chilidogsWatch what you stipulate in your last will and testament because the relatives might be challenged following the rules. Especially a blended family like mine, 33 years in the mixing with me on the road more than in the house the last decade.

Five sons and a daughter, two of whom I birthed. When family matriarch Aunt Ella died in her authentic Williamsburg home filled with 17th and 18th century antiques, family travel to Atlanta was automatic.

Not appropriate this trip for chili dogs at the iconic Varsity restaurant but those taste buds cross generations and bloodlines in my blended family.

Honor the will or catch a plane?

The funeral I attended. The command performance of first-tier heirs two weeks later I did not, because San Francisco and four days meandering south along the Pacific Coast to Santa Barbara was also a commitment.

Families honoring, adjusting and figuring out priorities – now that’s an ongoing process.

Aunt Ella loved her nieces and nephews and declared the nine of them should select treasures from her home until the house was empty. Then sell it, and she spelled out charities to receive the proceeds.

Nifty thinking, eh, for a widow without children?

I’m the traveling mom wife of one of those heirs, and spouses were allowed to be together. Only spouses, no other family members.

Bad behavior to abandon my husband for West Coast pleasures; the choosing of appraised antiques was challenging, especially because our desire was to re-gift them to our six children, and maybe some of the grandchildren, in our final bequeathing document.

heirsSome of those five sons have been heard to suggest their sister already has more of the family treasures than her fair share.

My observation since joining the family when she was 19 is she has exquisite taste and a deep abiding love of all things family. She’s the one I asked to be my proxy.

Maybe that was OK with Aunt Ella from her current vantage point and with her attorney, maybe not. However, my request and her willingness kept me on the road, her father well advised and assisted, and our heirs potentially receiving a fine antique or two.

Photo #1 Blended Family Mom’s husband G. W. Tibbetts does share chili dogs and onion rings with great granddaughters Mattie, Ella and Emily in Atlanta’s Varsity Restaurant as often as possible, just not during funerals.

Photo #2 Heirs and inheritors cherishing each other as friends and relatives too. Andrew (left) and Adam are the boys Blended Family Traveling Mom birthed, Mary Amelia is their cousin and Ariel on the right is Adam’s wife.