We’re fam­ily

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Ni­chols Lewis By Bruce Ven­zke and Gail Grabowski ©2016 Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC

I come from a very close Mid­west­ern fam­ily. I have one sis­ter, two broth­ers and great par­ents. Ev­ery other year, we would take a fam­ily trip to the lake. As we’ve got­ten older, the tra­di­tion has stayed and grown to in­clude new fam­ily mem­bers. We all meet up, bring­ing our spouses and kids. The prob­lem herein lies with my el­der sis­ter and her hus­band.

When I first met my brother-in-law, he was so nice and friendly to our fam­ily. He is an Aussie, and we were charmed by him. He raved about how much he loved the great out­doors and looked for­ward to keep­ing up our fam­ily tra­di­tion. Af­ter they got mar­ried, ev­ery­thing changed. The first year, my sis­ter and her new hus­band said they couldn’t make the trip be­cause of his work (even with two years’ no­tice). The sec­ond time around, it was yet again be­cause he had to work.

They just seem to make ev­ery ex­cuse in the book not to go. I am the one whom she al­ways calls to break the news. I can hear the real dis­ap­point­ment in her voice as she says they won’t be mak­ing it yet again.

Since the wed­ding, we pretty much have never seen him and rarely have seen her. My brother-in­law never comes to any fam­ily func­tions and makes no ef­fort to have a re­la­tion­ship with my par­ents.

I’ve talked to my broth­ers about this, and they think that be­cause our brother-in-law’s par­ents live in Aus­tralia and he rarely gets to see them, he is jeal­ous that our sis­ter lives so close to her fam­ily. Is there any­thing that I can do to make him come around and want to come on our fam­ily trips? My el­der sis­ter was al­ways the leader in our fam­ily, but now our fear­less leader has turned into a cow­ardly black sheep.

— Black Sheep’s Sib­ling

It sounds as if your brother-in-law’s true col­ors came out af­ter the wed­ding, and they’re sick­en­ing shades of green. He is con­sumed by envy. If he can’t have fam­ily, then she can’t have fam­ily. This cer­tainly does not seem like a lov­ing mar­riage.

Her hus­band sounds — let’s put it kindly — less than per­fect, but the real ques­tion is why your sis­ter would al­low this to go on. I would try talk­ing to her one-on-one to see whether she can reach a com­pro­mise with her hus­band. Maybe pro­pose that they start al­ter­nat­ing years — spend­ing va­ca­tion at the lake with you one year and in Aus­tralia the next. Also make an ef­fort to reach out to your brother-in-law some­times just to see how he’s do­ing so he feels that he’s im­por­tant to you. If he would em­brace your fam­ily, it might help him feel less home­sick.

In a re­cent col­umn, you printed a let­ter from a man who didn’t like the friends of a woman he started see­ing re­cently. You said: “If you don’t like this girl’s friends, then my guess is that when you get to know her bet­ter, you won’t like her.”

Well, maybe, maybe not. The sit­u­a­tion you de­scribe may be an evolv­ing process, and she may well change for the bet­ter or worse. It is a hard call at this point. I have seen some re­mark­able peo­ple evolve out of an en­vi­ron­ment of wacky friends be­cause some sig­nif­i­cant other hap­pens upon the scene and the per­son fi­nally comes to her/his senses. And the wacky friends dis­ap­pear.

— Don D.

ACROSS

1 “La Vie en Rose”

singer 5 Ash­tray ar­ray 10 In­ter­est greatly 14 “There __ joy in

Mudville ... ” 15 Livid 16 Cam­bo­dian

cur­rency 17 Lump 18 Has­bro sol­dier 19 Rai­son d’__ 20 Lake Michi­gan

port 22 Di­etary need 24 TriBeCa

neigh­bor 26 Backspaced over 27 1974 hit with a Span­ish ti­tle mean­ing “You are” 31 Jedi Coun­cil VIP 33 VCR suc­ces­sor 34 Brief meet­ing? 36 Army rank above

maj. 41 Told ... and a hint to this puz­zle’s six sets of cir­cles 44 Ivy League sch. 45 “Rebel With­out a Cause” star James 46 Where a re­triever may be re­trieved: Abbr. 47 Blacken 49 Pre­pare 51 Kansas motto

word 55 Omit 57 “Moby-Dick” crew 59 Made pos­si­ble 64 Ital­ian air 65 Cum­ber­land Gap

ex­plorer 67 Hall of Fame

line­backer Ju­nior 68 Cop­per that’s

mostly zinc 69 Corned beef __ 70 Not fem. 71 __-Ball 72 Con­struc­tion rod 73 Long haul

DOWN

1 Draft item of­ten

traded 2 Va­ca­tion

des­ti­na­tion 3 Ere­long 4 Snap,

com­mer­cially 5 Michi­gan Sta­dium nick­name, with “The” 6 Heep of trou­ble? 7 __ Ma­hal 8 Ca­maro roof

op­tion 9 What 15-Across

peo­ple do 10 For­mer Fox News an­chor Van Sus­teren 11 Cer­e­monies 12 Where ea­gles

hatch 13 Some of this and

some of that 21 JFK-to-Heathrow

flier, once 23 Den­tal care

name 25 Seafood found in

beds 27 Web­site for

hand­made art 28 Elec­trolux spokes­woman Kelly 29 Per­ni­cious 30 Some­thing

un­der­foot 32 DOL divi­sion 35 Scan­di­na­vian 52 Toon­dom ogre

lit­er­ary work 53 “Com­mon 37 Try out Sense” writer 38 Toy gun ammo 54 Give a big lift 39 Al­most never 56 Uganda neigh­bor 40 Six-part 58 40-deci­bel unit

un­der­grad exam 60 Realty ad abbr. 42 Money 61 “I am a very 43 Tech grad­u­ate fool­ish fond old 48 Abet, in a way man” speaker 50 Grime-fight­ing org. 62 Com­fort 51 Spy plane 63 “Fore!”

acro­nym 66 Sun or moon AN­SWER TO PRE­VI­OUS PUZ­ZLE: xworded­i­tor@aol.com

Her hus­band sounds — let’s put it kindly — less than per­fect, but the real ques­tion is why your sis­ter would al­low this to go on.

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