Thursday, June 28, 2012

Family Reunion Wrap Up

We had SUCH a fantastic family reunion!  I can't believe it's already over.  I got to visit with all my cousins and it was just incredible.  We had too much plenty of food.  The weather was warm, but not unbearable.  I am sad they've all gone home, but so thankful for the great memories we made.  And now, to answer your questions:

1.  So how many people did you actually have?  I was pretty busy, so I didn't count them, but my Aunt did, and she said 109 at my house on Saturday afternoon.

2.  Did you have plenty of pulled pork?   Oh my goodness.  We had WAY too much pulled pork.  So for future reference, you do not need to figure one pound of meat per person!  But that's OK.  I hear it "freezes beautifully" so we have lots of ziploc bags full of pulled pork in our freezer. 

3.  What was the highlight of the reunion at your house?  The hay ride.  Seriously, city people LOVE hay rides.  Never mind that it was very, very warm, they LOVED it.  And our cows are really pretty tame, so they came right up to the trailer.  You would have thought they'd never seen a cow. Then again, most of them live pretty far from a cow. 

4.  So where is your next reunion?  Estes Park, Colorado 2014!!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Family Reunion Countdown

I am getting ready to host a get together this weekend as part of my family reunion.  Long-time readers of Down On The Farm know that my dad's family has a huge family reunion every other year.  Well, the big reunion is this weekend.

Since our family originated in Missouri, we have the reunion in Missouri frequently.  This will be the third time my husband and I have hosted a get together at our house.

I have mowed the yard and weed eated.  I have done some touch up painting outside.  I have cleaned house. My husband cleaned up the big shed behind our house.  I had big plans for all I was going to get done before everyone gets here.  Let me tell you that list is getting shorter by the hour.  Mainly because this is my busiest time of the year at work and I just can't be gone.  And the reunion is almost here. 

When I tell people about our big family reunions, I get lots of questions.  Here are the answers to some "frequently asked questions" about our family reunion:

1.  When did these family reunions begin?  Our first official reunion was here in Missouri in 1998.  Since then we have had reunions in 2000 (Las Vegas), 2002 (Biloxi, MS), 2004 (Missouri), 2006 (San Francisco), 2008 (Missouri), 2010 (Las Vegas), 2012 (Missouri). 

2.  Where did your family originate?  One of my cousins has done a fantastic job with our family tree.  He has traced our family back to Scotland.  My great great great grandfather, Alexander Graham, brought his family from Scotland to America  sometime between 1857 and 1859.  I have a picture of him and his wife.  Wanna SEE IT?  If you click on that link, you will see pictures of me, my dad, my grandma, her parents, her grandparents, and her great-grandparents Alexander and Gean Graham.  Pretty amazing, huh?

3.  So, just how many people will you have at your house this weekend?  Four years ago when we hosted a get together we had 129 people.  I will let you know next weekend how many we have this year. 

4.  How big is your house?  Calm down people . . . no WAY do I have room for 129 people inside my very average sized house.  I live in a 1968 three bedroom brick rancher.  But, remember, I do live on a farm which means I have lots of room for everybody to park, and a big yard for everybody to sit in.  Our family is very casual, very easy going, and very talented.  They can all eat while balancing a paper plate on their lap!!! 

5.  How do you cook for that many people?  I don't.  No way no how.  We serve the "entree" and drinks.  In the past we have had fried crappie for everyone.  This year we are doing pulled pork sandwiches and I'm making a huge batch of slaw.  My husband will be smoking the meat on Thursday.  And everybody that comes brings a side dish or a dessert . . . and lawn chairs.  We will have bottled water and tea to drink.  It really is a group effort.

6.  So, how many pounds of pulled pork does is take to feed 129 people?  Don't know.  But we ordered 100 pounds of pork butt so I sure hope that's enough!

7.  So just how big is your family?  Pretty big if you ask me.  Our family reunion consists of the offspring of my great grandparents, Ed and Myrtle Graham.  Grandpa Ed was the grandson of Alexander Graham, the man who brought his family to America from Scotland.  Ed and Myrtle had 11 children.  Only two are still living.  My grandma, the second oldest, and she is 98.  She has one sister still living.  She is 90 and lives in Las Vegas.  My grandma will definitely be there this weekend, but her sister had a stroke last year and can't make the trip.  Those 11 children had 35 children.  So, my dad is one of those 35 grandchildren.  And get this, as impossible as it is to believe, I know all but one of those 35 grandchildren, my dad's first cousins.  Those 35 grandchildren had 65 great-grandchildren.  That's where I come in.  I am the 8th born of the 65 great-grandchildren.  Frankly I can't tell you how many great great grandchildren there are.  I plan to get with some of the cousins and try to put that together.  I'll let you know what we come up with.

8.  Wow, that sounds like an awful lot of work.  Yep, sure is.  We've been working on the house and the yard for a couple of weeks, and now we are down to the final preparations.  Mowing the yard one more time.  A final house cleaning on Saturday morning (they will eat at my house on Saturday at 5 p.m.).  Smoking the pork on Thursday.  But I can tell you that being a part of such an amazing family, and truly KNOWING them is a blessing beyond measure.  And while I'll admit to being a tad bit stressed out right now, hugging the necks of people I only see every two years is absolutely worth every second.  And I'm not the ONLY one working hard.  My cousin and his wife are hosting a small get together at their house thursday evening for those who are here, AND they also host the first official night of the reunion at their house on Friday night.  So they are REALLY being gracious this year.  And Sunday, the final day of the reunion, will be held at Redfield Golf Course in the big town of Eugene, Missouri.  That dinner is catered.

So there you have it, the low down on our up coming family reunion.  It's gonna be a busy weekend.  Filled with lots of hugs and laughter.  A few tears, too.  Tears of joy at seeing everyone again, and tears of sadness for all those family members we've lost.  Catching up on all that has gone on since we've seen each other last.  And eating.  There'll be LOTS and LOTS of EATING!

Monday, June 11, 2012