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Family Time….

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This weekend will be the 53rd Family Reunion for my mom’s family. It has always been held every year on the Sunday closest to July 17th in honour of my great grandparents Wedding Anniversary. They had 5 children….Olive, Alma, Barbara, Marion and the only boy, John….I’m not sure what order they were all born in….but these 5, their children, their children’s children, and  now their children’s children’s children are who make up the Reunion gang!

The reunion was always held at the Brooks’ farm, and it was a highlight of my summer for as long as I can remember! I couldn’t wait to get up at 6:00am and head off for the long drive to the farm, to see cousins that I hadn’t seen since the year before, to go to the church service and then rush back to the farm to be the first in line for the bathroom or a bedroom to change to go swimming in the Tobique River….freezing cold water with little fishies nibbling at your toes….then lining up for the food and sitting with the family at the long tables in the yard……ah memories!!

This is a really big event for my mom, as it was for her mom, my Grandmother, and I know she would love to have all of her children and grandchildren in attendance, but it doesn’t always work out for everyone to attend. Unfortunately I haven’t been to one for the last 11 years, not since moving to Ontario. 😦

Over the past few years the Reunion has grown to encompass the entire weekend. The two-day agenda for this year looks like this:

Saturday, July 16th, Meet and Greet at Plaster Rock Legion – that’s where all the hugs and kisses and comments on how much everyone has grown and changed take place…..not just about the kids….the adults tend to change shape too from one year to the next. 🙂 That’s right….I said it!

From 6:00pm – 8:00pm – Family Potluck… favourite memory for my 38 years of attending. Our family has some of the best cooks ever. I am assuming they still have the strawberry shortcake for dessert, which is one of the things that made the potluck lunch a favourite. My grandmother used to be  “in charge” of the shortcake. I remember wanting to get to the front of the line for the famous shortcake. Of course I was always very polite and didn’t butt in…..however I might have tried distracting people in front of me and sneaking ahead that way.

Between 8:00pm and 10:00pm they now have “entertainment” – I have to say I’m not sure what the entertainment consists of but I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there could very likely be some musical and magical entertainment and possibly some jokes and story telling time.

Sunday, July 17th, from 9:00am – 11:00am – Breakfast at the Arthurette Legion: Belgian waffles with maple syrup, fruit and whipped cream, scrambled eggs with ham and sausage, yogurt, juice, tea and coffee. Sounds delish!! Again, we are all about the food.

At 11:30 there will be the annual Sunday morning Church Service. The entire family squeezes themselves into the tiny church at Gladwyn, and it is usually stifling hot….the really smart family members generally sit near the back by the door for an escape from the heat. There is also a line up here to sign the Guest book….it’s always fun to look back at how your signature changed from the time you learned to write your name until you actually developed a signature, at least I always got a kick out of it. 🙂 It seems that the family organizers have decided that each of the 5 siblings families will have the service each year, beginning this year with the Pattersons, that would be my family. I assume they are starting with us because my grandmother was the oldest of the siblings? …..or maybe they just got the lucky draw?…. My parents and some of my nieces and nephews, and cousins will be taking different parts of the service, the music, the sermon, the offering, the children’s story etc. It’s always very entertaining and meaningful to see how it all comes together in the end and how much talent each family has. I’m actually lacking in the talent department, but I do enjoy seeing everyone else do their thing.

At 12:30pm, right after Church, there will be hugs and kisses and good-byes as everyone gets into their cars and heads for their homes….different communities, cities, provinces and possibly countries….to hopefully meet again next year with the, “It’s so good to see you, I can’t believe how much you have changed, and the kids are so much older and bigger now, and What? You have grandchildren now? Impossible!”

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So…. Happy Family Reunion Weekend to my Family!!! I hope you all have a great time!! 🙂 Enjoy each others company…..and the great food and entertainment!!!

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