So last weekend was my big gigantic family reunion. When I say big I mean the original members of the reunion were my grandmother’s cousins. They were Mormons who congregated in a little colony of Mormons in the deep South. They had a lot of kids. My great-grandmother was one of 16, she had 13, my grandmother had 6, mom had 4, I have 2. Evidently the trick to not having so many kids is having access to birth control, but I digress.
The point is that if you start with a family of 16 and keep the reunion going long enough that the great-grandchildren are planning it, well, it’s a big reunion.
Southern Redneck is where this arm of my family tree has it’s roots. I don’t mean that in a critical way at all. I love it. I wouldn’t want to live the lifestyle, but it’s fun to take the kids for a weekend and observe it for three days.
Friday night there was sack races, tug-of-war, water balloon fights and fireball.
Fireball?Oh it’s where they soak 100% cotton twine in kerosene for two or three weeks and then light it on fire and play catch in a pasture. I shit you not. It’s a tradition that has been taking place back since my grandmother was a girl. I teach my kids NOT to play with fire, but that appears to be a special quirk of my own. I’ve even seen them do it during a drought year in a dry pasture. Yes, you could get burned, but if you get rid of the ball fast enough you’re not likely to do anything worse than burn the hair off your hand or go through a layer or two of palm skin.
Saturday we have a massive pot luck with a couple hundred people we call “cousins” and a dance. Yes, really a dance. Some years we have a DJ and gather round for the chicken dance or the hoky poky and some years we hire a cover band. My kids LOVE this dance. When else do they have the opportunity to go to a dance? Never. They always have the best time – and so do I, I love to dance. My husband sucks it up. My grandma stays because I’m her ride.
Sunday we honor an ancestor with a memorial at the grave-site. This year was my great-grandmother Sarah. I named my daughter after her so it was fantastic to take her to hear all about the woman she was named for. I love to instill in my children as sense of coming from somewhere special, unique and important.
Tomorrow we’re heading West to the coal miner mountain people branch of my family tree. We’ll be staying with my dad’s parents and then on to my parents for a week.
I borrowed my father-in-law’s laptop so I’ll still be posting – maybe a little more sporadically. But, you’ll cut me some slack right?