Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grandpa And The Greats

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When my grandpa was a little boy, his family would spend Independence Day in a mountain meadow near their ranch. No one can recall the exact year that the tradition began, but since the family settled on the ranch in 1914, we know that six generations have been retreating to that cool, quiet mountainside on July 4.

While Grandpa's siblings rarely make it back for the celebration, Grandpa and his descendants gather faithfully to feast on fried chicken, watermelon, and homemade ice cream. The faces of the crowd have changed a bit since 1914, but the menu and a few of the names have not. This year, for example, three people in attendance answer to the name James Robertson.


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This year our kids climbed the same rocks that my cousins and I climbed at their age.

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They roasted marshmallows over the same fire pit we've been using since long before they were born. (Their moms pretended not to notice the filthy hands with which they ate them.)

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On the eve of his 87th birthday, my grandpa gathered his family around him to celebrate freedom, tradition, family, and heritage. All of his children and his grandchildren were there.

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But only when the "greats" surrounded him for a photo did his smile show how much the moment meant to him. With number 15 snuggled in his lap, his day was complete.

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

That is so cool. Those are wonderful memories your kids are gonna have. Glad you had a great fourth.

Dawn said...

What an awesome tradition! It would be fun to frame a similar picture from your generation alongside the one of your kids and cousins, if you have it. Glad you had such a good fourth!

Blessings!

mommymommyland said...

That is so great! To have a tradition so long standing, and to have the whole family get together once a year is simply unheard of in most places of america today.

Aunt B said...

I love it....I just love family traditions. I may not personally know any of you but my heart wells ups with emotion and happiness for your bunch. I hope this is a tradition that lingers on for many more generations. A family that prays together stays together.

Pony Girl said...

Wow, what a neat story and family tradition! I love that last photo! To have that many greats! It must have been so meaningful and sounded like a yummy, funny 4th!
Our family has a reunion on my mom's side, a tradition every end of July. I haven't missed it in years, I love going and seeing my relatives!

Star said...

Thanks for sharing your 4th of July with us. I heartily enjoyed living it vicariously. What a marvelous tradition. Long may it live!

basebell6 said...

this is one amazing family tradition!! i hope it goes 8 more generations at least.

Reddunappy said...

What a neat family tradition! And a beautiful place to have it!

Rainy Day Farm said...

What a sweet family tradition. Way to go. Love the dirty hands. What are boys without dirty hands? I found your blog from Keepin the Sunnyside. So glad I found your cute blog! Can't wait to come back for another visit.

Anonymous said...

Love the tradition.. Love the area you all have it in.. I bet it's nice to see people you might not see much over the year..

Sandy

 
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