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I have found that it takes age and separation to really begin to appreciate your family, to understand what made your childhood (both the good and the bad) and to truly bond and connect with those whom are your given family. I know many of those in the pagan community find their families, and I have found mine as well, but something special will always bind me to my blood relations. They may not know I am pagan, and probably wouldn’t care for my decision, but if I can leave that out of the equation, they really are fantastic.

I come from a family full of ribald humor and hilarity. As we play volleyball and badminton over the net in the yard after my Grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration, with everyone but the pregnant, the too old and the too young (and Boyfriend A of course, who doesn’t drink) with a beer in hand, the competitiveness combined with encouragement, banter and love, I realize how fantastic it is to have my family supporting me.

My childhood smells like blackberries and honeysuckle, of beer and cigars, of musty books and hot summers, of fried chicken and hoecake, okra and tomatoes. It sounds like cicadas and bees, hummingbirds and peas popping into pie plates. And, while I may not like all of these things, while I may not want to take every bit of what I grew up with into my life, there were lessons learned and memories shared, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing.