We had our second family gathering of this series. The people were relatives of two of our nieces, Kathie and Julie – their parents, all their aunts and uncles, another sister, and several offspring. We met this time in the their ancestral home. My family married into theirs, so don’t have delusions of grandeur about my roots. The house was built in the late 1700’s, and was acquired by their family in the 1930’s. Several of us took the tour, starting on the ground floor. A number of pieces of furniture were carved by a great great uncle. Most of them have hidden compartments Tour guide Myra told us the one in this dining room photo has seven secret places.
We looked at things in the living room, while grandson Nathaniel checked out the chandelier.
On the second floor of the house, the old phonograph caught Nathaniel’s attention in the guest room. Myra played the record on the turntable and handed the young generation shellac records to inspect. I was impressed when I noticed how carefully and reverently they handled the old 1/4-inch thick disks. Myra said Thomas Edison had been in the area for some reason and came to the house. He was given the tour, seeing many of the things we were looking at.
After Myra pointed out some of the features in the master bedroom, she handed Julie a printed copy of the pirate story they usually include on the tour. Myra went in the next room. When Julie read aloud about the death of one pirate by the hand of another, several of the books in the bookcase began to slide in and out. We laughed, knowing Myra was behind the wall.
On the third floor of the house, I was impressed with two paintings in my late sister-in-law’s bedroom. She wanted to dress up the area of the built-in drawers and painted two panels for it. I never knew she dabbled in painting.
Nathaniel was told not to bring food, but his offer of grilling was accepted. Donning his brand new apron, he cooked burgers and dogs in the carport. As several of us talked to him, he jumped into action, twisting the controls off. He saw a surge of flames that shut off. His hunch was correct; the tank was out of gas. There were three uncooked hamburgers, which he finished cooking in the kitchen.
People in town know the ancestral home as the shoe house. When my late sister-in-law was little, her grandfather and great uncle built a shoe out of concrete. Note the details – laces through the holes, seams of the shoe, and a curved sole. Nathaniel and cousin Kate adorned the top.
The teens stood on the bench at the top of the shoe.
Flashback to 2004 where David is on the shoe. In 1973 nieces Julie and Kathie are with daughter Lise and Julie’s and Kathie’s grandmother Mama Sue
Two, who usually tangle feet under our table, came out in the open during the afternoon. The friendly warfare took place in the sitting room, the most-used room in the new addition.
Rick agreed to do a magic show for us, using John, Julie, and Nathaniel as helpers for various illusions. Most impressive was a rope trick that his niece Susan saw and recommended. Rick learned it this past year and amazed us by cutting a piece of rope into pieces and ending with a whole rope. He did several several variations of this. At one point, the rope had multiple knots in it, which he cut off and tossed to the floor. Even that segment ended with a whole rope.
Flashback to 2004 when magician Rick was doing a card trick. David was wearing a hat and glasses having to do with Harry Potter.
If you’ve read this far, I’ll share with you the serious side of our gathering. A young man of the middle generation, not pictured here, is dying of an aggressive form of cancer. Julie organized us twice to come together to surround him with our love. He knows he has our constant prayers. His Christian witness is amazing, because he knows the Lord has saved him and will be with him as he passes from this life to his heavenly home. God bless you, JTR.