Wednesday, June 1, 2011
three acres, four bedrooms and a barn
Okay. I can't help myself. I'm still basking in our weekend spent with the Cleveland/Truitt Clans. Forgive all the pictures. Anyone who has tried to plan a reunion of more than two people knows the logistic nightmare planning an event can be- especially if the folks whose schedules your trying to mesh are scattered among five states. But, we did it!
For three days, twenty-four people from ages two months to sixty-something co-habituated on three acres, four bedrooms and a barn. Josh Cleveland and Todd Truitt even treated us all to a concert they gave at the Harmony Cafe in Appleton on Saturday night. Other events and happenings: Bonfires, s'mores, canoe rides and paddle boat rides on the pond (even though the paddle wheel fell off in the middle of the pond at one point and we had to pull of a daring rescue of the Matt Clevelands with a canoe). A couple of tournaments of WCYC-style Washers, mini-hay rides with Papa's tractor, hours of jumping in the blow-up jumpy-house (no one over eight years old allowed); little girls playing dress up; little boys sword fighting. A basset hound and a bischon chasing each other's tail (which meant major poop-scooping duty); Lots of cooking and breaking of bread; Lots of plastic cups, soda pop and lemonade; Some of the big girls did some major shopping; A couple of doting grandmothers got to hug their grandkids or each other's grandkids any time we wanted, and a couple of Papas played with the same said grandkiddoes anytime a little one came and grabbed their hands and pulled them off their lawn chairs (which was often); And last but certainly not least, was the highly anticipated soccer match. You would have thought we were at the World Cup at the competitiveness demonstrated on our make-shift field, tiny goals and even tinier goal keepers.
There was also a lot of observing adult children being better parents than we were. Their tenderness and nurturing toward their young ones made me so very proud of them; Then there was a lot of laughter over silly games played way too late at night, such as Apple to Apples and Balderdash (Never will I forget Beuford and his BQ beach Bunnies- but, oh, how I wished I could!)
One of the highlights for me and Nana Truitt was sleeping down in the basement with four granddaughters. Judy and I still have it. Can to you believe we outlasted the little girls each night, and even talked until two a.m. our last night together like school girls. Of course we paid for it the next morning when we were forced to crawl out of our futon for breakfast.
But one of the most precious moments for me was Sunday morning as we all scurried around getting ready for church. All of our children were raised in church. When Judy and I were young mothers, there were many afternoons our children took their naps at the church building together if we had a bulletin board to create or a classroom to paint. We taught each other's children in Sunday school. Our traditions as friends began because of our faith. It has ripened over the years because of that same faith. By God's grace, certainly not our own doing, we were able to pass it along to our children, and now I see that my own sons and their wives, and Judy's children and their spouses have done the same. Church, worship, praise, prayer, and Sunday school is all a part of our fabric. The Sunday morning hunt for shoes, socks, Bibles, 'church toys', diaper bags, and pacifiers, all while downing a bowl of Cheerios, is now a tradition for a third generation. My heart overflowed as I watched the beautiful chaos around my kitchen island.
I don't know when the Truitts and Clevelands will do this again, who knows, maybe not until we meet at the Pearly Gates (who's bringing Balderdash?) But whenever and wherever the reunion will be, I have no doubt that it will take place on holy ground.
Thanks for allowing me to share. I love you guys,