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We "adopted" an
Extended FamilyWhen I was a kid - The grandparents had pretty much died off - My father, the last kid, married after "getting established" - My father's siblings had died or were far away. - My mother's sister and mother were 2,000 miles away So we "adopted" "Grandma King" who had "taken in" my father to her family while he was in high school in Stillwater - a "city" of 7,000 people. Grandma King had had her share of family sadness - had lost a son aged 21 who my father knew well - was now a widow - but was cheerful, played the piano while singing favorite songs And we had "Uncle Sam", a fat taxi driver in a larger nearby city. He had been a high school classmate of my mother. He always brought un-boxed presents, that father said were probably purchased from thieves :-| When I was growing up there was a family which was not doing so well - I remember the father, Mr. Cook, was trying to do a watch repair business from his home. I don't remember a mother - The home exterior was weathered wood, like never had been painted? Anyway, Warren Cook came to live with us for a year or so. Warren was bright and pleasant. maybe 3 years older than I was - Some years after Warren left, while my sister and I were still in high school - there was a knock on the door. There was Warren, introducing us to his fiancée. We hadn't seen him in years, and were very happy for him. He had a job he liked, and they planned to live in a town about 20 miles from us. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - And rural folks visit a little differently from city folks Even though we lived in "the city" (of 7 thousand) my mother and father had grown up on farms (and had gone to college). However - come a Saturday, we might go visiting farmers father knew. (My mother's family home was 50 miles away and now a shopping center :-(( 50 miles through two large cities, before expressways, was several hours. ) If the farm family didn't have a phone, we would just drive up and see if this was a good time - if not - no embarrassment for anyone - glad you thought of us - If the farm family did have a phone (always a "party line") we would call to see how things were going - They were almost "aunts" and "uncles", and the kids almost "cousins" - It took me a while to understand that city folks are not eager for drop-in or self-invited "guests".