Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rainy Weekend For A Family Reunion

It's raining at Shady Hollow. The rain is a slow, gentle rain and is soaking into the soil as it falls. It has been raining for several days with short breaks between showers.

The cats are sleeping. They know how to handle inclement weather. Even Thomas, who would normally be outside, is inside sleeping. I have to venture out to put in a few hours at work and then make a quick trip by the grocery store on the way home. I'm not looking forward to either. The cats, I believe, have the right idea.

My youngest daughter has been planning a family reunion for months. It will be tomorrow. Part of my shopping will be for ingredients to make some of my children's favorite dishes. Tonight the cottage will smell of cooking as I prepare potato salad and deviled eggs. My daughters and daughter-in-law are making the majority of the food. It will be a feast to remember.

This will be a first reunion for this family. Over the past few years the only time the family has gotten together has been for funerals as the older generation passed from the scene. It is strange to realize that I am part of the older generation now. In fact, I'm second in line age wise.

I married into the family at 14 years old and divorced out of it at 38. I'm still 'part of the family' though and am proud that family love did not die when I divorced the eldest son. That was 19 years ago. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the couple we honor tomorrow are adults with babes of their own. The family has grown from 3 boys when I entered it to around 30 or more individuals. Those 3 boys and their wives are in middle-age and approaching their senior years. Where oh where did the time go?

So, it rains at Shady Hollow and I think melancholy thoughts of my younger days and remember Nellie and Andrew Steadman and the family they created. I think of their never ending love for all their children and our families. I remember their unselfishness and tolerance of our short-comings.

I know they will be looking through the rain and wishing us all well as we gather to honor them and remember them through our stories and memories. I hope they will be proud of who we are and what we have all become. I believe they will.

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