As usual, the day of the family reunion I bring back a vehicle full of kids. Or, as in last year and this year 2 vehicles of them. This year we are currently down 2, but added one. We were going to add one more, but that would have made him the only boy, so, when the other 2 get to come, we will invite him as well. That way we will have my 3 girls, one more girl and 2 boys who love to go fishing for the second go around.
We got home about 40 minutes before dark. Just enough time for the girls to catch one of the horses, and for me pull weeds in 3 rows of okra. One of my cousins went to a peach orchard and I bought 2 flats of peaches that tomorrow we will work up. Not sure yet if I will can them or freeze them.
I guess I am getting old. When I was a kid and my parents, cousins hung out together. On Sundays, holidays or during the summer they would gather at one house or another and visit, or butcher or build a barn or share some harvesting task. Now, people just text each other.
I think for cousins to get together during the summer and spend a week or more, or a few days if that is all that fits, makes wonderful memories. My dad, and his cousins (in the 67-70-80 year range)(sorry dad,I let the cat out of the bag for anyone who thought you were still 29!)still tell stories at get togethers about things they did as youngsters. I think family visits are starting to become a lost art, along with baking our own bread and hanging clothes out on the line (yeah, I do that stuff too and I even IRON!) So, I am trying to keep the tradition going for my children's generation. I will admit though, I need to work some on my own generation as I have cousins close by that I don't see nearly enough. I'd rather see them for dinner or meet at a park now and then instead of saving it all for the weddings and funerals. Especially the funerals.
I think it started to fade when more moms started working out of the home full time, and electronic gadgets entered the picture. I know many moms work to pay the bills, or very often to pay for the health insurance if dad is self employed. I've had to in the past, and I still do bits now and then to help out.
But, how many moms work to buy the things they really don't need? Such as a new car, the cell phones for every family member except for the dog , the new TV, new carpet, the new appliances, the prepared foods, the nanny, the housekeeper... Is that what our kids are going to grow up remembering? Nope, I'd rather mine remember we may not have had everything, but remember how we got to get together with our cousins every summer, or how mom got to go to camp and be dorm mom with us, or chaperon for an activity?
Don't even get me started on the activity every night families--you know, baseball on Monday, Tues is swimming, Wed is horse riding, Thursday is Karate, Fri is ball practice, Sat is piano lessons and Sunday? Well, we are just too tired for church. Nope, I'll save that for another day...
If your the busy sort and don't know how to get out of the rut, start slow. Drop one activity a week and replace it with hands on--play board games, hang out your laundry and have your kids help you one on one-laundry hanging time is good talking time. So is time you may use by washing dishes by hand. Have a night each month where you do activities that don't require electricity. That means no Internet, no texting, no cells, no TV....my girls used to call those "Little House Days". In the winter we even carry it as far as cooking over the fireplace, or in the summer cooking outside over the fire pit.
I guess what I am saying is, I'd rather keep our simple homeschooling life that allows time for family and memory making.