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the best seats. As I watched, my mind drifted back to 1953, to a small gym in Powell, Wyo., when 97 of us processed in to "Pomp and Circumstance" trying to look as adult as we felt in our caps and gowns. The gym was much smaller, and the families were all dressed in their Sunday best, with men in suits and ties interrupting the important bean planting season to attend. Women wore fancy dresses, often wearing hats and gloves. Families were seated in the customary nuclear family groups: one mother, one father and several sisters and brothers, in addition to a few grandparents.As I came back to the present and looked at the diverse crowd filling the Rushmore Center, I realized what a difference 61 years can make. It is a different world. No longer do we even notice the variety of clothing or hairstyles. And instead of the quiet whispering noise of the '50s, there was a lot of loud conversation, laughter and talking on cellphones, while younger members of the crowd busily played games or texted.Then, my eyes wandered down the long row of our family members, and I almost laughed out loud as I tried to figure out how to explain the various and complex relationships of this group.At one end was my daughter, Lynne, mother of Converse For Women White

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the graduate, and her second husband. Next came my former husband's wife who, along with me, sat on either side of Owen, my former husband, as the grandparents of the graduate. Seated next to me were the twin sons of Lynne's former husband, who are Josie's half siblings. Next was Carly, Josie's sister who had arrived from Concordia College with her roommate in time for the graduation festivities. At the end of the row was Lynne's former husband, Mike, the father of the graduate, and his wife.We all had spent a great weekend together hosting the graduation party, attending church and talking and eating together as we celebrated Josie.Looking at this unusual group of people that make up our family of comfortable friends, I thought what an interesting motley crew we are. We really are the "new normal family" that is quite different from the group of families that represented the graduates in the 1950s when I grew up. We are fortunate to have discovered the fact that "family" can take on different meanings as lives change and different relationships are created.If you're rolling your eyes as you're reading this, let me ask whether this is any different than your own family today? Hopefully, we have all broadened our definition of family to include other ethnic groups, sexual orientations and religious beliefs in addition to that particular aunt or uncle we often joke about! Loving and caring often result from our willingness to grow and be inclusive and accepting. It sometimes takes time and work, but it is worth it.As for our row of 12, when I Converse Dainty Ox Pink saw Josie's smiling face looking Converse Shoes Ladies Prices Philippines

´╗┐Graduation gives us pride in our modern family

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up at us in the balcony, I knew she was just as proud of her motley crew family as we were of our summa cum laude graduate that day.

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Can we talk about "family" for a few minutes? First, I'll set the scene. There we were, 12 family members taking up one whole row in the balcony of the Rapid City Civic Center to participate in graduation ceremonies for Central High School for one special graduate: Josie, my granddaughter.Of course, we had to go at least an hour early to get good seats, close enough to see and hear everything happening on the platform as well as finding the best location to get the picture of Josie receiving her diploma. You've all been in this same situation probably several times through the years considering it's a traditional American custom every May or June.The large building was filling quickly as people of all ages, colors, shapes and sizes looked around for Converse All Black

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