‘We at the Center our grateful for our non-kin-in-law family’

In-laws become family but are not kin. They usually become family by marriage or common law marriage or by association. There are mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and even grandparents-in -law. We can complicate this even more by aunts and uncles and step parents and children. Thus the network can become vast and complicated.
Another complication comes in when a family has families and those families have families and it becomes a clan. The term clan comes from the Scottish influence which simply means a number of households which descend from a common ancestor. Clans were quite prevalent fifty years ago when the branches and hollows were more isolated, forming small communities around a school or post office. But in the sixties the one and two-room schools were closed and all students were bussed to Dewitt. The former strength and use of the clans began to wane.
Sometimes in-laws became out-laws when family decisions had to be made on care of the aged or who was to inherit what and how much. It was usually hard enough for the siblings to decide without the pull or push of the outlaws.
I see the wedding picture of my father and mother over ninety years ago, just the two of them. Then ten years later there were six in the picture. Then there were pictures made at their fiftieth anniversary; we had grown to over fifty people; fifty lives from the union of those two people.
Several years ago our neighbors, McCoy and Doxie Carnes family made a real effort to have a family reunion of their eleven children. By this time each of those children had families of their own and even some of them had families of their own. So the decision was made that each of the eleven children’s families would wear a certain color of T-shirt. It not only was a colorful sight; it was very helpful for the grandparents and even the first cousins as they had become a far flung family.
All of this information is just a build up for me to laud two of my Lend-A-Hand sons-in-law. Some of you should remember one of our Lend-a-Hand girls, Judy Warren, who married a Jacks Creek boy, Edgar Sizemore. Of course by now they are grandparents, none of which live in this area. Last Tuesday the storm blew part of our tractor shed roof partly off. Edgar was quick to come and the roof was fixed by Wednesday evening.
Likewise when we have need for a mechanic, it is Todd Baker, by way of Melody, who comes to our rescue. So we at the Center our grateful for our non-kin-in-law family.