I’m in Seattle, where we are visiting our newly married kids.
My daughter-in-law’s father occupies the same place in his family as I do in mine: he is the youngest of seven children. His siblings have an unusual way of staying connected: Friday nights are “family dinner.”
They meet at a food court in a mall, push tables together, and enjoy a meal together. Each person gets a plate of food, and the visiting begins. They have been doing this for decades, the group expanding and contracting with children (and snowbirds) added or absent.
We arrived in time to join the family dinner on Friday. Now I’ve been to a few food courts in malls and presupposed the typical choices – Cinnabon, A & W, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, some noodle place, and McDonalds.
This is Seattle my friend and this food mall reflected the incredible richness of city cuisine. Korean, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, American BBQ, sushi — one could debate with oneself for hours. My husband ended up a large bowl of Korean noodles, and I chose a cabbage roll from the a Russian place called Pierosky (?). Not one hamburger could be seen!
It was better than an airport for people watching. Our small community at home is pretty “white bread”; we have to travel to mingle with so many different nationalities.
It was great getting to know the extended family. I loved seeing my son so comfortably integrated into this group of people.
Whenever I meet grown friends from large families I usually quiz them on how they stay in touch with their siblings. The challenge seems more difficult when both parents have passed. There are pros and cons to a formalized system of newsletters. One person organizes it and heckles the others into participating.
Fits and starts would best describe my own method of phone calls and emails. I reckon it a good season if I’ve touched base with each of my brothers and sisters. Most of them are better than me at picking up the phone. Thank God for sisters-in-law!! And we have a Lone Ranger who rarely initiates communication of any kind.
Any ideas out there? How often do you connect with your siblings?