it’s all about the people

I’m very thankful for the comfortable and congenial relationship my brother and his ex-wife maintain. Suzie is as much my sister now as she was for the forty years she spent married to my brother. Their willingness to bury past trouble for the sake of their family means we all get to hang out together with ease (just like the good old days).


But an evening with the Nill family is anything but dull. Suzie is a character! There’s always a story to tell, and she puts every muscle in her face to work as the tale unfolds.


Kevin and Cheryl have grown accustomed…..


But Bailey, the family Cavalier King Charles, pays attention.


We’re very close to an ocean and any number of tourist attractions, but if a member of my extended family is within driving distance, that’s where I’ll be headed.


We looked out the window at this for three plus hours, making our way down to Lakeland to catch an hour or so with with cousins Bill, Joyce, Joanna, and Andrew.

Our timing was tight, aiming for Joyce’s lunch-hour window. She works in financial aid for Southeastern University.


Who will spot him first?


Bill’s the one on the left. If you Oregonians are wondering what we have on our faces, those are called “sunglasses.”

Bill is my first cousin. We used to dissect fish together. He got all the tall genes.


We met up with first cousins once removed Joanna and Andrew, getting a feel for the campus and taking some pics. I’m not the only shutterbug in the family.


Altogether now….cheeeeeese.


A little extra time to chat after Joyce returned to work. Joanna snapped Mauri snapping me.


Another three plus hours back to Jacksonville for Aubrey’s game.


The peanut gallery.


Peyton, smiling, works the concession stand.


The face of a winner!

And on the drive home, after a lovely day of family connections, we enjoyed this:


It is great to be alive and in Florida—at least this week!

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