Today is my birthday, but I'm going to save my birthday post for later this week. Instead, I'd like you to meet another dear family member.
here), was also born in England. As a child, I always thought Uncle Johnny looked like Paul Anka, and Uncle Dick reminded me of Andy Williams. Look at those dreamy eyes! I think this picture was taken when he was in the service in England. (I'm guessing he must have been around eighteen.)
My uncle made an agreement with a local painting contractor to work for him, and my parents cleared out what had been the playroom in our home to make a place for them to live until they could get on their feet.
Their living quarters were at the back of our house, so they did have a small measure of privacy, but all four of them lived in that room. I can't remember their son's age, but I believe that he was around seven, and their daughter was around 5.
Looking back, I admire their commitment to start a new life in a strange country - sharing a house with my parents and their five children - in modest quarters at that. I know that they always appreciated that early start, but it had to have been difficult for two grown couples and their (seven) kids to live in the same house!
My uncle worked hard and my aunt (who also found work) saved and scrimped until they had put aside enough money to make a downpayment on a home about ten miles from my parents house. They still live in that same house, where they raised their children into loving adults and celebrated each subsequent year of their marriage.
When I think about how determined they were to make a life for themselves and their family, I'm filled with admiration and respect for them. Not everyone would have survived the stress and strain, but they certainly did - and they grew a beautiful family in the process.
We had a wonderful time catching up and hearing about each others kids (not really kids anymore!) and grandchildren. We saw them again in October, and I know it won't be long until we see them again. Great times spent with family members. Does it get any better than that?