Today was such a gorgeous day! The perfect day for a family reunion, even if it wasn't really our family. My grandparents have been friends with Herman & Anna Winkler and their family since forever and my mom was best friends with one of their daughters, Patty. So even though we aren't related, our families are like family.
Herman & Anna Winkler
The reunion was in Emlenton at the home of Erik & Carol Clevenger. Carol is the grand-daughter of Herman's brother - I think. I have a hard time keeping how people are related straight in my mind. It turns out that Erik went to Commodore Perry and graduated in 1987. His brother Earl was just a year ahead of me. It's funny that I went all the way to Emlenton and ran into a CP grad. On the way to their house, we passed by the place where my mom lived when she was a young girl. The house has fallen in and there are big trees grown up all around it. It's hard to even see the house from the road and it's not that far back. If you weren't looking for it, you probably wouldn't notice it there. We stopped so I could snap a few pics from the car. We also passed by the church where my parents got married - Nickleville Presbyterian Church. We didn't see it though because there were a bunch of houses in the way.
What once was home to my grandparents and mom.
The gathering of family.
One of the things that this reunion is known for is all the baked bread. They made 35 different loaves of bread and 6 pizzas. There was an assortment of homemade jams, jellies and peanut butter for spreading. Yummy! There was all kinds of food - burgers and dogs, salads, fruits, veggies, deviled eggs - just about everything you can think to bring to a picnic/cookout. There was also an amazing selection of desserts! I had strawberry pie and some sort of chocolate mousse/cake thing. SO GOOD!
After eating, one of the relatives broke out a mandolin and my dad got his guitar out. They led a sing-a-long for a little while before having the family meeting.
My parents doing what they love to do - sing & entertain.
Grandpa & Grandma
The kids had a wonderful time. Laural and some of the other girls picked blackberries to eat. Later, she got to climb a tree with the other kids. She was so thrilled. She actually has been asking me for weeks if she could climb a tree and today, she finally got to do it. She didn't get up too high - maybe about 6 or 7 feet - but she was up a tree. We also went to visit the chickens they had there.
Laural & the kids in the tree.
Checking out the chickens.
Micah just had a ball running around and playing in the sand. He would have liked to have a chance to get up that tree, too. At one point, a very cute little blond girl came over to "visit" with him. It was too cute. Steve took Micah for a walk so he could see the chickens too.
In the sandbox, kicking back with a drink and flirting with a little blond.
We stayed a little longer than I had hoped. Mom wanted us to leave when they did so we could stop by the Nickleville Presbyterian Church. We got out and looked around. I took a few pics of the church and also of the gravestones of some relatives, including my great-grandparents - my grandpa's parents. They both died before I was born.
There were a bunch of gravestones in the cemetary that were quite old. Some of the people were born in the 1700's! The earliest I saw was somebody born in 1788. I can hardly fathom that. I was standing above the remains of a person born 222 years ago. Wow.
Some of the really old grave stones.
Before we left, I took a couple pics of my parents standing in front of the church steps, just like they did on the day they were married nearly 40 years ago. I need to find and scan the photo from 40 years ago to compare.
Mom & Dad, at the church where they were wed, 40 years later.
As we drove home, I saw a Little Caesar's pizza place that advertised pizzas ready to go, so we stopped and got pizza to take home for dinner. Poor Steve had to get some sleep before heading out to work. I think the kids were wiped out too. They played for a while and I nearly fell asleep on the couch. I managed to stay awake and get them bathed. They were gloriously filthy from all the outside play. After they fell asleep and Steve left for work, I heard some booming, looked outside and saw fireworks going off. I forgot that they usually have fireworks at the end of the mini fair here every year. They were going off pretty much right behind our house and I was sure that it was going to wake the kids up since their window is open, but they must have been seriously tuckered out because they didn't seem to stir a bit.
What a long and wonderful and beautiful day! How awesome is God to bless us with such a wondrous day!