Friday, 2 September 2011

Our Old Kentucky Home

Last weekend we spent fourteen hours on the road. Seven hours each way, plus stops, for just under two days with our family. It was a lot of driving, but some times you have to go the distance.

Three years ago we had the opportunity to visit our extended family in Kentucky, and we had such a good time it's hard to believe it has taken us so many years to get back. We went down this time for the yearly family reunion. Jeff's grandmother, Sue, was one of ten siblings, and the vast majority of those siblings and their progeny continue to live in or around Kentucky. As you can imagine, when ten kids have kids, and then grand kids, the resulting party can be quite crowded even when not everyone can make it.

Surviving siblings with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

We drove down Friday and spent the evening with Jane, Jeff's mom, her Aunt Audrey, and her cousins Donna (our host for the weekend) and Mona. Friday I had my first (and only) Kentucky grammar mix-up. I took Tommy outside to play, as Donna has an immense yard, but he spied the swing set in the (unfenced) neighbor's yard and made a beeline for it. I was explaining to him that he needed to get off because it wasn't our swing set when the owner of the swingset came out.

Her: "I don't care for him to play on the swing set."
Me: "Ok, I'm working on getting him off."
Her: "No, I don't care for him to play on the swing set."
Me: confused face.
Her: "I don't care. I just want him to be careful because the last swing is broken."
Me: "Oh, so it's ok for him to play on the swing set?"
Her: "Yes, I don't care."

And that's how it went. Thankfully, that was my only incident.

Saturday we spent the morning being stuffed to the gills by Donna, all while she insisted that it wasn't a proper breakfast. She is the hostess with the most-ess, let me tell you. Then we went to the community center of Broughtontown (pronounced Brought-in-town) for the big gathering. Broughtontown was the place that the family first settled in Kentucky. There was a massive potluck with lots of fried chicken, ham, roastbeef, every kind of side dish you can imagine, and at least 10 different desserts. The big highlight for Tommy were the fresh fruit smoothies that were being whipped up to order and served in fancy glasses. Needless to say, we did not go hungry.

Good eats

Making smoothies


Smoothies are serious business

After eating there were some performances, one of which Tommy decided to participate in. He actually got up on stage with the big group of kids and sang "He's got the Whole World in His Hands" complete with hand motions. That was obviously my favorite, but my second favorite was the rendition of "I am my own Grandpa[w]." Hilarious.

When things wrapped up we played bingo, and I won the blackout round. I do love bingo, so it was quite a triumph.


The biggest surprise of the party was how much fun Tommy had. Sometimes strangers/large crowds throw him off, but he fell in love with the other kids who were there and spent the entire time playing. I barely saw him the entire time. He is still talking about "those kids at the party" and asking to play with them. It was so sweet. Both Tommy and Nicolas seemed to hit it off with all the relatives, which was wonderful.

Making friends

Group photos are a challenge

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and being stuffed full of food, which is always nice. We are so thankful to have some family within driving distance and for the weekends that we have been able to spend with them.

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