In my last post before the blogging break, I mentioned that Motor Man and I were, once again, hosting my family reunion this year. My mom’s family started the tradition of a reunion many years before I was born. And at one point, the first Saturday in August was pegged as “THE” day, so everyone could plan their summer around the reunion. That’s how important it was to everyone in the family.
My mom was one of twelve, and during the reunion’s “heyday”, there were upwards of 70 folks attending. But, as the twelve children and their spouses passed away, the size of the reunions dwindled. There were a few years when there was no reunion.
But, my generation, the first cousins, seems to have rekindled an interest in seeing each other at least once a year. So, at this year’s reunion, we had a total of 19 to attend.
Thanks to my cousin, Carol, who lives in Pennsylvania, I had something special to share at the reunion. Carol is the daughter of my mom’s youngest brother, Stanley and his wife, Betty. Aunt Betty was very involved in the family, researching genealogy and recording attendance at the reunions for many years.
Aunt Betty passed away two years ago, and in going through her belongings, Carol found the reunion “books”. And she contacted me to ask if I’d like to have them.
Although, as I mentioned, the tradition of the reunions began many years ago, apparently the idea to record attendance didn’t come about until 1979. These are the only books Carol found, and that’s the earliest date. Several years are recorded in each book.
Perhaps one of the more meaningful entries for me was this one from 1980. It was Marshall’s first reunion; he was 6 weeks old. How proud I was to write his name in the book.
My cousins enjoyed looking through the books, although it was bittersweet seeing the signatures of so many of our loved ones who have since passed on. It was amazing that, for each of us, our mother’s signature was the first thing we saw on a page.
Carol and I were messaging each other recently, and she mentioned how much work is involved in hosting the reunion. And I responded that that was true. As hosts, we provide hot dogs, condiments, beverages and paper products. And in addition to that, we of course, want the house, the garage and the yard all as tidy as can be.
I loved her reply:
“And honestly deep down, we all know it’s not the house we are there for …
it’s the roots.”
~These Days Of Mine~