Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime and Family Picnics

The arrival of summer always brings to mind memories of family picnics.  Back when I was a kid (in the 1950-60's), not a summer went by without several of these get togethers, usually at Benson Park, Peony Park or Elmwood Park.  My mother had six siblings, so you can imagine once they all had families, the number of cousins that started to appear! 

My Uncle Paul was a MASTER at cooking chicken on the grill ... there was no one better.  And my Aunt Lil could fry fresh fish better than any restaurant fish dinner I've ever had.  And it wouldn't be a picnic without my Grandma Ellie's doughnut holes (our eyes would light up at the sight of that large brown paper bag with grease spots!)

And there would always be a baseball game where adults and kids would pair up into two teams and spend the afternoon cheering each other on.  

It seems, though, that when my Aunt Marg passed away some 20 years ago that our picnic gatherings pretty much ceased. It's funny how just one person can bind an entire family unit together. She was the organizer, the Matriarch of the family ... I'm sure every family has one.  And I miss her SO MUCH!

A few years ago my sister, Gloria, wanted to try to pull our extended families back together and we now have monthly dinners where it's "come if you can" and we've attempted to bring together the next generation of cousins (2nd and 3rd) so that they will also have a sense of family connection.  This weekend we're having the party at our house ... sort of a potluck picnic, where the kids can run, play tetherball and water games and the grownups and grill hot dogs and tell old family stories around the food ladened tables.  While there won't be the "numbers" we used to have in the old days, there's still  a group of us and want to embrace those family traditions and memories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how awesome that you're bringing back the tradition! I have wonderful memories of family picnics when I was growing up!