XUP’s post *XUP* brought up another side of the large family debate. To recap, there was dad, mom, brother(10 years older) and me in our house. Quiet does not even begin to describe our house. If television had never been invented, we could have lived in a morgue.
I loved going to my sister’s house (she lived with my grandmother and my aunt) for holidays. On Christmas, Mom always worried that we had to leave our toys, but I think that set up for me that holidays were about family. They were not about money spent on gifts, or the size of the turkey. They were about sharing.
I loved picking out which gift/s I was going to take and show my sister. She is ten years older than I am. I loved opening the car door and waving to my aunt, with her movie camera going. I loved going into the house and having all the aunts hug and give me a sloppy kiss and then into the kitchen where grandma , who would play the piano on rare occasions, would sneak me bits of my favorite food (generally desert). I only have two cousins on that side of the family. They are both male and both older, so there was not a lot of interaction going on.
In the summer, we would have a rare treat of a small Dairy Queen cone, on the way home. Every season had it’s own special treat and memories.
I only remember one or two family gatherings with my mother’s side of the family. I was very close to one cousin, out of eighteen, and being a loner do not really remember doing much there.
That side of the family has some wonderful people and then some truly unbalanced ones who insisted on starting a fight every gathering. I am sure that put a damper on the whole “get together” thing.
The fun parts though were when my uncle played fiddle. I loved his scratchy cigarette voice and also the humor of one of my aunts. The really sweet, large family aunt made the best apple desert in jelly roll pans and I would go, fights or no fights, purely for her cooking. Gosh, we have a theme going here; my need for desert. But, that is for another post.
I am a loner, but I would not give up the large family gatherings, fights and all, for anything. It was the exclamation point on a long quiet sentence.