It was always great fun to gather with the extended family. Being an only child I looked forward to visiting cousins to have someone close to my age to play with.
My Mundis 1st Cousins; Karen, Jim, Sandy, and Steve and me in front.
After church we would gather at my Grandma Mom & Pap’s house for Sunday Dinner. Many times the house would be overflowing with relatives. I was always amazed how my grandmother could manage to stretch food when unexpected folks showed up. As the youngest of the family it was rare I was asked to help much in the kitchen because the older ladies had that under control. So I would have the chance to play with my younger cousins. I remember a few times they dressed me up in my grandma’s clothes and pulled me up and down the street in a wagon. I would wave my white gloved hands at the neighbors sitting on their porches. As I got older the neighbors would often remind me of those days when I thought I was royalty.
When it was time to eat the adults gathered in the dining room and the younger kids had smaller tables and tv trays set up in a row in the living room. From time to time an adult would come in and make sure we were minding our manners. One I remember in particular was an aunt who made sure elbows were never on the table. If they were you got the handle of a knife smacked against your elbow. I did it once and never again!
Always a special treat was when my great Uncle Bill and Aunt Lydia visited from Ohio with their family. He was my grandma’s brother. Uncle Bill was always interested in learning more about his family history and I remember drives to places the family had lived as well as cemeteries. I wish I would have had both a tape recorder and camera on those trips!
Mundis 2nd Cousins Joyce & Greg with me.
My mom’s half brother Jim and his family would come to visit from time to time as well. My cousins, pictured above, and I always had fun playing together.
My Spalding Cousins; Eddie, Pam, Betty and me.
When we visited Grandma & Grandpa in York Haven, many times Uncle Bernard & Aunt Deanie and Aunt Evelyn & Uncle Clayton would visit with their families or we would go visit them. Even though they were older than me, my cousins took time to play with me.
My dad’s siblings, Evelyn and Bernard were great comfort and strength to me during my dad’s final months. They often went to visit him with me and Aunt Evelyn was always cooking for me so Jim and the girls and I had food. How I miss her Beef Vegetable Soup! Her’s tasted just like Grandma’s. Aunt Evelyn and I sat vigil with daddy and we were holding his hands when he passed. I was always impressed at how close daddy and his brother and sister were. They would talk on the phone several times a week and get together whenever they could.
Uncle Bernard, Aunt Evelyn & my Dad
I have made many trips to Maryland to visit daddy’s cousins and kin. During the time we lived in Thurmont it was great to be close by to these relatives. I don’t see them as often as I would like these days but they are always in my heart.
All of my aunts and uncles have passed as have many of the cousins from my mom and dad’s generation. I treasure the memories I have of them and most of all give thanks for their love. The great aunts and uncles and various times removed older cousins I had the chance of knowing played a big part in helping me with our family history.
Giving Thanks Index