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Who have family all in town?
Old 01-01-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
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Who have family all in town?

Surfing other threads about people going out of state to visit family, or having to host out-of-town relatives, it occurs to me that I may be in a unique situation here.

Both my wife (of soon to be 29 years) and myself have extended family in town. That includes parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. I have hosted huge XMAS, Thanksgiving, and New Year dinners for both family sides. None of our nieces and nephews have had children, else we would really run out of room.

We get along together fairly well, as long as I walk away when my own brother starts to talk politics. Both sides of our family know each other. My nieces/nephews know my wife's nieces/nephews, for example. They also often hang out with my children.

One advantage of this is that when we were working, we could use our entire vacation allotment for real travel, instead of flying back home. Hence, we have been to more places than most people. Imagine 3 weeks of vacation a year, with 1 or 2 weeks for each trip. After nearly 30 years of working, we should have been to even more places than we have. And it did not cost us more than what it costs others for yearly home visits.

Am I in a really unique situation here?
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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Am I in a really unique situation here?
My own grown children live in my city. My sibs live in two other cities- and most of my cousins neices and nephews, etc. live in one of these cities.

During the time that I was raising a family we traveled to visit both sides of the family, as only wife's brother lived here.

I usually go once or so every year to visit.

Ha
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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My (physically) closest relatives are ~400 miles away.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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Family includes 1 son and 1 daughter both at home for not much longer. No others living within 1000 miles.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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My immediate family all live within 15 miles of me in Wisconsin. I have an uncle and cousin who live in Florida and a cousin in Kentucky. All other aunts, cousins, ect are within 15 miles of me except one cousin 100 miles away. Almost all live very close together.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:07 AM   #6
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My immediate family has not all lived in the same town since 1960, when my oldest brother left for college. After that, the rest of us left as well. Since then we have been dispersed all over the world, due to educational and career requirements. To us, having family close by meant having family in the same country.

I do not have much family left by now. Those that remain are nowhere near New Orleans. We keep in touch by e-mail, blogs, and phone.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:19 AM   #7
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OP, to me, maybe your situation is unique. I haven't lived near family since high school. I spent many vacations traveling to visit family and sometimes entertaining them at home. After mom died in '05 I enjoyed the luxury of staying at home or traveling for fun.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:19 AM   #8
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MIL, BIL and SIL live in the same town as us, with another BIL and SIL in the next closest town. Niece and Nephew about 50 miles away.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:38 AM   #9
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Mother and Aunt live just around the block from me. But after they are gone, no other family in my town other than a cousin. So might not stay here for the long haul. Just not sure at this point.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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Nearest relative is 1000 miles away and that is just fine by me.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:50 AM   #11
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I had no family in Florida until recently when my Mom and sister moved here . They are about two hours away . My daughter is New York and I visit several times a year plus we talk on the phone almost daily .
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:53 AM   #12
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My immediate family lives within 20 minutes of me: brother, sister, mom/dad.
My mom/dad are both one of 6 sibs, all of them live in SC except two that live in neighboring states. I'd say that for Southerners, this is not extremely uncommon.

DH's family is in NC and Tennessee. We visit at Christmas. They are the PERFECT distance from us!
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:06 AM   #13
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Pretty much all of our extended family is in the same town. We just had a New Year's party where my wife counted 40 or so in attendance. Of those, approximately 37 were immediate family or DW's aunt's family (many cousins and cousin's kids there).

My parents, siblings, nieces and nephews are all here, too. I think we have established a critical mass of sorts that means other family ~4 hours away come to visit us some. We usually make around 1 trip per year "to the mountains" to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

We all get along, so it does make us want to stay in this area (plus we get very cheap childcare from family! ).
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:03 AM   #14
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Nearest relative is 1000 miles away and that is just fine by me.
Most of my relatives fit that bill fairly closely! I have 1 aunt and a couple of cousins that live here in town, but we never socialize...'bad blood' between the families. I also have a great-aunt (the last one still alive) who lives here in town. And my Mom and I share the old family homestead.

The siblings are 900 miles east, and 700 miles west....which is fine! Nieces, nephews, and other cousins all live in varying states from Virginia to California, and from Louisiana to Minnesota.....and every where in between. We seldom, if ever, see them, and never hear from most of the rest of 'em.....which is fine!

When I was a kid, we used to go on vacations to visit with all my great-uncles/aunts every year. And I really enjoyed that.....they were absolutely fantastic!!! But, sadly, they're all gone now....only the one here in town is left. Used to enjoy all of the stories they told, and all of the family history.....from the "Trail of Tears" our ancestors experienced, to Uncle Les's survival at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. And from surviving through the Great Depression by 'creative entrepreneurship' (a.k.a. 'boot-legging'), to everyone's success in life & careers after that. They were all a bunch of very strong-willed, self-made individuals, who never gave up, and never gave in, and achieved happiness and lived their lives to the utmost!!!

And probably the reason we don't hang out with a lot of the other relatives, is because...unlike the great-uncles/aunts...they're mostly a bunch of whiny, lazy, ne'er-do-wells, who think somebody owes them a good life.....and that they shouldn't have to work for it or earn it. Twits!!! Don't get me wrong, not all of the others are that way...but a goodly portion of 'em are. And the ones that aren't are either just too busy with life to have time to get together and visit, or else their too far away to conveniently get together much.

Besides, like my folks told my siblings 10 or 12 years ago...."We've always had to come visit you over all these years.....not it's your turn to come visit us!" I've made the treks to go visit them, but I've yet to see them make the trek to come here. The airlines that I flew to get to them, also fly from their location to near here.....6 commercial airports within 90 miles! Also, Amtrak travels within a few miles of our respective locations. And of course, there's always the Interstate highway system...and the last I checked our exit on I-80 is still open!

I even told Mom a couple of months ago, that I'd drive her out to visit one of my siblings. She said "Forget it! They know where I live! Take me on a sightseeing trip to South Dakota instead!".
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:49 AM   #15
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Nearest relative is 1000 miles away and that is just fine by me.
Same here. The only link I have, by my own choice, with immediate family is common DNA. It is what it is.
I have lots of adopted brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc here locally. They all adopted me. So I am well connected to a sense of "having family", albeit sans common DNA.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:17 PM   #16
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Same here. The only link I have, by my own choice, with immediate family is common DNA. It is what it is.
I have lots of adopted brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc here locally. They all adopted me. So I am well connected to a sense of "having family", albeit sans common DNA.
This would be very hard for me. I have one brother whose attitudes are so much like mine that we could be clones. We talk several times a week.

Another brother is very pleasant when he is sober. I can't fix him, so I accept him.

I have a sister that I am close to, who also has her (non-alcohol) issues. Again, a few behavioral adjustments could make her future a lot brighter, but she couldn't make them so my role is to enjoy my time with her, and hope for the best.

I try not to stress about their future because I know that even those of us who live fairly skookum lives can be subject to horrific events coming out of nowhere.

Ha
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:10 PM   #17
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My wife's mom lives about 5 miles from our house. The rest of her family is scattered all over the country (VA, NC, MO, CA).

I live about 5,000 miles away from my nearest relative. Actually ALL my relatives (parents, sibs, aunts/uncles, cousins) live within a 20-mile radius of each others. I'm the only one in my extended family to have left town. It wasn't meant to end up like that, but it did. I have a very close relationship with my family and I miss them very much. We call each other several times a week and do show-and-tells via video conference often. I also go visit once or twice a year, usually 12-15 days at a time. But this year, with the big snow storms in the northeast messing up air travel, we were unable to go for the Xmas family celebrations which are of epic proportions. But they included it us nonetheless. We set up a video conference on Skype and my mom placed her webcam in the living room so that we could chat and interact with everyone as if we were there in person. We even opened our gifts "online".
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:00 PM   #18
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Nearest relative is 1000 miles away and that is just fine by me.
As mentioned elsewhere, I recently (Nov.) contacted a relative for the first time in six years; and remembered why I hadn't. I don't even know where most of them are or who's still alive.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:09 PM   #19
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I have one cousin in Houston that I talked to about 3 years ago. I still have my parents, but they live 500 miles away. I have no children, siblings or blood related aunts or uncles still living. I have a few cousins scattered about in the States, but I rarely hear from them.

For a time, I found this to be rather depressing. However,"it is what it is" and friends have filled this void and I am grateful for them.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:31 PM   #20
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For a time, I found this to be rather depressing. However,"it is what it is" and friends have filled this void and I am grateful for them.
As they say, you can pick your friends, but not your relatives. Personally, I prefer the option where I have the choice!

Most of the relatives on my Dad's side are deceased, with only a very few exceptions! But I always really enjoyed that side of the family...they were all wonderful!!!

And with very few exceptions, most of the relatives on my Mom's side, are pretty much helpless, hopeless, and/or useless! We keep them at a distance as much as possible....they don't contact us, and we don't contact them.
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