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My grandparents, Mildred and Roger, kept everything. When Roger died in 2000, I inherited all of the family photographs and Mildred’s cedar chest along with all of the ephemera it held. Consequently, I have the holiday cards my father, Chilton, and his brother, David, sent to their mother; letters that Mildred received from her brothers …

32

I never had the pleasure of riding in an airplane with my father or of going on a trip with him that didn't involve hitchhiking. In the mid to late 1980s, when Chilton’s parents, Mildred and Roger, were both still alive, Chilton made annual trips to visit them in Arizona. Because he had more time …

31

In February of 1994, Greg and I returned to the States after our time living and teaching in northern Namibia. We flew to the east coast and then spent a couple of weeks visiting Greg’s folks in Buffalo. While we were there, I studied for and then took the GRE because I was entertaining the …

30

During a visit to Lacey, Washington when I was 12 years old, grandma Christine took me to the mall to buy me a new pair of shoes. Grandma Christine alternated between being generous and stingy with me and my brothers. We were her only grandchildren for a period of 23 years and we were a …

29

In the summer of 2000, Greg’s college friends and their spouses gathered for a week in Tuscany so that they could all celebrate turning 40 years old together. We chose to stay home because Willa was only two years old and I was six months pregnant with Arlo. They vowed to repeat the trip every …

28

To be fair: Jesse wasn’t the only one in our family who got head lice. I know that I did at least once and so did Tommy. Christopher? Probably. Mom? Yup. I can remember looking through her hair when we lived in the house on Cheasty Boulevard. Here’s the thing: people who don’t have children …

27

In late June of 1976, mom decided that it would be fun to go to the Rainbow Family Gathering in Montana. She found a family fare on Amtrak and set off with me, Christopher, and our friend Rose, a lovely young woman who’d become part of our extended family. The community that made up our …