My dad grew up in New Market, New Hampshire, and had only returned home a handful of times since joining the military when he was 18. And other than meeting our grandparents and our Aunt Susan once or twice as kids, we had never met any of the rest of my dad's side of the family.
My sister and I had been trying to talk our dad into going back there with us for a few years, but he always resisted (because he's a homebody, and because he didn't want to deal with the back and leg pain he was worried he'd encounter while sitting on an airplane for so long).
He eventually agreed to go though - either due to our consistent persuasion or because his heart attack last year made him think differently (or a combination of both of those things).
So last month, my dad, my sister, and myself set off on a red-eye flight bound for New Hampshire.
I wish I could say I did a bang-up job of photographing the whole thing, but between a really bad head cold, and some insecurities related to getting all up in the grills of the family I'd never met before with my camera, my shooting was a bit lackluster.
In fact, I didn't even get my camera out until Sunday when my Uncle Bob and Aunt Susan hosted a reunion (BBQ-style) at their house...
That's my Great Aunt Sophie on the left, my Great Aunt Lorainne in the middle, and my Cousin Tim on the right (my dad and Tim keep in touch over the phone pretty regularly).
My Great Aunt Shirley (who has the kind of disposition I hope to have in my 80's).
My cousin Joann, on the left, my Cousin Jaynie in the middle (she's such a hoot), and a neighbor (whose name escapes me).
That's my dad (proudly sporting an Oregon State Beavers t-shirt in New Hampshire).
Most of the older ladies at the reunion were married to one of my grandfather's brothers (all of which have passed away except for one).
My Cousin Tim is a retired Police Chief (and the best storyteller I've ever met).
That's my Great Aunt Rita (because of her, I plan on wearing broaches and cute sweaters when I'm a grannie).
My cousins, Kim and Erica.
That's Lorraine's daughter, Tracy standing behind her.
My sister and my aunt, Joyce.
More to come.