So I had 7 maternal aunts and 5 uncles. The uncles were proper ones and none of those "oh here is your Uncle Festus who tells such funny stories. Stop crying and go sit on his knee, like a good boy."
All but 4 of those relatives were involved with farming in one way or another so we never went short of milk, potatoes, eggs or cow pats. Yes cow pats. Memories of my summer holidays seem to include avoiding cow pats, helping to bale hay, sorting potatoes and collecting hen and duck eggs. A lot of it was very hard manual work back in those sepia days and few if any of the next generation went into 'the family business' and most farm land was sold off or rented out.
8 of the family members never left N. Ireland and of the other 4 who moved to England, one became a nun who never climbed a mountain, forded a stream or even followed a rainbow.
She was just a nun and a fun nun at that.
4 of the 12 are still alive and kicking, although I suspect their kicking days are long gone. 2 of them, my uncles, never married and so give me hope that being single doesn't mean ending up in an early grave. I'm not in touch with any of them, aunts or uncles, and that's a shame really.
With 12 of them to start with, added to the catholic propensity for multiple births ( I won't cause a family scandal by including the 3 unmarried ones in this equation ), I'm sure I've relatives up the ying yang that I know nothing about. A family tree would be interesting and informative but I'm not the one to attempt it, considering I've never been 100% sure that I wasn't adopted !
Apart from our skin colour, and mine is getting darker the more I remain in Florida, it's hard to believe my brother and I are.....brothers. His accent, attitudes and appearance (he has hair for a start) suggest a brother from a different mother. Yes I hate that expression too.
But the main reason for not attempting to chart a family tree is because I'd even need help for the first level below each aunt and uncle. When I left home for England back in 1970, I pretty much lost contact with everyone and 40 years later, I only seem to be told about them when it's time to go to their funerals. I suppose I'm reaping the seeds of my indifference.
Family is important but I seem to be discovering that truism very late in life.