I've always said that when TheReunion is over summer is on its last legs - and true to my adage, a big rainstorm swept through Virginia on Saturday evening and Sunday we had cool dry air with just the hint of cricket singing during the last moments of sunset.
I didn't get many photos of the reunion because I was so busy talking to cousins I forgot to get my camera out. By the time I remembered, only the truly hungry were still in the room, sampling from the table. Wonderful BD had gathered up all the children and like the Pied Piper, had led them out into the cemetery to show them the graves of J T and Hannah Ware - who's wedding anniversary this reunion celebrates. He told them all about J.T. going up to Catlet Station to get the body of his son Tommie, who died in TheWar and about the sisters, and Aunts Page and Gay, and about the hospital they kept in the old school house on the front lawn of Midway, where they nursed union and Confederate soldiers. And about the post office - the first in the area - that was in the front room of the old school house. And about the horses he raised. And how J T was rumored to 'have doings' with the gypsies. And about the Big Fire that took Midway in the 1890's and how glad everyone was to be able to move into the old school house.
I remember the old school house. When I first married into this family the reunions were held at Midway. When that was torn down TheReunion moved to St. Paul's Church, but I remember Nancy Eubank stirring up crab meat in butter on the stove in the back kitchen.
Memories. Even my memories go back almost 4 decades. Sometimes I think "TheReunion can't last much longer. We're all too far apart. The connections are stretched so thin. Too much time has gone by."
But then I see some smiling face coming in from Norfolk or San Antonio or Phoenix and I fall in love again. Next year - we'll gather everyone for a big photo BEFORE we eat - so that nobody gets left out as we drift on out to the cemetery, the car, Hillsborough, Chesituxent ... We'll capture everyone on film. Next year. For sure.
There's something about that second Saturday in August that makes people want to gather. While Hannah and I laid out the supplies for this reunion, my own family was gathering not 60 miles away in Richmond. Were I not one of the hostesses for TheReunion I would have been there myself. But my niece drove by on Sunday on her way home, with baby and papa and you can see that even Jack was having a good time.
Still and all - the weather change nips at my skin and tells me that if there's anything else I want to accomplish this summer - I had better get a move on. It's the beginning of the end of summer and before you can blink an eye - it will be September - and we all know what that means.
yup yup. BIRTHDAY MONTH
So. I best get a move on. Ta.