One of the things I love about being an author and including family history in my stories is that it’s connected me to lots of family members I didn’t even know I had! Cousins I might never have met otherwise are now part of my world. And there’s no such thing as too much family!

Okay, maybe there is, but I haven’t gotten there yet!

Even better than new family, though, is reconnecting with family I’ve known forever. Like my cousins Amy and Angie in Pennsylvania (or PA as you say if you live in West Virginia). They used to come visit my great aunt and uncle–their grandparents. And I LOVED it when they came. There weren’t many kids at our little country church, and I always thought the Harris family was so much fancier than we were!

Amy and I are VERY close in age and it was such a treat to get to play with a girl my age. Plus, I thought she was the prettiest person I’d ever known. But you grow up, you grow apart, the old folks pass on and connections fade.

But Angie, Amy, and I reconnected on Facebook (it IS good for something!). And they read my books, and when their mom died, they shipped me boxes of art (my great aunt was a painter) and knick knacks from our shared childhood.

Recently, Amy and her husband (a chef!) were visiting friends in NC, and we had a chance to get together. It was the first time we’d seen each other since 2006! My husband asked if I’d recognize Amy at the restaurant where we were meeting, and I said I thought I would. When she walked in there was NO doubt I would. There was the same, gorgeous kid I loved to get in trouble with when we were young!

And maybe, in some way, just like that, we WERE kids again traveling back in time to house with a glider on the porch and blueberries in the yard.

If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, swing by their restaurant, GAUCHO (eatgaucho.com), and say “hey” for me. Then order that rosemary braised beef sandwich and let me know how it was!