Road Trips and Family!

I nearly hit a light pole today doing a double take because I could have sworn I saw some guy walking a goat. A rather surprising thing to think you might have seen.

Funky town I’ve moved too!

Yesterday, to celebrate Labor Day Weekend, I made my first “road trip” back to Okoboji to spend the day with the family.  I love that all I have to do is travel an hour and a half and POOF! I am there!

So I came over to Cyndee’s house.  Brinn and her husband Josh and their kids came over from Lincoln, NE.  And my nephew Torrey and his wife Lacey and their kids came over. And Cyndee’s sister Debbie and her husband Terry came over. And Cyndee’s boyfriend Jim came over.

A lot of “over” coming but it was all so much fun!

We had a great family dinner! Pasta and salad and homemade bread and desserts. Lots of desserts! At one point, the lights were turned out and I am standing like an idiot watching whatever was going to happen when Brinn walked out with a tray of cupcakes all lit up! They all started singing Happy Birthday!


So stunned! Was so totally unexpected! But we all had some great rainbow frosted cupcakes and total sugar highs!

We were talking and laughing and sharing stories and being what I always wanted. We were a family!

My real family….no….lets rephrase that. My blood family had difficulties being a family. Many dinners were fraught with fights and hurt feelings and anger and food being thrown. And booze. So much booze. It was at those family dinners I learned what I did not want in a family.

Because of those dinners, I learned to look elsewhere for people to bond with.

Oh. I tried to be part of their conclave of dysfunction, but, I found that for my sanity it was best to just move along once I left home.

Instead I made “family” from the people I surrounded myself with. Some of those people I also had to leave in the dust. My mental health was so much more important than those petty little people.

But over the years, I have been blessed to have friends that I can call family. Each one of them has been with me through difficult, as well as happy moments in my life. And despite whichever it was, they stayed. And I am honored to call them friends and yes, family.

These people are the family of my heart-not my blood.

Technically, you would not think I would be so close with Cyndee since she divorced my brother. But seriously! I cheered her on for that move!

And if you want to be totally technical…I am related by blood to Brinn! So there-I have blood relations I adore. (Insert me sticking my tongue out!)

Family, I have found, is not sharing a last name, or sharing blood, or even sharing the same race. Family, in my opinion, is being there for one another and loving and encouraging and holding one another. Be it good times, or bad.

I know. I know. Total cliché!

But so be it!

You see, I believe that each of us must give one another space to grow and be our own true selves. We must give each other the love and security to make mistakes and learn from them in a circle of trust and respect. We should bond together thru our mutual ideas as well as our beautiful differences. To bring about joy and healing and value and inclusion.

Family. It is not just whom you are born into. It is who you include into your soul.

I am truly blessed to be called “family” by not just these amazing people that graced this dinner table in Okoboji, but by so many others who have graced my life with their presence.

I love each of you!

Oh! That guy I thought was walking a goat? I drove around the block just to double check.

He actually was walking a goat!

Like I said…funky little town!




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