Reformed Grits

Sweet lil’ “gran’mommy” and figuring it out
June 29, 2007, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Family

Yesterday, JD who is my social bug left with his cousin "Harry Parker" (not his real name, lol) to go to my maternal grandfather’s family reunion at a "southern destination."  My granddaddy was one of 13 children and only a few remain, but all the generations that follow gather up every 2 years for some chat and pictures and just gatherin’ around.  It’s a really fun time of catch-up with who is doing what and where they are.  We couldn’t go for a number of reasons, including the fact that we are leaving for Scotland in 2 weeks and Mr. G couldn’t pull off that much time away.  Also, most "southern destinations" don’t accomodate families of mass destruction our size.   I haven’t been in years, to be honest, but I have fond memories of growing up and looking forward to these events as it would be the only vacations I would ever remember, outside of going to visit grandparents, growing up. 

One of the things I looked forward to was spending some time with my only southern first cousins, Michael and Chris who are close to my age.  (I have West Coast cousins, but we never got together but a couple of times.)  What great times we had!  Also, I mostly looked forward to getting together with my second cousin, Laura, who I only ever saw at these events.  Do you have a friend who you can be apart for months and get together and it’s just like you were never apart?  That’s how we are.  She and I email, sometimes frequently, sometimes rarely but if my statcounter is right she is reading my blog.  Hi Laura!  🙂 

When we 4 would gather, one of the fun things we did was to make fun of our elders.  Not in a nasty, vicious way but in a way imitating what we saw.  It was so funny.  There was a centralized location when the reunions came about.  It was referred to as, simply, The Room.  We’d drive up and folks would say, "Have ya been to The Room yet?  Gay Nell is there with her girl and their children."  Or we’d want to go to the lake or beach or whatever and our parents (or grandparents) would say, "Well, let’s go check at The Room first to see who’s there and if Uncle Larry brought his boat this year."  Uncle Larry always brought his boat.  And everytime, Laura’s dad, Uncle Sonny, "knew someone" in the area who recommended a good restaurant or a place to go or "whatnot."  That was the talk in The Room.  "I hear Sonny knows a man who’s gonna take some of us deep sea fishin’." or "Sonny knows where to get good shrimp ’round here."  Uncle Sonny knew stuff us "commoners" didn’t know.  🙂     

One of my most vivid memories was my sweet little grandmommy who has been gone about a year and a half now.  She was an only child until she was 12 and really felt like one.  I don’t think she grew up around a lot of family, and by that I mean the vast numbers like my granddaddy had.  She was social, oh my she was so she relished being married into a big family.  She was so smart at "relationships" and who "belonged" to who.  "Grandmommy, who is that person over there?  Is he one of the cousins?"  (Because when we drove up, the question we’d hear invariably as we drove through the "destination" would be, "Hey, is that a cousin?"  We were all cousins.)  She would sit back and haltingly say, "That, is yur granddaddy’s sister Ona Dee’s boy’s (that meant son.  At family reunions sons were "boys" and daughters were "girls.") first wife’s son.  His deddy died in that plane crash that was on th’ news."  That was how we heard her talk for the rest of the week.  She had it all figured out– who was related to whom and how that puzzle piece fit into the family.  And when she had been in The Room she’d get to find out who was coming and when.  "Is Aint Etoile comin’?" "Yes, but she won’t be here ’til Friday.".   

Another funny thing was the fact that in this branch of my family, everyone was an "aunt" or "uncle."  I know I said we were all cousins, but you didn’t call your adult cousin by their first name and you certainly don’t call them Miss or Mr.  So they were Aunt Blondon and Uncle Auburn.  (Yes, I had an Uncle Auburn, God rest his soul.  And War Eagle.)  And I didn’t know ’til I was an adult that it wasn’t pronounced "Aint."  "Aint Blondon and your cousin Uncle Wallace are gonna go look for fossils in th’ creek bed that Sonny found out about after we go see who is at The Room."  Good times. 

So I called JD yesterday, and he was having a blast.  They had just been to some mountain (probably that Sonny knew about) I asked him if Laura was there yet,  and he said, "No, but she’ll be here tonight."  My mom got on the phone, and told me, "I don’t know how he knew about Laura." 

Don’t worry, mom.  He’s his Grandmommy’s girl’s girl’s boy.  He got it all figured out when he went to The Room.   


5 Comments so far
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“Yes, I had an Uncle Auburn, God rest his soul. And War Eagle.”

Comment by Gayle

I loved those down home reunions. We don’t have them anymore because most of the aunts and uncles are either too old to know who’s who or they’ve “gone on to Glory”. your right about the good times.

Comment by Kristi

Oh my gosh…this sounds so familiar-except we picked crab apples off my “Nanny’s” tree.
I had an Aunt Biggen and Aunt Littlen (they were twins and my pawpaw told my nanny you take the big one and I’ll take the little one) I didn’t know their real names til I was almost 17! How about an Uncle Punk, Mom Ola (pronounced as one word…momola)! Hilarious memories!!!!

Comment by Wendy

This is great! I do have friends that are like that…the kind you can talk to alot or alittle, and you are always just as close as the last time. Chris and I read this together and remineisced on your families old reunions. I hope I get to visit “The Room” some day. I also love the comment from “Kristi” about Aunt Biggen and Aunt Littlen…HILLARIOUS! Keep the good stories coming!!

Comment by Anna and Chris

I’ve been thinking of you. I trust your preparations are going well. I’ll continue to pray for you until you return.
Take care and don’t get too stressed out. Try to stay focused on the reason you’re going!
My best~

Comment by MamaLady

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