It’s that time of year! Family reunions.
Stephen has a very large family. Well, he did. He was born to parents late in their lives and he grew up with many aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces/nephews close to his age. Now, the reunion seems to get smaller each year. Many of those relatives pass on from this place and it’s always sad to see missing chairs. Previous reunions have been bittersweet, dangerous even, but always fun. And this year was no exception.
I took the GF spice cake I made last night. And my mother-in-law made 4 things that I could eat. And I’m so glad she did. Trying to weave through a potential gluten nightmare was not fun. I always have a bar or fruit handy.
We had the reunion in the same Hay Valley Fire Station. This area of Walker County Alabama is where my father-in-law’s family grew up. It started raining as we drove up. We made a pact that if it rained another 30 minutes, we would all grab our food and meet up at a park. One life-threatening flood is enough for this clan.
Plenty of food.
Plenty of catching up to do.
The best part is the story telling. This is my father-in-law’s brother and between these two men, the stories are unbelievable. Setting barns on fire, rats biting noses, mules kicking each other–actual mules, not the brothers 😉 and on and on. The several sisters doted on their brothers but wanted to ring their necks, too.
Plenty of missing. This is the same man who wore bright red shoes to the flood reunion and when the waters rose, he just rolled his pants up and kept on smiling and visiting. Now he’s lost. His wife passed on a few months ago. She was the same sweet lady who sat by my father-in-law’s bed during those last two weeks. She never said anything, just quietly prayed and read and thought about her baby brother. And now she’s gone. And she is greatly missed.
It saddens me that the “Greatest Generation” is slowly leaving us. These are the same people who survived a depression, fought in wars, returned to work in fields, mines, and assembly lines, women who raised the family and worked the farms. Through it all, some things remained sacred. God. Family. Country.
I’m glad they instilled these sacred values in us.