Friday, August 31, 2012

Mom and Dad's 50th--and Other Family Business

Well, it kind of got overshadowed by the funeral, in my blogging life, but just the weekend before, we traveled to Ohio for a joyous celebration of my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary!

Forty-eight assorted relatives gathered from my mom's side of the family. (Dad has just one sister--she and her husband and son were unable to make it for health reasons.)   Mom had four siblings.  One just died suddenly from a heart attack, and we held a memorial service for him while we were all together. Her two sisters and one brother attended and brought most of their children and grandchildren!

My kids were delighted to meet cousins and second cousins and cousins-once-removed. We had a grand time sorting it all out!

Papa Rooster took a zillion candids on the farm, but I am having a terrible time choosing just a few for the blog. Do you see all the good-looking people in the photo above? And you already know what an excellent photographer my husband is!

So first I give you a couple formal shots. Papa Rooster tried to get each family group, but Pilot Brother's five children--6 and under--weren't having any of it.  They did well to keep their little ones seated and smiling for the above shot--they are the family seated in front, minus the teenage boy on the left.

But here's my Professor Brother and his family, from Kansas. Their oldest daughter reminds me a little bit of myself at her age.

Here we are. We managed to coordinate our clothing somewhat, without even planning it!

And here are the culprits--the ones who began this fine mess! Little did they know, fifty years ago, what they were beginning. Having just celebrated our 25th anniversary last year, it makes me excited to think about what the next 25 years most likely will bring!

It was wonderful to see family I hadn't seen in years--and to meet others for the first time! We are a far-flung group, hailing from California, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Wisconsin and of course Ohio, where we all started out. It's quite amazing that so many were able to come. It was an experience to go from this joyous family gathering to the funeral, less than a week later, and see another whole group of family to which we belong. I found myself noticing family traits, like noses or mouths, and mannerisms. Are those genetic? People who are hardly ever around each other can have such similarities!

While we were in Ohio, we got to meet my newest and only nephew!!  Pilot Brother has waited a long time for his boy.

He reminds me of my boys when they were babies--which hasn't happened before, with all nieces up to now!  One of the cool things about this birth is that now our somewhat rare family name will continue, God willing. He gave us all the boys, but we have a common last name. Wonder if he cares about such things as family names? A rose by any other name is still a rose, but I'd hate to lose the word rose.

We are so excited because Pilot Brother's family has announced that they are indeed going to do what they've been talking about doing!  They are moving to Ohio, as soon as they can pack up and get their house in Florida ready to put on the market. They will stay in the farmhouse that my grandparents used to live in, while they build a new home on the site of the oldest farmhouse on the family farm. They had hoped to restore it, but it's going to be impossible. Instead they will salvage what they can and have designed a house that will incorporate many of the same architectural features. (Look for it someday in BH&G!)

Here it is:

They're going to put a pony in that barn, and chickens in the henhouse (which has appeared in my header for years!).  Grandparents, aunt, uncle, 5 cousins, a pony, chickens...even more reasons to go visit the farm!

As if we didn't have so many already.  There are the ever-popular Toro Twister rides....

The tire swing and the climbing rope have been a backyard feature since I was a girl.

If you look way in the background of the above photo, you can see where we held our old-fashioned weiner roast.

Food was a main feature of our gathering, of course, and many of us spent a good bit of time working and chatting in the kitchen.  My cousin used to have his own catering business,and he smoked a brisket for us back in New Mexico and had it overnighted, frozen, ahead of time; he warmed and served it, along with coleslaw, beans and his famous banana pudding. He also invited us all to sample sausages made of elk, rattlesnake (both good!) and alligator (too fishy).

We played soccer...



...and manly games.

And thanks to my photographer cousin-once-removed (thank you!), we have a rare shot of the man behind the camera.

He's had a birthday, in the weeks that have ensued since these big events, and I've been so busy, and so little in the blogging mindset, that I didn't write him a post. Happy Belated Birthday, Papa Rooster! You bless our family--and extended family--and friends--so much with your photos, and all the time you spend editing and sharing them. And you work so hard and so faithfully to provide for us. And you lead our church...and our family...and do it all with humor and grace. And struggle to do it all well, I know--but remember, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly!" as G. K. Chesterton said. You do so much that is worth doing, and God sees--and rewards. We love you.

We love you too, Mom and Dad! Thanks so much for hosting us all, and for hanging in there for fifty years, and for your part in creating and bringing together this fine mess of a family! By God's grace, every one of the 48 gathered knows the Lord. What a heritage--one I pray will be true of our brood in 25 years!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jeanne, Beautifully written! Still basking in the remembrances of the fun....Mom