When our three kids were younger, we were very lucky that our immediate family lived minutes, not hours or days away! Susie’s Mom and Dad were in Hempstead and later East Meadow. My Mom was in Bayside. Susie’s sister and family were in Huntington, and her brother and his wife in Merrick. We, living in Mineola, were pretty much in the geographic center of our entire family. A 20 to 30 minute drive, got us to any of their houses, so casual drop-ins were very easy to do.
Then there were holidays. The hardest thing to decide about most holidays was who was going to host, and what could the rest bring. It seemed very normal and natural, and we never really realized how lucky we were. Our oldest son Billy reminded us of this fact of his childhood recently, but now, as the title of this piece says, family life changes!
Life has indeed changed, and Susie and I are at the center of those changes. We were both born geographically on Long Island…Susie in Amityville, and me in Jackson Heights, in the New York City Borough of Queens. Our entire married life, we lived in Nassau County…first Port Washington, then New Hyde Park, and from 1986 to 2017, in the same house in Mineola. Over time, Susie retired (June of 2013), I retired (January, 2016), and then we moved out of the Mineola house (November, 2017). We not only moved out of Mineola, we moved off Long Island and out of New York State, and made the house we’d owned at the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey since 2005 our forever home!
Changes happened in our three children’s lives too. First, they are all married! Krissi and her husband Mike live in Astoria, in the NYC borough of Queens. Krissi’s twin brother Kenny and his husband Chris have just finished up a year long contract on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, but before that, they were in Los Angelos, and who knows exactly where they will end up. Oldest son Bill and his wife Lori made the move a couple of years ago off of Long Island down to Raleigh, North Carolina, along with our Grandchildren Layla and Henry, and just bought a brand new house as their family has grown with the addition of our newest Grandchild, Annabelle, 6 months ago. So, like many American families, our family is now spread out, and we no longer have the luxury of living 20 to 30 minutes from each other.
On a recent weekend, however, we made the effort and were rewarded by spending some family time with two thirds of our children, their spouses, and our three Grandkids! Susie and I took the 8+ hour drive from Ocean City to Raleigh on Thursday morning. Krissi and her husband Mike flew down from New York after work on Friday, and it was a weekend of family, fun, and babysitting! Just the best!!