My aunt passed this last week after a nine month battle from lung cancer. Although we were all sad to not have her with us, we were also happy that her suffering had ended and she was no longer in pain. Her funeral was held on Thursday, and afterwards we all went to her house for lunch and visited for the remainder of the afternoon. Several of my cousins, whom we had not seen in years were there, hence the title Sad Goodbyes and Happy Hellos. I thought I would share some family pics and stories that made us laugh through the years.
My mom was one of six--my grandparents had seven kids in a nine-ten year time span. One child died as an infant. In old pictures of the six they often reminded us of the television show the little rascals. In some pictures they actually had a dog with a black ring around one eye just like the little rascals. Two of the most popular stories they always talk about is the peanut butter jelly sandwich saga,and the arson of my grandpa's only set of work clothes. My mother had the sandwich made on one slice of bread holding it on the palm of her hand, when Uncle Charlie smacked the underside of her hand flipping the sandwich onto Grandma's newly painted kitchen ceiling. They knew they were in trouble if they got caught. So to get the sandwich down they decided to get the broom and try to sweep it down. You can imagine how well that worked, just as you can probably imagine what happened when they were caught!
You can also probably imagine what it was like trying to provide for six kids at the tail end of the depression and beginning of WWII. My grandpa had one pair of work clothes and my grandmother used to soak them in white gasoline to get the oil out of them before washing them. One particular evening she soaked them and proceeded to hang them on the clothesline to dry before washing them. My Uncle Bob loved to play with fire and went to the trash burner, where ofcourse, trash was burning. Not able to resist the temptation he got a stick and poked around in the fire until he came up with a flame on the end of the stick. As he was running around the yard, He ran by the clothes line and he "accidentally" set the work clothes on fire. When my grandma came out of the house the only thing left on the clothes line was four charred clothes pins.
Below is a pic of my mom and her four remaining siblings.
Those are just a couple of the stories we laughed about that day. There are many more ofcourse. My aunt lived next door to my grandparents old place, so before everyone headed off to where they needed to be we wandered over that way had a photo of all the cousins in attendance taken in front of the old barn. The barn where my grandpa raised rabbits, next to his chicken coop, and near the garden spot where he always planted over a hundred tomatoe plants each summer.