Going Home…..

Seventeen of us boarded planes in various cities to travel home for Christmas and keep a promise we made to each other 25 years ago.

“Home” this year was my (Rosanne’s) youngest sister’s house in Vancouver, WA, but the location changes every year.  “Christmas” this year was December 21st, but the date changes every year.  What doesn’t change is the tremendous effort everyone makes to be there.  And, as my reflection in the plane window screamed….we’ve been at this for a LOT of years! Mostly we gather at full count and dearly miss those who can’t make it some years. 

Just “getting there” offers tales from funny to trying.  Like the time my now-brother-in-law attempted to travel to Reno to meet the whole family at “Christmas”.  After hearing so much about him, I eagerly awaited his arrival.  My sister tracked his flight…delayed…enroute….arriving soon….too much snow….flight returned to bay area.  Come on, does this guy really exist?  West and East coast snowstorms, red-eye flights, surprise taxis in remote neighborhoods, and travel woes plagued family members over the years but to no avail.  Promises are meant to be kept.

Sunset in Gold Canyon0001

 Twenty five years ago, my mother took her place in heaven.  She was the heart of our family.  Her love, humor, forgiving nature, and passion for family times and traditions made her home the “go to” place. My siblings and I knew that a visit to Mom’s meant we would see each other.  Mom to seven, Mom-in-law to four, Babcia (Grandmother) to three, she kept us connected.  And so, that first Christmas without her, we promised to set a date each year, rotate locations among us and gather together for “Family Christmas”.  It comforted us knowing that no matter where life took us, we would touch home every year.  I didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of this simple agreement at the time. Or maybe it just grew over the years as many of us moved away …..or as we retold this Christmas story to nieces and nephews who came along later and new brothers-in-law and nieces-in-law crazy enough to embrace this lively family and its Polish traditions!  This year, two more will join the family bringing our full count to almost 30.  My new Niece marries into this revelry in June and Mom’s first great grandchild, “Baby Girl” arrives in February.  As we grow, it gets more difficult to get together, but we do the best we can.

Seventeen of us boarded planes in Vancouver, WA richer from time spent together, to return home before Christmas Eve and complete the promise we made to each other 25 years ago……to share Christmas with the “other side” of our families, celebrate our individual family traditions and to make room for younger families to create their own memorable traditions.  Greg and I enjoyed Christmas with his family, as we have for many years, feeling grateful, connected and ready for this New Year.

 Someone asked, “How does it feel to be living in your RV away from home during Christmas?”

“Ahhh….but we are home!”

Categories: On the RoadTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. What a wonderful post that brought tears to my eyes!
    Having attended one of these Christmas gatherings, my fondest memories are the traditions kept, love you have for one another and what a fantastic tribute to your mom’s memory!


  2. Love you lots Rosanne ~ thanks for the memories and very Happy & Healthy New Year to you and Greg! (Happy Belated Birthday too Greg)


  3. How wonderful…loved the picture of you girls cooking with matching aprons!


  4. What a wonderful promise, your family is blessed. A true legacy to the woman who started it all , your Mom. Thanks again for sharing.


  5. What a sweet, sweet story of love and tradition . Happy New Year and blessings to you both!xo❤️❤️


  6. Very touching and well written Rosanne. Your Mom will always hold a warm spot in my heart….I can remember stopping by Rucker many times at Christmas time….The pictures etc. posted on FB were great!!!! Happy New Year!!!!


  7. So wonderful to read such a beautiful Christmas story. Happy New Year to you and all of your beautiful family Roseanne!


  8. Made me tear up a little. So many warm memories. I LOVE that you guys do this. What a gift to us all. Thank you.


  9. You guy’s always amaze us. Stead fast and true to your commitments. I so know the meaning of family get together’s, means a lot more as the years take their toll. No matter how long or hard it is to get there, it’s a joy to behold and treasure! Happy for you all, young and old, as the case may be. Hug’s and I love you’s at Christmas time are the best present’s given! God bless you and your Mom in heaven.


  10. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful travels and adventures, always enjoy reading your blog!!! Hoping that 2014 will be as wonderful (or even better) than last year!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR


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