December 4, 2008
Thanksgiving Family Reunion

                  My Dad, Bob McHatton, stationed in

                  Germany in the US Air Force in the 1950s

It is that time again.  December is that wonderful time of year where we search for answers to the following questions:


1.  What happened to the year?

2.  What should I get my loved one's for Christmas?

3.  What are my goals for next year?

December is also the month where we remind ourselves about the importance of our family and friends.


I just returned late last night from a trip to Eastern Oregon to visit my mother.  The road trip began on Wednesday afternoon where I met my son Jason in Kelso, picked up my brother and his family in Portland, and then we drove all night to a little town called Long Creek, Oregon.  We did not arrive until about 2am in the morning, but my Mom and my sister Patty and her kids AJ and Jeffrey were all still up, waiting for us.


We had a sensational family experience.  Another of my sisters, Julie, came over with her husband Doug.  It was turning into a small family reunion.  I am the oldest of eight kids.


We talked about the good old days, and laughed about the teenage years when we got into trouble as kids.  My Mom said she likes family gatherings because she always learns more about what really happened when we were kids.


The Holidays are a special time that reminds me of what is important in our fast-paced lives.  Sometimes our family can get on our nerves or add a lot of drama to our lives, but in the end, I always am drawn back to those special people who love me for me.


Then something remarkable happened.  My mother told me that while cleaning up one of the back bedrooms she had discovered some old photo albums of my late father from when he was in the Air Force in Germany in the 1950s.


I asked her to let me see the albums.  I am still in a bit of emotion about those albums.  My father has been gone now since 1991 and I really miss him.  I was the oldest child and I had a great relationship with my Dad.  He had a great relationship with each of his eight children.


My Mom had a chuckle about some of the photos because there were several of my father when he was with a lot of girls in Germany before he met my Mom.  She said she had no problems with it, because they were all relationships before she and he had met.


My mom was in the Air Force, too.  My dad was in the Air Force for eleven years.  He was from Philadelphia, my mom from a small town in Eastern Oregon.


My Dad died seventeen years ago.  My Mom hasn't dated anyone since. 

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