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The 12 Days of Christmas - YAY! LiFE! style or the 12 YAY!s of Christmas - YAY! FAMILY!

YAY! FAMILY! - by Carl When I think of family, my thoughts more often than not span over several generations to the ancestors that got me here to this moment of pen meeting paper. I think beyond my parents, three older siblings and the hundreds of cousins, aunts and uncles. I imagine those brave women and men knew either out of necessity or merely following their hearts that by making a bold change, their lives would be better. My thoughts then go to Ohio and the dreamy rural lifestyle that I was thankfully raised. Catching lightning bugs on humid July nights with the sweet smell of fresh cut hay on the air, weiner roasts, bonfires, hayrides, sledding parties and Christmas visits to relatives. From Spring planting to Fall harvest the love and support of family was always at hand. As I grew older and found the world extended far beyond the Ohio border, I did as those long before me and followed my heart. I adopted Colorado as my own. The once important family ties began to wane and virtually disappear as I created my new life. Now as I age and mellow, and occasionally catch a glimpse of my long past father in my reflection, I realize the importance of family whether immediate, extended or adopted. I daydream of those carefree days of working (and playing) shoulder to shoulder from dawn to dusk with some people from Ohio that share my last name. I'm grateful and blessed this Christmas Season (and the whole year through) for my heritage, my loving family and their willingness to forgive and take back a guy that merely followed his heart.
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