Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas With Long Lost Family

In the early 1800s three Chisholm brothers emigrated from the Highlands of Scotland to the Highlands of Nova Scotia. Two decided to settle in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and the other travelled on to New York. Never again to be in contact with his brothers (as far as we know). Arch's cousin, Robert is a keen family genealogist and about four years ago he found the descendants of this US Chisholm living in California and Florida and contacted them. They were as excited to learn about us as we were to learn about them. And a year later Jim Chisholm and his wife Judy travelled to Nova Scotia to meet all of us. We were unable to attend the Antigonish reunion arranged to meet Jim and Judy so they travelled to Halifax to meet us and we had a fun two days visiting with them. And we have been in touch via Facebook ever since. As an aside - I love Facebook, it is such a great way to stay in touch with far flung family and friends.

So one of the highlights of our stay here in Florida was to visit Jim and Judy. Which we did for Christmas. We travelled to their home, about two hours from where we are parked and stayed with them Dec 24 and 25 returning to Avon Park on the 26th. And what a grand time we had. In addition to a wonderful family gathering for Christmas dinner, we went to a darling little restaurant for a delicious Christmas Eve supper, attended  "Early Midnight" service at 8:30 pm - perfect for those of us who think midnight should mean 10 pm, Jim took Arch out for a fishing trip Christmas morning, and we ended the visit with lunch at a fun restaurant on the water.

Warning: lots of family pictures ahead - If you are not a Chisholm family member you may want to move on, if you are, enjoy.

Jim, Judy and Arch
Jim and Arch's great grandfathers were brothers. I think that makes them first cousins, twice removed.

Jim and Judy's home backs on this canal.

Christmas morning fishing trip
Where Jim docks his boats - one for fishing and one for pleasure trips. Needless to say, Jim loves boating.

The canal goes out to the ocean and very rich fishing grounds.

So they actually returned with fish:

Judy was very organized and had most of the food for Christmas dinner pre-prepared but spent some time adding last minute touches.

About 3 pm the family started to gather and we met a few of the next two generations of Chisholms:

Arch and Anne with the "Florida Chisholms"
From left: Colette with her dog, Molly and her parents Jennifer and Jeff Chisholm (Jeff is Jim's son), Judy and Jim, Morgan and Christian (in front) Don and Lisa Chisholm's children. Don, between Arch and me, is Jim's nephew and his wife Lisa took this picture.

Missing from the last photo but included here: Don's wife Lisa and Jennifer's dad, Charlie.

We loved Charlie

Charlie is a retired newspaper man from New York City and had lots of stories to tell. He is a widower and, through the Chisholm family met Lisa's mom, a widow and they are now an "item". How great is that.

Judy finished up last minute dinner preparations:

She was so organized the only help required was with the cleanup:

And dinner was served:


From left: Scalloped potatoes (made by Jim) green beans - stir fried and tossed with seasoning and cherry potatoes, grilled veggies, butternut squash (in the crock pot) and baked ham. All delicious and very nutritious. The kids ate at the counter and the adults at the table you see beyond the counter. Jim insisted on adding the kilted Santa to Judy's table decor :).

All in all a fun filled Christmas day and it was so great to meet even more Chisholms.

The plan for the next day was to put Tara (our dog, who was with us) in a doggie daycare and take a boat tour of the area, stopping to have lunch at a dockside restaurant. Unfortunately Tara had an attack of pancreaticis and we decided daycare would be too much so we simply drove over to the restaurant and enjoyed a farewell lunch together:

The Shrimper Grill and Raw Bar

Thanks Jim, Judy and family - what a fabulous Florida Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you enjoyed a wonderful family Christmas. It must have been a blast to spend time on a canal with a boat launch.
    Happy New Year!


Hi There. Thanks for visiting. I enjoy and appreciate your comments.