Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Reunions

Family Reunions

Here in the South (you'll notice that the South is capitalized due to her importance) while we may not have a monopoly on Family Reunions, we certainly make a big deal of them.  I've often thought it was because of all the Scots/Irish bloodlines in our history that makes it so important.  Our family clans feel the need to get together and touch base on what everyone is doing, who they've married (thus bringing in new blood into the clan) and to ramble through the Family Cemetary to speak to all our forefathers and foremothers, let them know we're still here and they still matter.  I've had a fascination with our family cemetary since I've had recallable memory. WHen I was a child I liked nothing better than to ramble through the graves and listen as my Grandmother told me the history of those who rested here. 
 This past October 15th, not only did Mac and I celebrate our 43rd wedding annivesary, we attended the Douglas Family Reunion along with younger son Michael and wife Anna.  Most importantly, our Grand Daughter, Arianna, was attending her first ever reunion of our family.  Dinner, which is always wonderful and no one goes away hungry from these things, was followed by the adult family members recalling reunions past at Big Granny Douglas's wonderful home on Douglas Ranch Road.  We've held them at the Church for a number of years now, but they always included the trek to the Douglas Family Cemetary even back then.  I saw that Arianna and some of the younger cousins had made their way to the cemetary, so I joined them.  Arianna was standing at her Grandmother Grace's (Douglas Valverde) gravesite and asked who else she was related to (and who now resided )in this wooded glen.  I pointed out her Great and Great Great Grandparents, her great great Aunts and Uncles, cousins and all the other relatives she would never know except by the stories we could tell her.  I've never found our family cemetary to be spooky in the least.  It's simply a place where the sleeping lie in another dimension, listening for voices in another room.  I look forward to seeing all the family members as they take their younger generations through and point out who lies where and share memories of their own past with these family members of yesterday.  Yes, we certainly make a big deal of our Family Reunions...and it's not always about the food.


i beati said...

I always was captivated by seeing so much of my bloodline in one place- ours is in Pa the Scots-British Swiss part.

Vee said...

Well howdy, Stranger from the South! This is your dear bud from the Northeast who is delighted to find you here discussing graveyards and family reunions.

Happy Belated Anniversary to you and Mac! Glad to hear that it was so much fun for you both.

Don't be gone too long this time. You are terribly missed. I know that Facebook has its charms, but... Well you know.

Love you! If I don't get back this way before Thanksgiving, a blessed one to you and yours.

Maggie May said...

Glad to see you back and thank you so much for the prayers. I am so grateful and prayers are powerful.

There is nothing like wandering round a family graveyard and the family reunions are really important. I like doing both these things too.
Keep well.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

larkswing said...

That sounds like a fun time shared with your granddaughter!

Congratualtions on 43 years!! That is so wonderful!


Pondside said...

You've brought to my mind the importance of a real memorial - to connect us with those who have gone before. I know that whenever my daughter goes to the mainland she takes a detour, as we always did when she was a child, to the cemetery where her grandmother and great-great grandmother lie. I love your tradition too!

Hilary said...

What a wonderful family tradition. It's so important to keep ancestors alive in this way.. by passing along their stories to the next generations. Your family reunites in style!

Pam said...

congrats on your anniversary!

We use to have huge reunions at my grandparents farm when I was younger. My grandpa would hitch up the flatbed trailer and the ladies would lay out sheets and table cloths on it and this was where we had the buffet.

Jinksy said...

That makes genealogy much easier to research! LOL. My ancestors are scattered all over the place, and it took me days of research to get even as far back as a great-great, or two! Though we have had an occasional clan gathering - last time when my brother and family came form NZ, and all our Birmingham relations trekked to Portsmouth. That was a good day! ♥

ds said...

I'm not from the South, but we hosted a Family Reunion every year--my grandmother's cousins and their families, from everywhere (they came because of my great-grandmother, one of the few surviving original "siblings" of the clan). Thanks for recalling the memories, which are never far away, thanks to the stories told and retold at those reunions. Wonderful to have a living connection to your genealogy!

Lynne said...

Hi Sandi, thank you for your wonderful comment.
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. The family get together sounds a great occasion.

Carver said...

Family reunions can be fun and it's interesting when it's a large extended family one.

bj said...

I thought I just left a comment but....where is it? I go again. :))

Good to hear from you...have you been MIA ?
Family reunions are wonderful. I've had more fun at them.
We didn't do one this year..all the older ones are gone now and the younger ones are so scattered...with the cost of gas, they felt they couldn't travel this yr. Maybe next yr will be better (I can't get much worse) and we can do our reunion again.
Happy Anniversary. :)

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Hi Sandi!
So nice t osee you pop up on my blog comments! First...Happy Anniversary!!!!! 43 year is quite the accomplishment.

I have not been to a family reunion in years. When my parents were alive and our kids were all young, my 4 sisters, parents and all of our 12 childrens used to meet every couple of years. I still see everyone, but here and there and not as often.

Lee said...

That's a lovel post, Sandi! The few family reunions I recall tended to happen around Christmas or summer vacation when the parents needed a break from the kids needing constant attention. So they would take us to my paternal grandparents house and the kids would all play with each other, the grandparents, and each other's parents. Fun times.


SandyCarlson said...

The South is magical and wonderful. And warm in many ways. I am glad you all enjoyed that reunion. That must be great. My family has gotten so small, when we get together for coffee, it's a family reunion. You touch my heart.

Happy anniversary, too!

Candy said...

Always good to see a familiar face...welcome back. I love the history of family reunions, cemetery searches, and the food, well that is just a bonus. Congrats on 43 years!
Blessings ;-)

Love Bears All Things said...

Just another tradition to pass one to our grandchildren....
We have reunions...I've been noticing that fewer of the next generation attend....Ours are usually just for the one meal....I've seen and heard about reunions which last for several days with activities each day.
Mama Bear

Jeni said...

The longer I follow you and read your posts, the more convinced I am that we have to be blood relatives somewhere along the line! My Dad's family has a big reunion maybe every five years or so now but it is "populated" primarily with offspring from my oldest uncle -most of whom I don't know at all but I wish I did, would like to get to know them better. My Mom's family held a reunion every year for 55 years and about 5 years ago, it had come to a point where so few attended -down from 80 plus people to a meager 16-18, same old folks, the last 2-3 years so we discontinued having it. Trust me when I tell you I was crushed, very depressed at its demise! I loved that annual event every bit as much as I love Christmas and Thanksgiving! Visiting the cemeteries, sharing memories through stories and photos, family tree research and of course, the great foods we enjoyed at these pot luck celebrations -all are now part of my good memories of my lifetime. I wanted very much for my kids and grandkids especially to know as many of their extended family members as possible and now, looks like arranging that in their lives is gonna take a whole lot of work to achieve!
Glad you were able to do the reunion thing and here's hoping your clan keeps it going!

NeereAnDear said...

Hey ... that was a surprise ... I have had a lot going on ... its been a roller coaster lately along with some health issues that took drs a year to figure out ... its under control to a point ... but been a rough go ... hope all is well with you


Wanda @ Just Vintage said...

I agree that Southern family reunions are something special. We do know how it's done, don't we? My families are growing further and further apart and it's so sad. I try to make sure my kids know their relatives or at least know of them. Unfortunately, most of our family reunions these days are funerals. Good food, getting to see people we haven't seen since the last funeral and inevitably the sentiment that "we don't need to wait until somebody else dies to get together" is repeated multiple times.

Akelamalu said...

I love family reunions. In fact we had one just last night for my Dad's 'Birthday/Celebration of Life'. He died recently and we couldn't have a funeral because he left his remains to science so we had a party instead - it was wonderful.

Sally said...

Love this post, Sandi. It's wonderful to see you here. We used to have huge family reunions also, but the ones who remain don't seem to be as interested. In fact, we actually had two each year. LOVED them!!

Happy belated anniversary to you and Mac. It's always nice to know of happy marriages. :)

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Dear Sandi, I was delighted to see you pop up this morning in my mailbox. I came by not too long ago and was dismayed to see you hadn't posted in a while. You do have one of the best written blogs around! Our holidays are all family reunions. There will be 20 something at my house Thursday and God blessing us with good weather I plan to set up several long tables outside. I am using old quilts as tablecloths. Lots of food and fun. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Sandi. xoxoxo

Gill - That British Woman said...

family history is so important. I will be doing a post about that hopefully some time this week.

Gill in Canada