‘Not a perfect family but it is yours.’
Holidays are a time of gatherings. Families large and small sharing food, laughter and stories of times past and present.
I come from a fairly large family. My mother is one of eleven children, three boys and eight girls. There are twenty-eight plus cousins just in my generation.
When my Grandmother was living it seemed that at least once a month we gathered at her house, be it for Holidays, Birthdays, Wedding and/or Baby Showers. Church on Sunday mornings and dinner by noon. Forty plus family members each month with food, games and lots of laughter.
At some point in time Grandma had a 3 car garage added onto the house with a storage room built on for housing holiday decorations, 8-10 tables and rows of chairs. We had out grown the house years before, so much so that that the families had to rotate an in and out system during visits.
Grandma has been gone for about15 years now. After her death the gatherings stopped. You know ‘for this reason and that reason’. A few times we did manage to gather for a Christmas or two. Those that were able to come had a great time visiting.
We are still blessed to have the Labor Day Celebration. It has grown into a celebration of two great families that are able to still gather for a great time.
As youngins we looked forward to the gathering at my Aunt and Uncles farm for the Labor Day Reunion. It was a full day of adventure from 11 AM – 11PM.
The food was awesome. The reunion was ‘pitch-in’ style. Which meant everyone brought a dish, consisting of dishes of fresh cut garden veggies from the garden and pasta salads, an array of casserole dishes of beans, homemade mac and cheese, barbeque meats, cheesy potatoes, and many desert dishes of cakes, pies, brownies and maybe some no bake cookies that my mom made. My Aunt, the hostess of this gathering, always made a large bowl of potato salad using my uncle’s family recipe.
Our family has quite a few hunters and fishermen in it. There would always be hotdogs, bratwurst, beef and venison burgers on the grill as well as fish cooking in the fryer. If you went away hungry it was no ones fault but your own.
There was so much food, volley ball game in the backyard, a full on baseball game in the field across the road from the house, Cornhole Tournament, music and (2) 5 mile hay rides. We rode in one of the two wagons.
Each wagon was lined with rows of straw covered with sheets and blankets. We would joyfully load on to the wagons with my Uncle driving the tractor and my Aunt by his side traveling along talking, laughing and waving to those we passed along the route.
Whenever I drive out that way, I take a drive past the farm. It is still there. I spend time remembering all those countless adventures. I can not count how many hayrides I have been on over the years (I always rode both times). I have been blessed to share these experiences with my children and a few of my grandchildren.
Does your family have gatherings? What is your favorite Gathering story? Everyone has at least one.
Life is often to short. Tell someone how grateful you are to have them in your life.