The four main roots of my own family tree are planted firmly in the rocky red clay of North Georgia. Forged in the fire and brimstone of Southern Baptist tradition, I was raised in a world of right, wrong, good, evil, black and white that bears only a passing resemblance to reality. While it may not be the most realistic representation of the world, it certainly helps to prepare one for the constant decision-making required to survive there.
From the stiff-spined,ultra-conservativ
Growing up with such a dichotomy in the family lore helped to provide a balance in my perspective on things. My dad, the middle child of 10, and my mom, an only child (despite many efforts to make it otherwise by my grandparents), were/are the yin/yang in my life, as I have previously described. They are each a fair representation of their family backgrounds and that balance, I think, is the key.
While I could repeat tale after illustrative tale of life on the farm, at school, in church, etc. from the family compendium (thanks largely to the MASHBURNS), the point is this:
If friends are the family you choose, then what's so important about family?
Love 'em or hate 'em: EVERYTHING!
And for mine, I live in gratitude.