Yes, my parents had plenty of extended family that they were close to. But they also opened their hearts to their neighbors. With the simple act of starting a friendship, sharing a cup of coffee (or since this was Wisconsin, more than likely it was a beer...or two), inviting strangers into your world, we have all enjoyed a lifetime of friendship from these great families.
So my first gratitude is to my parents, for showing my sister and I through their example, the lifetime of benefits that come with making friends with your neighbors.
I will never forget how Miss Carolyn came to visit when I was expecting my second Thing. She cleaned my house! It didn't necessarily need to be cleaning, but as she says "I know how it is when you are pregnant". Through Barb and Obie, we have continued the friendship to the next generation. For me, no trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to Auntie Kelly...their daughter! And Tom and Una: have this wonderful knack for showing up when we really needed them to be there...and wonder "how did they know?".
Family memories....are more than just the ones you are born into!