This weekend has been full of Hartzell family fun. What a blessing. When I married Kelly (in fact, even well before), this wonderful group became as dear to me as my own flesh and blood. There was never a doubt with Grandma and Grandpa Hartzell that they considered me one of their own from the get-go. I have been led and mentored by the women of this family in ways I can never repay. I have been loved and encouraged by the men in this family, and I am so thankful.
I love each and every one of these people, and I cherish the time we can get together. We are spread far and wide these days, and it had been four years since the last big reunion, but it is like no time had passed on nights like this. Our children played freely, learning all about their cousins that they know more through Facebook than in person. The cousins caught up and reminisced, all at the same time! The older generation shared in all the fun, but also just sat back and savored...many probably thinking how very much Grandma and Grandpa would have loved this. It was on my mind, as well. It doesn't matter that they have been gone for these last several years...when you walk through the woods, or sit on the carport, or go down the main hall in the house...they are still there. This family is so exceptionally special. I'm privileged to be a Hartzell.