Family reunions; that quintessential mixture of love, laughter and loss. Relatives hold forth with the same verbal sparring that they’ve mastered over the years, but now there’s more gray heads than sparkling eyes in the mix. Hugs encompass the shoulders of loved ones present and accounted for, making the black hole of deceased family members all the more obvious and heartbreaking. Oldsters catch-up with each other while youngsters ask “Who are you?” “Whose your Mom/Dad?” before adjourning outside to toss a football as if they’ve known each other forever. Old memories are shared and new ones made as long lost kin reminisce and new babies are introduced to strangers whose genes they share.
Saturday was the first reunion in years of The Curnutt Clan, my Mom’s family. It was hosted by my Cousin Danny at CR Mechanical (his company) in Tanner, with Danny furnishing hotdogs and hamburgers and the rest of the relatives bringing covered dishes. Of course there was an overabundance of food; 2 tables groaned beneath the weight of casseroles and desserts of every kind (ain’t it always that way at reunions!) All the cooks urged everyone to “Try some of this, I brought it!” as paper plates were filled to overflowing and frost-bitten hands dug into coolers searching for the beverage of choice. Several cameras snapped at odd times, capturing candid photos of bulging cheeks and wide open mouths with food being shoveled in for all prosperity. I can see my grandson years from now asking “Who’s the old man with half a hotdog hanging out of his mouth?”
One of my cousins walked by, patted me on the tummy and asked “Getting kinda fat, aren’t ya?” Later I told my sister Donna that our sisters and kids were the biggest bunch at the reunion (meaning there were more of us) and she replied “Yeah, in more ways than one” and it’s true. Most of Mom’s relatives are on the slender side while we Waters Women take after our Dad’s family (a much sturdier stock). Kinda funny when you consider the fact that my Grandmother Curnutt was known to all as “Big Mother”.
The reunion was held just down the road from the old Curnutt home which had been condemned and is being torn down. Of course everyone had to go look and recall stories about our growing up in and around the ancient two story house. When we were kids it seemed gigantic, but as adults it’s hard figure out how the heck they got so much furniture in the tiny rooms. Donna got several hand-made cinder bricks from the old fireplace as mementoes, but I prefer my memories to solid objects which will only catch dust. You can take memories out and play with them whenever you want and they don’t take up space in my already cluttered life.
After all, aren’t good memories kept bright and shiny from constant use the best tribute that you can give a loved one, whither they’re alive or deceased? To all my family, I love y’all and I’m proud to be a part of the clan. I hope you feel the same way about me.
A special thanks to Cousin Danny for the use of his time and business place. Love Ya.
PS: The computer censer at work has blocked this website and any other with the term "blogspot" in the address, so I don't have as much time to visit my blogbuddies. Sorry for not getting around to everyone as much as usual