Monday, January 22, 2024

Let's get together, yeah, yeah, yeah!

I won't say that I'm not jealous that I wasn't able to attend this gathering because I do wish that I could have been there. I'm sure Patrick and Josie feel the same (to some degree or another). We haven't managed to all be in the same country (let alone the same room) at the same time in decades

Decades, plural.

Multiple. Decades. 

One day, perhaps, we'll accomplish such a feat (perhaps we never will). In the meantime, I still think it's pretty cool that I saw every single one of my siblings within one calendar year (2023). Sure, it only took 13 days(!) of driving, a few international flights, hundreds of dollars in passport fees, and thousands of dollars between gas, hotel, and airfare. But it was worth it. 

So I'm not entirely jealous that I wasn't able to attend this gathering because my feelings of joy that these people got together overwhelms any amount of self-pity or longing that may have initially twinged in my heart. Look at these beautiful people!

My sisters, specifically, haven't seen each other in-person in over twenty years. Everyone but Kelline has seen Abra in those intervening years. And everyone but Abra has seen Kelline in those intervening years. But these two haven't seen each other in over twenty years:

We're an international family. Sometimes it seems like the border between the US and Canada is a mere formality. People often scoff when I say that I'm from Canada, as if it's, like, the 51st state or something, as if there is no difference between the two places. 

But I'm telling you, there are huge differences. 

Where I live now—in the south, in Georgia—with its humid subtropical climate and drawling y'alls and towering loblolly pines is quite a lot different from Alberta—with its sweeping plains and don'tcha-knows and frigid winters. 

And if you don't have your paperwork in order, can kiss crossing the border goodbye. 

We used to cross the border quite freely, actually. We could just show a birth certificate, maybe some photo ID like a driver's license. Passports weren't a requirement. But that all changed in 2007. Now you have to have a passport and that process has been...complicated...for some members of our family...for various reasons. 

But! Kelli was finally able to get her documentation sorted out and she and Allen headed up north this past weekend to visit all the family Kelli hasn't seen in ages—my aunt and uncle on their farm (to be fair, they've been down to Utah and have seen her, but I'm telling you...there is something about the farm), her daughter Amy (who she gave up for adoption 30 years ago, but who reunited with our family 10...11...12...13 years ago...something like that; Amy has been down to the states a few times), and, of course, to see Abra and David. 

I'm just glad that wicked cold snap ended before she drove up—it was in the -50s! Now it's just...regular cold...there. 

Abra, David, and Kelli

Sometimes it's hard to live far away from family (though at other times I think it's nice to be removed from all the drama that sometimes seems to bubble up), but it sure does make reunions sweet. And we live in a wonderful time when we can send pictures and messages back and forth to each other like...I'm at a loss for metaphor here...wildfire? Ping-pong balls? Anyway, we can share parts of our life with each other really quite easily. We can play board games together online. And video calls are much better than telephone calls ever were. So splitting our time between two (three, sometimes four?) countries isn't as bad as it would have been in the past. 

We're pretty lucky to have each other.


  1. This made me happy! We have been enjoying Amy and her family for about 12 years, I think.

    1. That's what I was thinking—that the "finding" happened while I was pregnant with in Reid and Karen's Orem house.