Monday, August 16, 2010
That's pretty much how it came down for our gang as we had a gathering of our clan over this past weekend. It was held at the home of my husband's sister, who is also the family matriarch. She loves to bake and cook and she adores having guests come to share the bounty.
As the family members arrived the table was heavily laden with meat, salads, pickles and pies of every fruit flavor. Dessert decisions were monumental and required several trips back to the buffet for some of us indecisive types! The plates were set out for the diners; lemonade and tea were at the ready and The Matriarch offered a blessing before the buffet line was opened.
One of the cousins is in her 80s regaled us with the story of how their grandfather, a German immigrant, had taken his son-their uncle-to a field and declared that land would be this son's farm to own. He shook his hand in congratulations and then handed him the mortgage which he would pay IN TWO YEARS! I guess those folks knew all about hard work and perseverance. You must understand that this took place in the late 1800s.
It gives me pause to ponder all the sacrifices that were made by the pioneers so we can live the life of Riley now. And we complain about EVERYthing...These folks did not have the luxury of the internet and all the work at home opportunities we have. Oh, they worked at home, all right, but it wasn't the same as what we have now.
The littlest people present were whisked away for their naps while the seniors continued reminiscing about marriages, deaths, and reunions of years gone by. One of the most heartfelt accounts had to do with the young family who came to live in Southeast NE. Sadly, their baby got sick and died. They were eager to welcome another baby but when it arrived, it was stillborn. These babies were buried in two separate cemeteries in two different counties because the family had moved from one homestead to another in the hope of making a decent living.
There were the funny stories, too, of barn raising events and how dances were held in barns even before the hay went inside for storage! We heard tales of blossoming romances, too, and all the mischief the children managed to create!
It was glorious and precious to be in the company of octogenarians who have retained so much oral history and were so willing to share it.
After a snack of soda pop and ice cream bars (because we were so starved an hour after that luscious meal) it was time to hit the road and return to our homes. Before we left, we reminded one another of the next reunion: the October get together will celebrate the other side of the house!
Yessir, there's nothing like family. If you don't live in close proximity to your blood relatives, here's hoping you can create a family from your collection of neighbors and close associates.
Mother Connie would love for you to comment about YOUR family reunion, hint/hint!
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