One of my earliest memories is Spending the weekend at my Aunt Elly's for family reunions. We lived next door to my great-grandmother and she would take me down a day early and all the women would gather in the kitchen, cooking, gossiping, all in the name of preparing for the 50 or so people that would come down on Friday night and stay through the weekend.
Aunt Elly lived in a small 2 bedroom frame house with a huge kitchen on the back and a bigger sun porch on the front. Her home was very simple and even though there was indoor plumbing ,the last and most recent modern addition to her home, there was also an outhouse.
My favorite thing to do was lay under the large claw foot table in her kitchen while the cooking and laughing commenced over my head.
That night I would curl up with my grandma in a soft feather bed with lots of feather pillows and giggle all the while her laughing and softly patting me on the leg to calm me into sleeping. I would roll over and grasp her earlobe between my fingers and drift off into perfect sleep.
The next day as family members would drift in, playmates would be added to the group one by one.
We chased chickens.
We fed the horses.
We made mud pies.
Adam would cry because he got dirty. Jack would cry after we made him sample the pie.
It was worth standing in the corner.
All eleven times.
Food was plenty. Even if the chickens were prepared from start to finish RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
Love was abundant.
My first glimpse of the fibers that knitted together who and what made me.
This weekend we will travel to a family reunion.
The location will be different.
I will be one of the women in the kitchen.
My children will be making the pies and standing in the corner.
Some of the same people will be there and some will be looking down from above.
But the thing that won't change?