I have roots that twist and turn and grow from one coast to the other. My roots, my childhood, my family's history fill my heart with warmth, a love that doesn't know time has passed, a love that can be seen just looking into each other's eyes and felt in a hug.
 {the chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes I ate on Monday and Tuesday}
My parents met in a charming small town, eloped at a young age, Dad joined the navy and Mom ventured from the only place she had ever called home.
They left behind sisters, brothers, my aunts and uncles, a baby nephew, my oldest cousin, mothers and fathers, my dear grandparents...
California became their new home and soon that home was filled with my sister and me.
 {my sweet second cousins}
Missing our family in Pennsylvania, we packed up and moved back. We made memories with all of our cousins...now there were many. We sat in Grampa's lap and rode the big lawnmower, became a family of five with the surprise of my baby sister, watched the birds with Gramma, ran barefoot in the greenest grass, played Barbies into the night, got snow in our sleeves and lived happily on Leslie Road.
Three years later we moved back to California, better weather for Dad's masonry business and opportunities my parents wanted us to have as we grew older. 
Last Wednesday Mom and I visited our family in Pennsylvania. It was wonderful. We helped cousin Missy with her Trees of Christmas boutique, stayed up late talking to Aunt Chris, walked through the Market House, saw three doe run right by the kitchen slider, watched the squirrels and ate chocolatey chocolate cupcakes with Aunt Crissy and Uncle David and remembered the years that have passed.
We sat at a long table filled with cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles for Friday night dinner. We toured the Trees of Christmas at the Baldwin Reynolds house, a place I hadn't been inside since a first grade field trip. A birthday on Saturday was celebrated with Pizza Villa pizza (the very best) and an ice cream cake. Cousin Karen's home was filled with laughter and stories late into the evening.
Much too soon our trip was coming to an end, too many goodbyes and much too sad.
I am grateful for my roots, that I have a place where people know me, a place where Mom shows me the store Gramma and Grampa owned, or the sidewalk she walked home on, or the place where she had her first job, Jack's. Every moment spent with family is truly precious, may you find your way to your family this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!

{11.17 to 11.24}


Sonora Kay said...

Lovely blog, thank you for sharing!
Pictures are amazing!!

Dawn said...

This is a WONDERFUL (tear-jerking) post. I appreciate it...so true! -family and memories all wrapped up are the best gift ever!
(and pumpkin chocolate pancakes? for real??? so yummy sounding:))

our little love nest said...

Ooooh Stacey, I love this beautiful post. It made me miss my family so badly and wish that my kiddos had them near too. Wishing you the best Thanksgiving weekend ever!

Tali Schiffer said...

What a lovely story! Thanks for opening up about your family!
Happy Thanksgiving :)

Miz.November said...

Stacey, you just got me a little misty eyed. Your words are just as beautiful as your photos.

knack said...

what a wonderful post....I loved reading every word of it....and my favorite part ....{when the lump formed in my throat} was.."I'm thankful for my roots...that I have a place where people know me".....so cool!


shani. said...

the pictures are lovely !!

Meeling said...

What a lovely post!
Memories like that and visits with family are so precious.

Those pancakes look delicious!

Enjoy a wonderful weekend!