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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Went to My Family Reunion


And, no one else was there. Bummer. I know that there is a reunion on the third Sunday in September.....always....for ages...."just come." That is what my mother's cousin said last time I went which was four years ago.

As it turns out, cousin M died. Her sister died five years ago, and the other sister never comes. So, as someone  told me, "Everyone died." Well, there were 30 or so people last time I was there. More on this later.

We drove 170 miles from 8:45 to 11:45. Well, I drove. Exbf came with me. He never wanted to come after he did not want to date me. I was so sad and asked him to go, pleeeease. He agreed to. He put gas in my car and air in the tires on Sunday morning.

all my relatives are buried here but not my parents

I prepared to eat/snack in the car as we drove--Coke for me, Pepsi for him; pimiento and cheese sandwich for me, pb sandwich for him (both on whole wheat bread; Frito Lay pb crackers for both; banana for me, apple for the both of us (he hates bananas); bottle of water for each, refilled at my faucet and refrigerated the night before; a bowl of grapes to share. So, we are set.

Since I did not want to bake and did not want to carry a dish that far and did not want to buy something to take, I took a bowl of grapes--about 4 pounds. Grapes of all kinds were $0.99/lb this last week, so I carried white grapes and purple/black grapes, both seedless. I did that once before and it was a hit as people waited for dinner to begin, during the talking/visiting part of the reunion.

As soon as I saw the empty churchyard, I just knew something was wrong. I am very astute. I took a couple of pictures, laughed at the predicament and we left. This was a long, long drive back into the countryside. The drive out of the countryside was going to be long, too. As we left and were going to make another left a few miles from the church, I saw a church up the road to the right and drove there since there were a few cars.

In the parking lot a guy leaving said he drove 30 miles to church each week, so knew no one, and took me inside. He interrupted a meeting with the preacher and two other people. The minister knew the grand-daughter of my cousin M AND her phone number that he had not dialed in 20 years. A postal carrier was the other man at the meeting--good source of information.

I talked to her and then, to my dismay, I learned cousin M had died in June. The grand-daughter told me "they all died." Somehow, they don't have the concept that a family reunion continues even after the 90-year-old people die. There were people there in their seventies last time I was there! They really mean that generation is gone. So, now, I have my cousin Linda's phone number.

Someone, maybe slugmama can tell me how this works and the exact term for our relationships.
My g-grandfather (and Mama's grandfather) is the brother of M's grandfather. (Mama and M shared a g-grandfather.) Actually, this was the Thomas Crouse side; I am on the Eli Crouse side. Cousin M said she and my mother were cousins. Their grandfathers were brothers. So, were they second cousins? What is my term the relation of cousin M? What is it for her daughter, Linda, and Linda's daughter to me?

No wonder no one answered at cousin M's house! I had been calling for about two months. I was sad because I figured something happened, hoping it was just a nursing home. However, since Linda lived there, too, I hoped she would answer the call. Cousin M had said over and over, "Just come because we will always be having it the same time every year" So I did. They didn't.

The preacher gave us Coke over ice--refreshing. He tried to give us doughnuts and asked about our salvation and insisted on praying over us.

The drive home was more leisurely. I drove the speed limit on the way over. Exbf was in charge of telling me when the speed limit changed so I would not speed and would always stay up to the limit to make good time. I drove much slower on the way back when we were off the four-lane, divided highway.

On the way home, Exbf showed me the interesting things he had pointed out on the way over, things I did not see because of his not telling me fast enough for me to look as I drove. .

                                   
                                      I suppose we can all imagine how this road was named.


He is handing me mine.
 
Okay. the waffle cone is not as large as it looks in comparison with his little cup of ice cream. Since I was driving, I had to have a cone. The regular cone was so tiny that I just ordered the larger waffle cone, and it really was large. That woman kept skimming off cream and stuffing it into the cone. If she had gotten solid scoops, I would have gotten half as much ice cream. My cone would have been an $8 cone in the mall with half as much ice cream. My cone cost $2.79. It was delicious. I had to eat it quickly because the woman cracked the cone about three inches down the side, and ice cream was seeping from the gash. The cone was full of still-firm cream to within an inch and a half of the bottom. Of course, I got the cone to eat when the most treacherous part of the journey was coming up. It's scary to drive up hills and down into hollows while also going around curves with no shoulder AND holding a cone in one hand.
 

my find and featured in yesterday's post
Confederate Rose
 
 
That was a 340 mile drive in the country from Alabama to Mississippi and back. Okay, we drove on a 4-lane, divided highway part of the time. Part of the trip was on just a four-lane with access to businesses. Most of the trip was on two-lane roads with nothing but trees. Even the state highway was solidly enclosed in trees. We were amazed because the state highway was lined with evergreen trees planted so thickly.

We both were astounded at no reunion. I was disappointed, but as you can see it was a beautiful, brilliant day with only the high wispy clouds and a light breeze where there was wind at all. Neither of us were upset. We had lots of conversation about things we have never talked about and laughed at our stories. We arrived back here about 3:45 and he had a 65 mile drive to his house.
 
Oh, I forgot. We left here with no directions. I had been here three times with someone else driving. All directions had been tossed since I wrote them on a scrap that was discarded after each trip. When we were at one point looking for the road to the church, I told exbf that I knew this was as far as I had gone before, so it was about time to find someone or turn around. Within a half mile, I saw the road. Mostly, I have pretty good feeling for distance and when I am off track. It worked out. But, now I am putting a file of directions on my computer and making a notebook of hard copies!
 
Your turn
Have you ever gone to a reunion that did not happen? Any occasion that was just not going to happen? 

17 comments:

  1. What a shame there was no-one there but it sounds like you had a good time anyway. And you got icecream! The exbf sounds like a good friend to have.

    Barb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barb,
      Ice cream does make everything better. He is a good friend!

      Delete
  2. How sad that no one chose to continue the family reunion. I'm glad the drive was nice. My family doesn't do reunions. There are some family members that create drama, so others won't come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J and M,
      I don't understand drama at occasions. My family did not do drama on occasions with the rest of the family members. As far as I know, they left the squabbles at home. You are missing some nice memories.

      Delete
  3. Our family needs to plan another reunion. It has almost been 5 years now since the last one.

    Lisa @ Cents To Save

    ReplyDelete
  4. To figure consanguinity you need to go back to the generation with the common ancestor, the ancestor you and M both share, which is your GGG Grandfather and her GG Grandfather.
    This makes M and you 2nd cousins once removed, because you are in different generations....your Mom, being in the same generation as M makes them 2nd cousins. As a result, M's daughter and you are 3rd cousins(as you are in the same generation of the family line).
    Here's a chart to help....http://www.uh.edu/~jbutler/gean/consangu.html

    It's a shame that the reunion has stopped.
    I am suppose to be going to my maternal grandmother's family reunion in a couple of weeks if my foot is well enough to let me travel. My grandmother's brother is the last of that generation now but he prolly won't see another year so I suspect that reunion may stop happening after this year, so I really want to go to this one. 8-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. slugmama,
      Thanks. I have heard that before, but unless I think of it often or just commit it to memory, the information gets fuzzy in my head.

      My ex's family has a Cousins Picnic every other year in the same park at the same time every year. I think they have it rented in perpetuity. Two generations have died since they started it. Some people only come once in five years. Others are steady and come every time it is held.

      I hope you are better by then just because. Then, you can go to the reunion.

      Thanks for the resource and information.

      Delete
  5. Because my family all lived within 3 miles of each other all our lives, no reunions were necessary. Thank gawd. (since I don't travel well) I do believe I was blessed in that situation.

    When the old soldiers (Matriarchs) die, the ones bringing up the rear are younger with lives of their own elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cousin M remarked to me that "all these are at my house every Sunday" as she gestured to several women my age and younger women with children and spouses. She said, "I don't need a reunion" to see my family.

      Lots of people came up to me all three times, especially the first time and asked me how I was related. When they found out I was from Eli and not Thomas, they were sort of let down. M stepped in and said she told me to come. They all said that was great. She was the one who ruled the reunion.

      Maybe because M just died, her children did not want to continue this year. Amanda suggested that maybe next year. I still have not talked to Linda yet.

      It is good you lived so close with your traveling problem.

      Delete
  6. I've never been to a reunion, but we had only one that I know of. I was about eight months pregnant. We lived near Seattle. The reunion was in New Mexico. It wasn't a good time to travel, and I didn't want to go anyway.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie,
      That would be a long way to travel, even if you were not so far along. At least you had a good excuse.

      Delete
  7. I wish that our family would have a reunion. I have cousins that I LOVE but haven't seen in years. In fact as sad as it is to admit there are a couple who live very near me but that I haven't gotten together with since the last family funereal .... really? How sad is that? Facebook has been helpful in staying in touch but wouldn't it be so much more fun in person? SIGH...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Janet,
    That is sad.I had a friend who lived in a community where he had grown up and had loads of friends of the family and family within a quarter of a mile. Every fall my friend was so cheerful because "the funeral season has begun." He never saw these people except at funerals.

    Maybe you could organize a reunion in a park or community center or church. Yes, in person is more fun.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Everyone died in our extended family. The next family reunion we have is slated for Heaven. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane,
      I am glad you are looking forward to that.

      Delete
  10. My family is small and doesn't put together official reunions. I've been to one my whole life.

    ReplyDelete

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