Marrying into a first generation Azorean family is not an uncommon occurrence in my neck of the woods.
This area was a place that immigrants from the islands came to make a new life...to farm...to begin dairies and raise their young families with more hope for the future.
They were hard workers and succeeded.
Although my mother in law was actually born here, (she her family returned to Terceira when she was a toddler) she did not come back until she was a young woman to marry another young immigrant from a neighboring village.
I look back to my in law's, as well as my ancestors who left their siblings and friends to come to the unknown.
They left everything they knew to reach for a dream.
The American Dream.
In many cases, eventually, those siblings and friends crossed the ocean themselves to make a better life for themselves.
Often times, settling in the same area.
When my Hubby and I began dating, I realized that I was not only dating my love, but I was dating his family.
His very Portuguese family.
His rather large extended family
I was in love with the youngest in the family.
The only son.
I was a blond outsider from a different town.
I was the unknown who had swooped in and needed to prove myself a bit.
There were three ladies with whom, from the very beginning, I felt a kindred spirit with.
And they liked me from the get go!
Tia Natalina is no longer with us, but Tia Rosie and my mother in law are.
These two life long friends who married brothers from the old country.
They share the same stories and history.
They remember things we know not of.
They share laughter and joy.
Life was not always easy and care free for them, but seeing these two friends and sisters-in-law together
(Tia Rosie's daughter brought them together for a visit and took these pics) and watching them share whatever it was they were sharing is priceless.
You are both so loved and treasured.