The new arrival

It was hard to get out of bed this morning after enjoying a long and relaxing 10-day vacation from the office. There were no stories to write, no pages to proof, no meetings to cover.

In other words, I had 10 blissful days (seven newspaper editions) to retrieve my newspaper from the front door and be surprised by what was in it. I was an ordinary newspaper subscriber for a change, and it felt … strange.

On the other hand, it felt wonderful to get “away from it all,” and my vacation was anything but boring.

For starters, I became a Great Aunt on the very first day of my vacation (Aug. 28). Little Kiera Rose Buntjer was born just after 10 a.m. that Saturday morning, and I was at the hospital within hours to see the sleeping beauty and mother Crystal. We marveled at Kiera’s long locks and debated who had more hair at birth – my niece Jessie or great-niece Kiera. (Niece Jessie was deemed the winner by a hair – pun intended!)

Naturally, the arrival meant a shopping spree for all things pink, which nieces Jessie and Katie gladly helped me with. The sisters are frankly a rarity in the Buntjer-Kohls family tree. It seems every family is blessed with multitudes of boys and one girl each. For some reason, Randy’s family is the exception with two girls.

In my generation, I have six male and two female cousins on the Buntjer side and six male and one female cousin on the Kohls side (my Uncle Orv didn’t get a daughter). Then, there are the three brothers I had to put up with! Uff da.

So, as you can imagine, shopping for pink is a delight.

Thanks to the social media network Facebook, I was able to share the news of Kiera’s arrival with friends of mine from across the country. Commented a former college instructor and mentor of mine: “You’re not old enough to be a Great Aunt.” She then said something about a Great Aunt being on the same generational level as Grandmother.

Ah, yes. And therein lies the joy of being a Great Aunt … teasing my oldest brother Kevin about being a Grandpa. In a few more months, I’ll get to do it all over again with my next oldest brother, Randy.

So goes the circle of life.

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