My grandmother used to take my brother and I on grand adventures even during the most blustery of winter storms. Donned in thick woolen socks and plastic Co-op grocery bags tied tight around our ankles, we would slip into over-sized gum boots and venture through the farm fields. Every bit of earth all capped with wind-blown snow banks 5 feet tall. I remember my grandmother’s right hand gently holding my left, supporting me as I balanced on the top of the snow and slowly grew taller than her with every step up the growing snow banks below me.
When I grew older, I followed in my female cousin’s foot steps. I found their lives each independently captivating and free – the vegetarian, the bookworm, the athlete, the artist. The little boy living in the big city looked out at these older women in his life with the adoration that could only be deserved of those who were truly listening to their inner voices and expressing themselves through their creativity, their wit and intelligence, and endearing gratitude for this motley crew of characters we called family.