For many of my contemporaries, those get-togethers mean spending lots of time traveling around the country or the world. I'm fortunate that my son and daughter, my three grandchildren, and my four great-grandchildren all live in the Baltimore-Washington area.
Our Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers used to happen at my house in Washington. Now I travel over the hills and through the woods to my son's house in the forest near Camp David, Md. Fortunately, my daughter Ann lives in Alexandria, Va. and does the driving.
Todd's house is a short drive from Smithsburg, Md. for the family's largest contingent -- the Dreisonstoks. They comprise Todd's daughter Jessie, her husband Dan, and their daughters Kaylee (8) and Kenzie (4 in a few weeks), and son Camden, born on a memorable Christmas Eve, 2013.
Baltimore is home to an increasing number of Schappis. Todd's daughter Emily married Jerrod Fuller in February, 2014, and the happy event became the subject of a major post on the blog. Their daughter Emarie was born in November.
Todd's son Colin remained in Baltimore after his graduation from the Maryland Institute College of Art there. He's appeared at the last few family gatherings with the lovely Michelle. This fall, they'll travel to China to teach English for six months or more. I don't know where else the relationship might be headed.
The Schappi clan has another locus; my brother Roger still lives in our hometown of Ithaca, N.Y. His son Dan and Dan's wife Suzanne live nearby in Trumansburg with their children Jamie and Ashley. Roger's other son Jeff brings us back to the Washington suburbs. He and his wife Tammy live in Annandale, Va. with their twin sons Christopher and Matthew
A very important member of the family, Todd's significant other Jill Peterson, is missing from the group shot because she was taking the pictures.
And here are the Dreisonstoks. There's an excellent self-portrait of Colin on the back wall, but a bright reflection from a window makes it hard to see. An old fogey lurks in the background. On the left is the old rocking chair that's got him