I suppose that sooner or later every writer eventually gets around to the subject of family, and I am certainly no exception. The question is, how do you define family? I mean, are we talking about geneology going back to the fifteenth century and who begat whom? Or should the definition be limited, say, to relatives that I at least have a vague recollection of? Even that may not be such a good idea because I have some fairly vivid memories of a second cousin twice removed who used okra slime for hair gel, but I doubt you'd want me to devote a whole article to her!
No, I believe we'd all be better off if I tightened my focus even more, so I have decided that the best way for me to approach this Family category is to think in terms of Christmas stockings. In other words, I'm going to stick with family members whose Christmas stockings have hung on the same mantle as mine at one time or another. But if I depart from my own rule now and then, please don't judge me too harshly. After all, I have some of the same blood coursing through my veins as that wacky distant cousin and her okra slime hair gel, which, incidentally, really does work!