Family, Food, and Firewood
It is always good to get together with family. I often think of a family reunion as a houseful of people all talking at the same time, lots of food, and tons of laughter. This year was a bit different.
I chose the date for the reunion at my house because my sweet cousin, Crystal would be in town. She lives in Naples, Florida. Crystal was in Ohio for her niece’s wedding…and before you ask, yes, her home in Naples was untouched by Hurricane Ian. That’s a praise.
As the week for the gathering at my house neared, I heard from various cousins about conflicts with the date or received those “try to get there” messages. In the end, of the dozen or so cousins I have on my father’s side of the family, four of us put our feet under my dining room table. Four cousins, Julie’s husband, Keith and my mom… Six of us all together. Then my daughter, Kendall and her two little girls showed up.
It was perfect.
Crystal, Julie, and my mom brought food. Kendall brought marshmallows to roast. I supplied hotdogs, buns, and drinks. My cousin John arrived with a truckload of firewood.
We shared stories and memories. We chuckled and shook our heads at our own silliness. We laughed at the story of Aunt Maxine finally getting her drivers license at age eighty-eight…after years of driving without one. A lot of stories started with “Remember when…”
While we were still sitting at the table, Julie and Keith’s daughter sent pictures from her honeymoon in Jamaica. Tara swimming with dolphins; Tara holding what looked like an iguana. Tara and Brandon creating their own new family memories.
We never did get out to the fire pit. We didn’t roast a single marshmallow. We didn’t make one s’more.
After the others headed home, my cousin John and I took a walk in the neighborhood. We were walking the streets where our grandfather’s cows once roamed over a rolling field and through what my grandmother called “the big woods.” We talked about the old farm and the newer neighborhood. It was as much as story of the fields and woods as it was how the landscape of our lives changes over time.
Old memories shared and new memories being made.
Before he left, John and I stacked the firewood he brought. It will serve me well this winter. The fire will warm my house, but it’s the memories of those I love that warms my heart.