*Parts of today’s post are copied from one I published in 2011.
My earliest summertime memories include the annual family “weinie roast” at my uncle’s farm.
Everyone brought coat hangers, and we really did roast hot dogs over an open fire. Uncle Andrew pulled an old farm wagon up in the yard, the food was placed on the wagon, and we all gathered ’round.
My eager anticipation for this event probably had less to do with the food, and more to do with the fact that Uncle Andrew’s daughter, Nell, had horses. She would always let us children (one at a time, of course) sit on one of the horses and lead us around the barnyard. I can still remember what a thrill that was.
Looking through my pictures recently, I found this one of my late sister, Rose. This was taken in 1955; Rose would have been 17. The horse’s name was Topsy.
I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing those little legs on the other side of the horse belong to me.
I also discovered this picture of me – sitting on Topsy. I was probably around 10 when this was taken.
The location of the annual family gathering was changed to another uncle’s waterfront property sometime in the mid to late 1960’s. And it became the “family reunion” rather than the weinie roast. We no longer roasted hot dogs, but there was still an abundance of food. Another uncle began hosting the reunion in the early 1970’s, and it was held at his house until just a few years ago.
When the weinie roast first came to be (before I was born), the family was my grandmother, her 12 children, and their spouses and children. Grandma died in 1969, and the last of her children passed away in early 2011.
Motor Man and I began hosting the family reunion that same year, and have kept the tradition going. When I was a child, there were 70+ people attending the reunion. These days, if we have 15, we consider it a good turnout.
So, for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been busy getting ready: yard work, housecleaning, notifications sent. Today and tomorrow morning, there will be last minute preps: icing down water and soft drinks, setting up tables, grocery shopping….
This next picture is a treasure to me: Grandma and her twelve children. There’s no date, but I’m guessing mid-1960’s. Grandma and her ever present “pocketbook” makes me smile. And her eldest daughter, Mattie, was following suit. My mom is the 4th from the left with her hands folded at her waist.
Yes, it’s a lot of work to get ready for the reunion, but I know those dear folks in that photo are happy that we’re still celebrating family.
~These Days Of Mine~