Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Time

Between Friday night and Sunday night, I was home long enough to sleep, and that's about it! Saturday we had our Southern Family Reunion in Mondamin, Iowa. This is my maternal grandfather's side of the family, and it's always a good time. For the last several years, the reunions have been centered around my generation and our kids (in other words, there was more concern for whether or not the kids would be entertained). I found this kind of disappointing, even when I was in my teens. For years, the reunion was held at the park in Pisgah, IA. There wasn't much there except a covered picnic area and playground toys - not the fancy ones they have now, just the basic swings, slide, merry-go-round, see-saws, and monkey bars. I was happy that this year it was back in a park. Taylor fell in love with the see-saws. It hadn't occured to me that he had never played on them before and didn't even know what they're called! Poor Landon was stuck home with Jeremy. He woke us up at 5am getting sick. He was back to normal by noon-ish, so I don't know what was wrong.

These are the "kids". When we talk about generations on the Southern side, we always group them by what they are to my great-grandparents. There's Ralph the oldest, Ray the youngest, Maxine was baby #4, and Derrell was #5. My grandpa was the second oldest, and his sister, Eleanor passed away in 1987 (she was #3). When grandpa passed away, we found a whole stack of letters he had written home during WWII, and I spent almost 2 years transcribing them (they were mostly written in pencil, and I wanted to preserve his words) and putting them into binders with other info about his unit, experiences he had talked about after the war, and pictures he had taken while overseas. In this pile of letters, I found 2 that Ralph had also written home. One was written while he was in Italy, and the other was written the day after Japan surrendered. When I returned these letters to Ralph, he spent a good 1/2 hour or so reading, touching, and just staring at these letters with tears in his eyes. No doubt they brought back a flood of memories.

My brother is a swim coach, and his team had a swim meet in Hastings over the weekend, and we had taken their kids to the reunion with us. My oldest niece just adores Taylor, and sometimes it gets to be a little overwhelming for him, so I let him decide if we were going to mom and dad's on Sunday. We went, grilled some hot dogs and burgers, and just had a good time. My dad worked on the bench he's making me from my grandma's old bed. Once he's done, I'll take some pics. I need to paint it and make a cushion for it before I take pics, though.

Before everybody headed home, Taylor read to the kiddos on the front porch. They're sitting on one of those really old school desks. When the school that my great-uncles had gone to was going to be torn down, they held an auction, and my grandma bought the desk. I love this old piece, and keep telling my mom that she's just taking care of it for me till I can find someplace here for it!
I may not be around much till next week. I have a lot to do before Saturday when we take the Cub Scouts to spend the night in the aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo! The boys have been waiting for this since October, so we're all really excited!

1 comment:

  1. Hi~
    I think it is great you are so good at preserving history! Isn't it funny how these things do not become SO important to us until we are older?? There are so many stories and such I wish I would have paid a little more attention to when I was younger!
    Have a great weekend.


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