Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grammy's Family Reunion 2013

Grammy and siblings (1965)
My family recently gathered at my folks for a family reunion.  My siblings were all home!  From a seven month old to a 77 year old, we had 42 of our 60 some possible family members.  We had family from four states.  We flew in, drove in, and pulled campers to our old home town.

7 month old beauty and her mommy
Our home town is very small, so places to book a room overnight are few and the house we grew up in won't hold everyone...even for a we rented a church hall, brought in food, pitched in and put meals together and had a blast.

We visited, played, ate, and visited some more.  The young ones got to meet people they'd never met or didn't remember meeting, so it was like meeting them again.  The generation above them got reacquainted with their cousins and spouses.  My siblings and I yakked and helped wrangle all the little ones when we could.

I would say it was a typical family reunion...mostly...but as I watched our family interacting, I noticed some things...things that people can choose to do but often choose not to...I noticed things that are evidence of love and of grace.

I heard about and witnessed my dad, mom, and sister prepare things days ahead.

I saw my sis put in hours to complete a slide show so all the family could celebrate my baby brother's and sis-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary.

I enjoyed seeing my oldest brother and his wife (who came the farthest distance) roam around to be sure they had a chance to visit with each family member.

I watched my brother and sister-in-law serve up plates for their grandchildren to lend their daughter a hand.

I remembered how hard and tiring it can be to have small children as I saw the parents of young children haul in all the paraphernalia required to spend time away from home and manage their broods through days that kept them far off their preferred schedules.  I know the older generation appreciates them making the effort to come together.

I smiled as I noticed my grand niece helped her momma with her younger siblings...even when she wasn't being asked or required to help...I suspect she simply does what she sees her Mom and Nana do.

I saw one of my sons-in-law bring his big boys to play in the sprinkler at the homestead instead of golfing with the guys so our pregnant daughter and their two younger children could nap.

I was blessed to see my nephew and his girlfriend tirelessly cook and prepare food because they love to do it and love to see others enjoy the product of their labors.  Of course, they had one wanted them to do it I also witnessed others pitch in...and visit and laugh while they did.
My heart swelled to watch my dad love on the kiddos and help them fill their water balloons...he loves his family and that blesses each of us.

I was thankful to see another son-in-law snap pics so we'd have some memories preserved and was grateful to our daughter for leting him do his thing as she visited with family and managed their little one.

I was tickled to see cousins enjoy cousins...from play time for the younger cousins to the "man cousins" golfing and just spending time visiting.

I saw my mom choose to sit down to a meal at a table with her brood of great grandchildren.  I know she is proud of them and loves them all.

Many hands made light work as all available hands helped pack up the food and clean up.  I was grateful to see my brothers and hubby vacuum the big room and everyone make sure we left things better than we found them.  I watched (yes watched) as my husband mopped the floor of the kitchen and beyond (I love that man more and more).

On the porch of the old homestead: Mom and Dad
and all their kids and kids by marriage.
We are blessed!
We are not all in this pic but we had to try for a big group shot!
Maybe we'll do better next time!
I cherish the time we get to spend together and miss this family.  We are already looking forward to the next big reunion.  Until then, I will remember this is good stuff.

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