Start a New Tradition-Family Reunions

randalls8 When I saw my cousins’ reunion picture on our family facebook page, I marveled and envied them for keeping the annual event alive. The Randall’s, Aunt Verna’s family, had eight siblings. Today, cousins and grandchildren abound, which must make for fun reunions.

Family gatherings were huge events when I was a child on the farm in Pennsylvania. Mom had four siblings and as children came along, the Mudge clan eventually numbered 22 cousins. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter and sometimes birthdays found us together either at grand picnics at our farm or at Aunt Verna’s huge house that could hold us all. But once a year, many more relatives met with us at either Hills Creek Lake or the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania for the Mudge reunion.

Grandpa’s second cousin Everett always attended the big spread with his big round tummy and his skinny wife, Mary. Sometimes Everett’s sister, Emma, came. She liked to eat too. Great Uncle John and Great Aunt Margaret drove from Scranton, which I thought had to be so far away since they didn’t come very often. But then there was Great Uncle Lee and Great Aunt Olive from California and Great Uncle Gerald and another Great Aunt Olive from Michigan. And of course, Great Aunt Florence, the door-to-door book sales lady who worked all over the United States. Anywhere she found a door, she sold books—The How and Why Library. I thought all the “greats” were so ancient; they were probably the age I am today.

And what great smorgasbords we had. Everyone brought their own specialty from potato salads to macaroni salads to hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken drumsticks. It seemed as though each family brought a watermelon, too.

If we met at Hills Creek Lake, we kids ate, went swimming, and returned to eat again. At the Grand Canyon, we ate, walked the Turkey Path to the bottom of the gorge, and then returned famished and ready to eat again. Potato and macaroni salads sat out in the sun all day, and we never once thought about getting sick on bad mayo.

Meanwhile, the adults sat and visited all afternoon. They told of the good and the bad that happened over the past year. They reminisced of bygone days remembering family members who had “passed on.”

The Mudge family reunion died off with the older generation. My 22 cousins grew up and moved to all parts of the world. We have randallsmorechildren of our own pulling us in so many directions. My grown children have never met some of their cousins. I’m glad the Randalls have kept this tradition alive at least for their family.

Perhaps some year the Mudge descendants can come together again and relive the joys of those old reunions.
As a child, did you enjoy a time of gathering with relatives? Do you today? Write about a time when your aunts, uncles, and cousins met to strengthen the bond of family. Would you like to begin an annual reunion tradition? It’s never too late.

Categories Legacy, Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: , , | Posted on July 19, 2014

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1 Comment

  1. by pat gonser

    On July 20, 2014

    What an impressive Page Judy! And you have published a book! Clearly you know what you are doing here. Again I thank you for helping us neophytes along. Looking forward the meeting with your son, although this may be a case of my not knowing enough to know what to ask. My blog “design” was set up by my daughter 4 years ago and I have never thought to change it. “Rip Van Amish Winkle” is my alter ego.

    Again, humbled by the sight of your site! pat

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