“The Gift of Family” - Family Ranch in Calaveras County, CA
Over time, I’ve come to appreciate every person in my family. I’ve spoken a lot in my earliest blogs about how influential and impressive my mother is. Here in Calaveras County, my Aunt and Uncle are precious to me. They’ve often offered me their home as a haven and home base when I’m all-fired bent on exploring the countryside. My aunt sets up their downstairs guestroom like the finest luxury hotel, with royalty free stocked mini-fridge, coffee maker, little sample toiletries in case I forgot something, TV, books, etc. Not only that, I have a big picture window view of the garden and ranch beyond. It’s just wonderful!! Their ranch is like a garden of eden in the gold country. My aunt reminds me of my sisters, who are twins. One is always moving, working on her place, working with her horses, cooking, working, creating and bringing smiles to everyone around her. The other is tiny (under 5 feet) and fiesty and fun! My aunt is both.
It’s one of the things I love about families---seeing how certain personality traits, passions and interests ripple out through the generations. I too have a little of both my aunt and my uncle. Industrious, creative, a green thumb and animal lover like my aunt, and soft and sensitive while being firmly realistic and judicious like my uncle. I went into teaching as a result of my oldest aunt, and I love traveling, photography and writing like my youngest uncle. We’re all a little opinionated though. You either love or hate that about the Aikens Clan. That, and resourcefulness, physical and mental strength, and perseverance. In researching my family history back to the American Revolution and on to Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, and Austria, these traits have been a constant thread. Although I know I make my own path, my own choices, it’s wonderful knowing that certain roots run deep and wide....like those of an oak tree.
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