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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
Martin Family Reunion

July 2011

Hi, readers! Growing up, I loved my little family consisting of my mother, father, and my sister Jane, but I also adored our extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Jane and I consider ourselves very lucky to have had our grandparents (Grandpoppy and Granny Martin and Grandpa and Neena Matthews) in our lives for so many years, and we agree that some of our happiest childhood memories are from Martin and Matthews family get-togethers.

My father, Henry Martin, was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived there until he left for college at Princeton University in New Jersey. He fell in love with the area (and then with my mother!) and settled in Princeton to start his career as a cartoonist and artist and to raise his family. Although Louisville and Princeton are over seven hundred miles apart, it didnít stop my family from spending lots of time with our Kentucky relatives. In fact, I was only four months old when I flew to Kentucky to celebrate my first Christmas! Over the years, Grandpoppy and Granny visited Princeton often, and we spent many happy vacations in Louisville with the extended Martin family.

Jane and I were recently reminiscing about those happy times, and I guess our cousins were too, because we all decided it was time for a mini-Martin family reunion in Kentucky. While we were disappointed that my father couldnít join us (air travel is difficult for him), we were thrilled that my thirteen-year-old nephew Henry could come along on the trip.

The long weekend together was perfect! Jane and Henry stayed at our cousinís house and I stayed at my auntís house, and we were all kept busy every day. Henry hit it off with my cousinís seven-year-old son, and they spent hours bonding over the video game Angry Birds. On Saturday of our visit, Jane and Henry joined some of the cousins for a boat ride on the Ohio River, while I had a wonderful shopping day with my aunt in downtown Louisville. (Fun fact: I call her "Auntie" and she calls me "Niecey".) We have always shared a love of sewing, so she took me to an excellent specialty sewing store where I was very excited to stock up on many hard-to-find materials. At the end of each day, we all gathered together for dinner at a different cousinís house. And even though my father was not able to be with us, we kept in touch with him all weekend by frequent phones calls and emailing lots of fun family photos.

Before we knew it, it was Monday and time to head to the airport. I was sad to leave, but Louisville has always had a special place in my heart, and I know Iíll be back again. After all, Iíve been visiting Kentucky since I was four months old!

Happy reading!

Love, Ann

P.S. Be sure to click on the photo link to see a few pictures from my trip. Thereís one of Jane and me with my aunt and some of our female cousins, and a cute one of Henry with my cousinís little boy. And guess what? I took a picture of a fawn that was left in my cousinís yard for a few hours by the mother deer while she searched for food. She knew her baby would be safe from predators because fawns have no scent for the first few weeks of life. The mother deer returned at the end of the day, and off they went together!