Monday, July 21, 2008

Family Reunion After-thoughts

We survived the family reunion! It was great. Some started arriving as early as Monday evening of last week -- and they kept arriving throughout the week. We had 68 members of my mother's family at my house. All of her brothers and sisters were there (8 siblings total) along with some of their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces nephews and cousins. We hope that in the future, more of the second and third generation will be able to attend. Only a handful of the first-cousins were there.

The memories of course were stimulated. The stories of growing up on the farm was a common thread. My mother and her siblings told of milking cows, feeding chickens, hoeing cotton, rattlesnakes, tornadoes, family and neighbors. It seemed that most of the memories were good. A common theme was that they seemed to be happy growing up as they did. More than once I heard something along the lines of "we didn't have much but there was always plenty." Kids today don't usually see things that way. They feel abused if they don't have the latest computer game. My aunts and uncles were referring to food on the table and clothes to wear -- for the older sisters (the 4 girls came first) it might be dresses made from chicken feed sacks.

Today the kids want $100 tennis shoes (or higher) and my aunts were thrilled to have new dresses made from feed sacks. Hmmm -- do you think we might ever go back to that? There are parts of the world that would love to have feed sacks from which to make dresses. You never know.

It is a good reminder that we need to cherish the moments that we have. We especially need to be thankful for family. It is important to keep the connections alive.


Barbara Martin said...

I agree family connections are necessary. I also think it would be a good idea, for one of your gatherings, to see if the younger set could manage living a weekend or a week on a bit of land without modern conveniences.

My old quarter in Alberta had electricity, but no running water: just a hand pump in the well and buckets to carry summer and winter. I didn't mind that, and in thinking of it, I could go back to that: tomorrow.

Sandy Kessler said...

I had feed sack dresses, aprons , and pillow cases and when I tell my son 33, he roars with laughter.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Sandy: I remember things made from flour sacks but I guess I'm too young for the feed sacks.

The Hermit said...

Man, when you have a family reunion you don't fool around, do you?

CDO said...

Hillbilly Willy got to attend the reunion as on of the 8 siblings. Willy was proud to be there and all was great.

The Poet and family were wonderful hosts and did a great job of putting it together. The entire family is grateful to have had the opportunity and it would have been very difficult without the Poet, his wonderful wife and his great mother and father.

The only slight issue was when the Poet - an Aggie - Willy - an Aggie and Transplanted Hillbilly - another Hillbilly brother and a Redneck brother tried to put up a shade tent. - Instructions were written different for each of us and no one could understand.

Somehow it was put up and stayed up for about two days - even in the West Texas Wind!

(Did Willy say that the way you told me to when I left?) Just Kidding.

ptg said...

Sometimes, when I need a laugh, I try to imagine what my Dad's reaction would have been if I had ever asked him for a pair of $100 sneakers.