Posts Tagged With: Family Reunion

 
 

Catching a Little Action at the Auction

My family tree spreads its branches wide and provides plenty of shade for camping under. I always feel welcomed and loved and part of something wonderful when I get together with extended family for a reunion.

Raising funds to put on a family reunion takes all sorts of creativity and finagling.

My mom’s side of the family came up with a fun idea. In fact, it’s one of the highlights of our extended weekend together.

We put on an auction.

We encourage everyone to contribute something for the auction. The highest selling items tend towards handcrafted or sentimental items. A framed photo of Grandma and Grandpa, their kids and the grandparents going back a couple of generations brought in a hefty chunk of change. A pair of earrings Grandma owned and wore went on the auction block one year I couldn’t attend. I had my cousin bid on them for me via text and I won! That’s the most I’ve ever paid for earrings.

To save time and potential heartbreak, there’s a separate children’s table with donated, pre-priced items the kids can simply buy, no bidding required. Candy and whirligigs, water pistols, jewelry, slingshots, whistles, crayons, balls, more candy. Almost anything that appeals to a child might magically appear in the children’s store.

Cousins and Aunts often bring homemade jars of apple pie filling, salsa and pickles. Those sell for way more than you’d ever pay in the store, but are worth the price. Aunt Judy always sews up something fun, like holiday pillowcases or seasonal aprons. Uncle Farrell made a CD of patriot songs he’d written and sold those one year. A cousin brought a freestanding cabinet he made by hand. And arriving by mail from Hawaii, a painting by my cousin’s wife, stirred up quite the bidding war last year. I’m hoping she sends or brings another one this year.

We even auction off the leftover unopened food items. We’re a thrifty bunch. We’re also a crafty, talented, versatile, generous group of people. I love hanging out with extended family.

My contributions are usually less stellar than most, but I try to bring a few handmade items. This year I tried something I saw in the craft store. It’s a tablecloth.

Here it is. Ta da!

Ta da!

Ta da!

Yup, it’s made of bandanas. Cute, yes? Add some denim napkins tied up with twine, and wildflower filled vase and you have a fun western themed table.

I’ve actually made two. The first one helped me use up all the bandanas I had around the house. Yes, I admit it, I had over twenty-five bandanas in a drawer. I’d bought some to donate to a homeless cause one year and missed the drop off date.  I also buy them randomly when I’m headed out on a camping adventure.

I didn’t have instructions on how to make the thing, just a picture of what it should look like when finished.  As you can imagine I made a mistake or three and had to unpick and resew more than a few times. But it turned out okay. Okay enough for me to use at home, or on a picnic or at the reunion. But not okay enough to put in the auction.

So, I ordered a batch of bandanas from Amazon, washed them up, cut them out and put a color coordinated, pattern matching, auction worthy tablecloth together. Which is the one pictured above. I hope people like it. I hope the bidding gets a teensy bit exciting. If not, I could bid on it myself and give it as a gift, or turn it into a quilt.

If I did this again I’d use whole bandanas and just sew those together. Way easier and faster, although not as cute.

I can’t wait for the reunion. It’s one of the highlights of my year. I’ve got my auction money stashed and waiting. Will there be a painting again? If I win a jar of salsa can I smuggle it home on the plane? Will Aunt Betty’s sayings be memorialized on t-shirts this year?

I’ll have to let you know how it all plays out. It’s sure to entertain us all.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

What We Give Up

Half the people I know have fled town for cooler places. I had plans to flee, but alas, here I am, in the final throes of wedding plans for my youngest.

I must admit I am envious of all the absent, traveling, vacationing, escapees from the heat wave we’re in.

Ultimate-sky

A little Ultimate Frisbee anyone? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And not just because they’re getting out of the heat. Oh no. I’m missing a family reunion that I also had to miss last year due to partial insanity and (mostly) very low to non-existent funds. This year I scrunched, pinched, saved, cajoled and weedled my way into a plane ticket so I could go early, visit with the fam, enjoy the festivities, stay long and visit more with other fam and pretty much relax for a week.

But love waits for no man, or future in-law.

So here I am, celebrating freedom by feeling slightly, begrudgingly, unfree.

That’s just silly isn’t it?

Instead I am here, in the desert, free to enjoy my freedom, my independence, my life. And what a life it is! A quick review of this past year’s Gratituesday posts alone reminds me I am blessed beyond measure.

Sure there’s some strange happenings afoot in our little land of the stars and stripes, but it’s still an exceptional place to be. It’s an abundant life by any measure you choose.

What will the next 365 days bring? Will we give up some of our privacy, some of our freedom for a pottage bowl full of something that looks and tastes like, but isn’t necessarily security? Or will we hold our ground? Can we keep the haters at bay? Can we tolerate each other and our polar-opposite opinions or will we insist on everyone agreeing with our view of things? Will we still feel free?

If I go to a parade, or a rodeo, a picnic or a reunion, will I still be grateful? Will I still recognize this country as the one I’ve spent a lifetime in? I sure hope so.

English: Sparkler Polski: Zimny ogień

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m counting on attending next year’s family reunion, seeing all the new babies, stunned at the growing up they do so magically, amazed at how the uncles and aunts have morphed into slightly younger version of Grandma and Grandpa, renewing friendships with cousins. Of course, my own siblings keep aging while I stay perfectly young (cough) and that is fascinating to me, too.

I’m glad I’ve stayed in town for my daughter’s sanity, her last few days of single life, the little details that need attending to. She’s only a bride this one time. I’ve got a long list to get busy with today. I’d best get to it.

Tonight’s local barbecue and sparklers…will do just fine for celebrating this country’s birthday and my freedom.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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