Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Reunion I

Cheryl and Pete (Cheryl's dad Jay was son of Looman, one of Frankie and Johnny's 9 sons) in the center welcoming the mob to their farm, with the hay wagon loaded with food. My favorite dish was fruit pizza. Yum.

Every year at the end of June, Don's father's family relations get together for an afternoon at Cheryl and Pete's farm in eastern Michigan. We were there yesterday with 100 people, including distant cousins. These are all descendants of Frankie and Johnny, Don's father's grandparents. Frankie and Johnny had nine sons, including Don's grandpa "Guy." One interesting thing is that Grandpa Guy (who died the first year Don and I were married: 1978), born in 1898, was 6' 5" tall. His sons were tall, but shorter than he. Don's dad is 6'2". Don is 6'. I find it strange and interesting that these men have gotten shorter by generation, which is the opposite of the norm. Our son Peter is 6'1", I believe.

Rob and company letting off balloons for his father (one of Guy's sons), who died last year. This was the first reunion without Uncle Bob, whose favorite color was red.

Peter, son of Cheryl and Pete (not our son Peter, who wasn't there yesterday, nor was our Lesley, who's in NYC) with daughter Lily, asleep to the mob. Peter teaches outdoor subjects at a local grade school, promoting youth ecology, schoolyard lunch gardens, and Native American growing projects for kids. I could have listened to him all day. He lives in a house made of hay. I'm serious. Here is a sample of what he does to promote ecology.

I don't know this little one's name. A distant cousin.

I know their names: Katie and Barb. This is Don's sister Barb who came from Tennessee for a week, and her granddaughter Katie. Katie was swimming in the pond.

Don't know their names

I know his name: Don posed for me on Pete's stone chair. Pete has a landscaping business, and he builds these stone chairs, which are surprisingly comfortable. And they bounce. You can see some of Cheryl's lilies, which grow all over the farm. Oh, I just realized, Cheryl loves lilies, and her baby granddaughter is named Lily!

Next week for the 4th of July we'll do the same with my family - Family Reunion II - but in that case I'm in the "older" generation and the cousins are not distant. I'm guessing there might be 30 people off and on over the course of 5 days at our family cottage.

Don and I come from big families. He's one of six children, I'm one of eight. Sometimes we complain that we are too busy with family activities, especially in the summer. But as Cheryl said yesterday, we're so fortunate to have lots of family members, because some people have no one.


Rauf said...

Except for weddings and funerals there are no family reunions here.
they are forced to invite me hoping for some pictures otherwise my family does not tolerate me. i am a pain and i am trouble. i am an embarasment to them, as i am always shabbily dressed.. My mother's side is delighted to have me, most of them down to earth people and i am comfortable with them. But i look for trouble on my father's side, i am rude and arrogant

'your son looks like a certified moron, what do you feed him ? green or dried grass ?

who will tolerate me Ruth, tell me.

Rauf said...

Thanks for the clock Ruth

Ruth said...

rauf, your friends around the world "tolerate" you, and a few friends in India too. Because you are a "gadfly" you'll always encounter resistance. People can't be ignorant or shallow or use wrong thinking around you. They can't relax and be stupid like they can with each other.

Those of us who are trying to live with integrity look to you as our role model. There is much more than "tolerance" in that.

You're welcome for the clock. Do you like the one I picked?

Rauf said...

The clock is fine Ruth contrasting colour stands out.

lesleyanne said...

so wonderful. glad i could be a part of this via blogworld.
katie is so big! how adorable she is.

Anonymous said...

Ruth, it's nice to see Don's family. I assume that Don must've come from good folks, but this confirms it.

Ruth said...

Lesley, Katie is adorable and very smart. I'm quite impressed with her and her brother. I wish you could have been with us.

Ruth said...

Heather, I love these people. We always say when we leave Cheryl and Pete that we should get together more than once a year, and then we don't. We're determined to do it this fall. Thank you for the compliment to Don. You're right, of course.

Ginnie said...

I had no idea Don's family was THAT big, Ruth! How fun to have TWO big families represented!

We are almost finished packing the van at Amy's and then we'll be on the OUR big reunion with YOU! HURRAY!

Rauf said...

Hope you are Enjoying 4th of July Ruth, any fireworks in East Lansing ?

Ruth said...

rauf, I'm sure there were fireworks last night in EL, and there were some here at the lake last night. But we're setting ours off Friday night. Any fireworks in Chennai? :D

Rauf said...

i have to wait till October for Diwali Ruth. Or for some local politician to win some election. Actually when these politicians come for election campaign they don't come silently. They make big noise. Crackers are fired to let people know that he has come. There is band playing absurd film songs at their loudest. i think India should be the noisiest place in the world, specially during election campaign. Fireworks during festivals are getting less and less, people have realised that it is waste of money, they buy some useful things instead. Evolution, people are lot more sensible now. There is no evolution for our politicians.

sex said...