Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sister-In-Law

This is a convoluted tale on the way to sharing a California destination. I want to celebrate this anniversary. One year ago today we found my husband's missing brother and sister and our lives changed. 

My husband was adopted. I have an entire site, Missing Pieces: The Gaulthair Children, explaining how his biological mother had thirteen children and abandoned them all.

It struck me today as my husband spoke with his sister (my new sister-in-law) how blessed we are. After more than 50 years, there are finally some answers to the questions they all had.

When we decided to meet, we were looking for somewhere safe. We didn't know these people and they didn't know us. The family lives in a really small area and we didn't want to stay with them. We finally decided on a little Bed and Breakfast with it's own campground. It is in the middle of nowhere and not only did we love it, we are planning to go back. That doesn't make the new family happy because they want us to stay with them but we really like space #2.

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs

I borrowed this map from their website. Benton is on the foothills north of Bishop.

Our site had a stream running through it. The water in the stream is not cooled so it is very hot. It's sort of amazing. The hot springs at Benton are not mineral.

Gary is getting ready to setup the tent. We had lots of time to get it done because they weren't expected to arrive until evening. In the background, across the little bridge is our private hot tub.

The tent is setup and ready to go. Since we were still waiting, the hot tub beckoned. One of the interesting things about the Benton Hot Springs campground is that clothing is optional. We are not clothing optional people but for those who like to soak in the buff, it's allowed. 

The water in the hot tub is cooled by the spray heads. I can't even begin to describe how this hot water melts away the stress of the day, and we were stressed. Finally meeting his brother and sister after looking for more than 30 years was nerve-racking. What if we didn't like each other? A nice hot soak cured that.

This is the first photo taken of Gary with his brother and sister. Not the best picture but  it was 1:00 am and no one was willing to go to bed. Rick and Frances were raised together although they had different fathers. Gary and Rick have the same biological parents. 

So this is how we discovered Benton Hot Springs. The campground is primitive and the restrooms are porta-potties. For those who want a more "civilized" setting, I would highly recommend the B& B which is quite nice. Oh, and if you walk through the sprinklers when they are watering the grass, that water is hot too. In fact, all the homes in Benton have hot water that has to be cooled. 

BTW, the day we returned home from Benton, there was an email from  a stranger who said she might be one of the Gaulthair children. With Darla came a bonus because we knew of one other child but couldn't locate him. David was raised by Darla's father. It was not long after that when we discovered three more of the children. One of them has passed away but the two oldest siblings are now part of the ever growing family. There are five more still missing but God willing, we will find them too.


  1. Wow- thirteen kids? I can't imagine abandoning my kids, ever. That's so sad. And not knowing who my brothers and sisters are would make me nuts- I have my fingers crossed your husband can find and reconnect with the rest of his siblings.

    I, by nature, am not a camper. But the pictures of that site and the hot tub look really nice.The Bed & Breakfasts with a toilet and shower, are a bit more my speed. :)

  2. wow, I hope you do find them all. That is amazing. I found my long lost brother from my dad about 5 years ago on Facebook. I knew he existed - all this happened when my dad was a teen and before he met my mom. I flew back to Alabama to meet them all. We've kept in touch ever since.

    I love that campground with the hot tubs. Cool

  3. That's an amazing story. I'm glad your family is finding each other. Oh and those hot streams...might have to make a point to check them out some day. Those hot tubs sound delightful!

  4. That hot tub reminds me of the water tower on "Petticoat Junction." Remember that show? This is a wonderful story of a very sweet reunion.


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