this is my mom's 6 brothers and sisters.
saturday was my family reunion. these 4 men and 2 ladies are my aunts and
uncles. on the far right is my uncle ben. that's not really his name but my sister
and I affectionately call him that and he calls us dorothy and bertha.
he is actually my uncle tom.
he is the oldest and he is a lovely, sentimental man who's a great dad.
he is the father i would have picked
if life were like that- and you could pick who you wanted for a parent.
tom was in the korean war and is the first person i
ever knew who had tattoos. one of them was his serial #, the other
had his wife's name on it. i seriously thought that was the most
romantic thing i'd ever seen. he's our rock, our patriarch.
next up is my uncle paul. when my sister and I went to live with our
grandparents after our mom died, uncle paulie was still living at home.
he is the youngest of the baldwin kids. he was farming and working along
side my grandpa with their dairy operation. he was a bit like an older brother
to my sis and i and he was the one who told us who had to do the dishes that
night and who had to sweep the floor etc...he paid us to polish his national guard boots and give him back rubs and had the most amazing huge bowl of change in his room that i'd ever seen. (I may or may not have taken a couple quarters out of it when I was dusting in there uncle paul). : )
he and his wife are going on mission trips in their retirement and have a wonderful
zest for life. oh and you should hear him laugh!
now there's dora. she was my mother's twin and i'm named after her. she has a strong faith and is a steadfast mother, grandmother and great grandmother. she and her hubbie
are doing the daycare for their first great grand child and they are in their late 70's!
she's been a hard working farmer her whole life and is strong as she was when she was
30-i swear! she's quiet and unassuming and there is much to admire about her.
she can still stand on her head. and that my friends deserves the utmost
then there's uncle jay. (I like to call him jay-bird). growing up I was a bit
afraid of him due to the fact that at a picnic once I opened my car door and
the wind took it and swung it into his new car and put a ding in it. he was
not a happy camper and i was a petrified mess....but, he and aunt mae have done
many wonderful things for me in my life too, babysitting for us when our mom
was sick and aunt mae made us pretty dresses and Barbie doll clothes and then
they even let lars and I live with them for a few weeks when we were newlyweds and waiting to move into our little rental house. uncle jay was a musician and I used to loved when he played his guitar for us.
next is aunt darlene. we also call her grama dar. my kids and my sisters girls
had a hard time remembering that she wasn't "really" their grandma when they
were little. she and my mom were very close and when mom passed away dar
and her first husband had my sister and i come stay with them a lot. they loved us up and told us fondly that we were the girls they never had.
I would have to say that without them i wouldn't have grown up knowing what it
was like to be part of a young loving family. my gram and gramps were older and we
never saw them be affectionate- but this wasn't the case with dar and clayton. he was
always grabbing her and kissing on her and their 3 boys would sit on their dad's lap
and wrestle with him...he'd horse around with my sis and i and torture us too~ just
a little and make us say "UNCLE". he was a big old ex-marine and he had a tough
exterior, but was a softie with us girls. sadly he was killed in a tragic farm accident but
grama dar found another wonderful man whom she married and i'm proud to call
her husband kenny my uncle too.
her family is very, very special to me and my sister. i love her 3 boys like brothers.
the handsome guy on the far right is my uncle stan. he and his family lived very close to
us when i was growing up and we saw a lot of them. we all went to church together and
their family was at our house often. we fished and had picnics and canoed
at their home on the river and they'd come over eat and help pick raspberries and eat ridiculous amounts of cheese.
stan is a dreamer and has tried some cool stuff in his life- like raising beefalo, having a commercial trout pond and starting a hunting camp. he and his wife have a beautiful 100 year home they've restored that is full of antiques and history. stan has a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh i love to hear. he talks with his hands and tells a good story.
if you are a Baldwin i think you were born with an extra dose of humor and compassion. my aunts and uncles all seem to
laugh more than others, and they are also very sentimental. you can't spend an afternoon with these men without seeing at least one of them laugh till they cry, or get choked up about something and have their eyes well up with tears.
i had fun trying to put into words what these wonderful people mean to me-
i guess it's pretty obvious i'm crazy about them huh?