While I’m on this family jag, I’ll go ahead and jot down a couple of thoughts and memories from last week when I had the good fortune to get together with some family members in Myrtle Beach. It was the week of the 4th, America’s birthday, and on Independence Day we all celebrated with the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs followed up by an awesome display of fireworks on the beach itself.

At breakfast the following morning, Lisa smiled and said, “It was so nice to see the young people.” My sentiments exactly. True, they weren’t all there. We’re separated by geography and time constraints, and yet even our brief time together with Matthew, Elizabeth, Katherine, Chad, Paul, and Amanda (the younger set) was special. After devouring the blackberry cobbler and strawberry-embellished cake, we all noticed than Ann, my sister, was working a crossword puzzle. My brother Mike commented that we four (my siblings and I) all liked working them and that if one of us had begun one and put it down, another would pick it up and try to figure out the missing words. We chatted about our “obsession” and decided we must have gotten it from our father. While we were laughing about this common interest, Paul admitted to working a daily puzzle.

 So did we inherit this from John, or was it observational learning? Or does it even matter? It’s a family thing, and I will NEVER work a crossword puzzle again without thinking of my father, siblings, and son and know that we’re bound. By the way, does anyone know a four letter word for nonsense poet?