Friday night was our granddaughter Hannah's high school graduation. It rained; the event started at 8:00pm in the evening so we knew we'd be late getting home. Which normally would not matter at all, but this year our Connelly family reunion was overlapping the graduation. We opted to miss the first day of the reunion so we could be there to see our Hannah finish school, and even with the rain and the last-minute rearrangement of the graduation place and plans it was such a happy time. She looked her usual beautiful self.
Grandchildren! Siblings Haley, Hannah, Jared (who came home from California to be here for Hannah), and their cousin, my second oldest granddaughter, Jordan.
Quite a few of us were there, and quite a few were planning to make the drive across the state the next day for the reunion, leaving very early in the morning. Of course, this granny worried because so many people driving all that distance with little sleep in the rain...but all was well. All five vehicles made the trip with no trouble at all.
I had to make an extra-early start to pick up the graduation cake, so we were out of the house by 5:30am. A quick run through the grocery store to get what food we needed--and the cakes!--and we were on our way. I have to admit, I've never been so unprepared for the reunion, but it didn't matter. There was plenty of food, our cabin was waiting for us, and there were so many smiling faces to greet us.
It's always a surprise to see how fast the children of our families have grown! Many of them are towering over me now. I have to struggle to remember their names because as they enter their teen and young adult years, the changes are just so surprising, in a good way. More grandchildren below: Ally, Kate, Jared, Clayton and Grace.
The family storytelling time was better than ever as the kids--and the adults--are coming more prepared with stories and songs, and as these last ten years have passed we've gotten to know each other better. I am so happy to be able to keep up with many of them on Facebook, so that when we get together the conversations just take off.
This year, I read a poem my English cousins sent to us, a poem written by our grandfather who died in 1930. Everyone loved it! It's a dramatic narrative of a shipwreck and a man's desperate choice between saving his life savings in gold, or the life of a child. I am so amazed that he could have written such a remarkable, well-written piece, given that he was working as a farm laborer in England by the time he was 12. It gave me chills to read it, truly. My aunt in England remembers him reciting it by the fireside when she was a child, in their cottage near Caldecote, Cambridgeshire. I am so grateful that our cousins sent it to us.
Another of the highlights for me was having time to sit down with my sister Judy and see the extensive work she's done on our family tree. What a treasure that is. We are still trying to discover when our ancestor Felix Connelly came to America. We believe he was from Ireland, but cannot find any record yet of his entry into the United States. We believe it might take a trip to Baltimore, the most likely poin of entry, to solve this mystery.
Once home, we hit the ground running again. The rains finally let up enough for Larry to get back in the gardens. Grandson Jared, who is in for a visit from Los Angeles, came over with Hannah for a visit, a real treat. He's been having some success getting small roles in films and will be attending acting school when he returns to California. It's exciting to see him taking this direction. Again, I am always surprised and pleased to see what our family gets into.
Tuesday was booth day. We took some new pieces that we'd finished up last week over to Ravenswood, and that booth is now about as full as I want to make it. At the same time, a call from Marietta let us know that a big piece of furniture we had there was sold and we needed to get something new in. So yesterday and today I've worked on trying to get something painted, and I hope to be able to take one new piece over tomorrow, to be ready for the holiday weekend. To the left is a hall tree/bench we made last year, but just finally finished up.
I worked a good while on this farm table, removing old contact paper, sanding, getting the warps out of the wood, and painting and distressing.
But this old chest needed nothing except a good wipe-down. The top could use refinishing but we opted to just leave it as it was and let the next owner do that. At $99.00, it's a pretty good deal, I think.
Wednesday was Larry's birthday, so even though he worked hard all day tending to the gardens, the grass and his bees, he agreed to stop early so we could go to Charleston to celebrate by having ice cream at Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream shop, and then cross the street to Taylor Book Store for some fine music as area old-time musicians gathered for what was dubbed a "neo-traditional jam." It was awesome--some of our state's finest musicians were on hand to make it just a perfect evening of good music.
Tomorrow evening granddaughter Grace has her high school graduation so I'll be on the road again. And then...I think we can finally get back to something like normal, and even though Sunday will be our 30th anniversary, I have a feeling whatever celebrating we do will be pretty low-key and probably at home! Have a wonderful weekend, my friends, visit your family, take flowers to remember those who have past on, and enjoy the blessings of beautiful May.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.