Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sharing History

This past weekend, we headed up to Columbus, Ohio with Tony's parents to visit his grandparents.  I had personally never been to the state at all, so it was a nice glimpse of Midwest, especially since it's actually fall up there.  Leaves are changing, the weather is crisp, and school is just starting.  

We made the trip, in part, to celebrate the grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.  Sixty years.  That's quite a feat! 

Being there, in their house (that they've lived in for many decades), immersed in Tony's extended family, was such a complex feeling.  Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, Tony's mom told stories of how the guest room we slept in was once her bedroom growing up, we drove by Tony's dad's house that he grew up in...

It got me thinking about how crazy it is that, when married, you essentially adopt a whole new second family, that becomes your own, becomes part of your shared history.

Of course I realized this long ago (two moms! two dads!), but you get a whole new half of a family tree, not just in-laws.  Beyond that, our children will also inherit this connection - an even stronger connection than my own, linked by deeper bonds than marriage.  

Tony's grandparents on his father's side (not the ones we saw this weekend), are Greek.  That makes Tony half Greek, and in turn, our babies will be 1/4 Greek - a fact that I absolutely love!  And believe me, our last name leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of heritage.  Let's just say my married name is a liiiiiiitle longer than my old one.  

My side of the family is of typical Western European descent (which, don't get me wrong, is awesome - helllllloooo pilgrims) but I don't know a whole lot about our lineage.  I love that now I have a whole separate cultural heritage to add to my own, and share with our future children.  

Honestly, the best part of all this is the desserts.  Not gonna lie.  If you've ever had galaktoboureko then you know what I'm talking about.  Baklava is good - but that's for rookies.  Galaktoboureko is phyllo dough pie-type thing filled with delicious custardy cream, topped with a sweet syrup.  Seriously - get yourself to a Greek restaurant or Greek fest and try it.  You will never be the same.
Tony and I happened to have a giant piece of this, as our meal (don't judge!  we were on vacation!), one night (there is a large Greek community in Columbus, which means lots of delicious, and authentic, restaurants).

Can't say I like feta or olives any more than I did before, buy hey, you can't win 'em all.

Additionally, Tony's family, having grown up in Columbus, are naturally rabid Ohio State fans.  I knew and cared zilch about this school before meeting Tony, but now - I sometimes catch myself cheering for the buckeyes a little more than my dawgs.  (they are both red - so really it's not a far stretch...).   I got up close and personal with a few Brutuses (Bruti?) during our trip.

Of course with a spouse, you are naturallly going to reciprocally share interests and hobbies, and learn to love what the other is passionate about.  But the sense of family and connectedness I felt this past weekend was fabulous, and something I'm proud to be a part of.

OH!  IO!!  ... Opa!


  1. I adore Greek food! Me thinks I married into the wrong family!

  2. You mean, they actually *have a fall?? School doesn't start in AUGUST in all parts of the country?? :)

    I love what you wrote about your 'new' extended family, and heritage. Seriously, one of the coolest aspects of being married (one often not thought about, or articulated, as you do here).

    I will get right on trying that Gala....??

  3. First of all, all your comments the past few days have been cracking me up. My cat loves you.

    My husband's family is very small and boring and offers me nothing in the way of delicious desserts. Plus they're of British descent...which means my VERY Irish family takes shots at him whenever they can. Orange Bastards is what they call him. Of course, my Irish family doesn't really have any good food to offer either. But we do love our booze so there's always that.

  4. Oh and you look super cute in the family pic, I lika your dress!

  5. This is a great post. I often feel so lucky to be part of two great families. That's such a blessing in marriage.

  6. Ohmygosh. I have had Ireland, only they use a powered-sugar based glaze on top. Now, I realize that Ireland is in a vastly different geographical location than Greece...but I swear a baker in Kilarney, Ireland makes that exact custard dessert (minus the glaze difference)! I ate two every day for three weeks. It was pretty much like hooking a cellulite IV up to my thighs.

    Sigh. This was a beautiful moment...thanks for it. :)


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