly young, so my oldest niece is only eleven years younger than me…

My grandnephew dressed up like a pimp for his First Communion. We got photobombed by my daughter.....

My grandnephew dressed up like a pimp for his First Communion. We got photobombed by my daughter and Doug…

My Father worked out of town so I lived with my mom until I was in my 20s… Otherwise she would have been alone all the time.

My oldest niece and her sister grew up without their father being a part of their lives… As children they spent almost every weekend with my Mother and me.

These two nieces both have two children about the same age… They’re my sister’s grand children and I guess my grand nieces and nephews?

Anyway, it’s a strange blending of generations and family roles that we have… It works though. we were all missing something in our lives and another family member stepped in to fill the role.

Because of this we’re all very close still as adults… Some even say we’re sort of clannish… I agree…

Pimped Out For Jesus

Most of my family lives about an hour away. We still get together and have cake for each birthday, holidays and cookouts and swimming…

This past weekend my grandniece and grandnephew got dressed up in white for their First Communion. It’s a pretty big deal for little Catholic kids so I went to the church to see the events.


My grandniece looking sweet and innocent. Her headpiece is large to cover up her horns…

I figured if those two little monsters didn’t burst into flames walking through the door I was pretty safe too… One of them did start to smolder, but no flames appeared…

So, the two of them were all in white and pretending to be virtuous little do gooders… It was a good performance.

After the ceremony we headed back to one of their mother’s house (my oldest niece, in case you’re trying to keep the characters in this story straight) for a huge lunch and cake…

It was a fun time visiting with family and friends of family. My wife, who’s from Florida and a tiny family, still isn’t used to how loud and rough a huge family from New York can be…


Maintaining Connections

It’s easy to get sucked into our inner life… We worry, think and plan about life but sometimes forget to just live it. This weekend, I hardly thought about my blog, or life paths or inner selves at all… I just enjoyed living without planning.

It was nice to see everyone, and it was nice to go home to my quiet house afterwards too… I think my niece understands this concept. She’s planning to come spend the weekend here with me- no children and by herself…

I guess we never really outgrow who were were at ten years old, at least when it comes to family.




  1. How did Doug do with the communion, is he made from fire resistant materials or was there a little smoldering from him, unless he is, by all indications, an exceptionally fine fellow.

    1. He made it through the communion without catching fire… He was engulfed in flames later in the day in a situation completely unrelated to church… He’s fine now though.

  2. This is as good a post as I have read from you in a while, John. I couldn’t help but leave a comment.

    This type of authenticity and engagement is what endears you to me. I enjoy you and your writing very much, my friend.

    Here’s to family.

    1. Thanks Glenn! I’m glad you’re still stopping by to leave little bombs of encouragement… And yes, to family.

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