Getting Ready for the Family Reunion – 2013

It has been over 20 years since we started hosting the annual Family Reunion – I’m not sure how long exactly, but I know that we’ve held the annual family reunion since well before Mr. T was born.

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How the back yard at my parents looks most of the day of the reunion. There is my cousin Hunter, my niece Sam, cousin Katie, Mr. T and my nephew Jayman on the shoulders of Lee.

It is always a good time.  Mom and dad buy the meats through out the year and freeze them, and the days before the reunion arrive you can’t step near their sink without seeing it overflow with goodies defrosting and getting read for Dad’s magical hands. My dad’s ribs are the best.  You can’t eat just one.  He will also BBQ some chicken legs, hot links, sausage, a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts (for yours truly) and a big slab of bologna.  I learned just earlier this year that not everyone has had BBQ bologna.  It boggles my mind.  Really, stop what you are doing, go to the deli and get them to cut you off about 6″ of bologna.  Go back home, fire up the grill, score some deep slices in the bologna, about every 2″ and then dump some BBQ sauce on it, getting it into the slices and then double wrap it in foil.  Then add another layer of foil.  Go ahead and put another layer on there – better safe than sorry.  Dump that sucker on the grill and just rotate it occasionally.  When you take it off the grill it will be nice and BBQ’d and you will be in heaven.  Trust me on this.

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Totally used without any of their permissions – but since they don’t read my blog, I figure I’m safe. That’s my dad in the hat and patriotic shirt. 🙂 My cousin Matt is in blue and loading up his plate from the chafing dish just overflowing with BBQ.

Anyway… We have the chafing dishes out and dad just comes in and dumps meat inside them.  Mom and I will put together several different salads and sides and desserts.  Friends and family will come from far and wide and usually bring a side with them, either fresh peaches from Fredericksburg, or the best cheese roll and crackers you have ever tasted.

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We all pig out and catch up with each other.  You can cycle through the living room, kitchen and back yard and see your relatives and friends.  You can sit and have some fresh iced tea or do a cannon ball into the pool.  We graze all day and spend quality time with each other.  There are several family members that the only time I see them is at the reunion!

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Lee whipping up a batch of cookies for us a few years ago – chaos all around him and kids underfoot, but he’s calming sifting – and refusing to look at the camera!

This will be the first year without Lee there, making cookies or entertaining kids in the pool. It was this time last year that we thought he was fighting bronchitis, and eventually found out it was congestive heart failure.  We had less than a year with him after he was diagnosed, and this will be the first major family gathering that I will look around and expect to see him, and he won’t be there.

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He won’t walk around the corner and give me a look.  And he won’t be sitting next to me at the kitchen table as we scrape out the insides of Oreos so that we can use the outsides to make the best homemade ice cream you have ever tasted.  He won’t laugh every time I eat the inside instead of putting it on the “discard” plate. What?  Like I’m the only one that does that!

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But, he will be there in spirit, cause even he knows it’s the party not to be missed!

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18 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the Family Reunion – 2013

  1. Hmm … I’ve had fried bologna but never BBQ’d it. Must be a Texas thing 🙂
    Hope the reunion goes well and you’ll find ways to keep Lee’s spirit with you.

  2. Ahh…..you have a family reunion too!! I hope you have lots of fun! I never heard of grilled bologna either. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever had bologna other than Oscar Meyer sandwich meat. I need to check this out! Also I read all the other posts I missed from your home page. Congratulations on your new niece. She is adorable! Also, your camping trip looked like so much fun. I could really go for some peach cobbler like that. I’ve never had that cooked over an open fire either. I’m seriously lacking on grilled food!

    • I could say that you are lacking on grilled food, but the reality is… down here in Texas we grill everything! So it’s probably more along the lines of us having too much grilled food! Okay, that’s not right, you can never have too much grilled food!! If the grill is going, everything from burgers to pineapple will land on it!

      And thanks – my niece is pretty adorable!! 🙂

  3. I loved this! I wish I was a part of your family! My family USED to get together every year for “Host A Murder” parties where everybody dressed up to play a part and in the end it just turned into a big party. The whole family would be there (except me because I was so far away). Now, everybody is “too busy” or they say they are. I witnessed some of the snarkiness at our last Christmas dinner last year. Turnout was smaller than the year before because one whole branch of the family was “sick”. I have an aunt who thinks she runs the show and she makes everybody mad, so nobody wants to show up. Your family reunion sounds awesome….especially the FOOD! Bittersweet, I’m sure, this year without Lee, though….

    • It is a bit bittersweet. It’s hitting me at random moments, and hitting harder than I expected! And, you know that you are always welcome to join our family! Move closer! The murder party sounds like fun! And we work really hard to make it easy for everyone to get together. It’s not easy, but right now, everyone feels it is important to make the time. Hopefully they will all continue to feel this way for years to come! 🙂

      • Well, I’d LOVE to move closer! There are job openings at Holt Cat there in Ft Worth. The husband claims to hate Texas (after we spent 7 months in San Antonio and Wichita Falls/Iowa Park). But I’d be willing to go there just to do something different! At least I’d have one person there that I know! ha ha!

      • Having friends near where one lives is a nice thing. I have no friends here that I want to spend any time with. I have acquaintances and former co-workers but it gets very lonely without much human interaction. So depressing.

  4. Sounds like a great party! I love meat, so I would be very happy. And the inside of the oreo is the best part, not for “discarding”…sheesh.
    I know Lee will be looking down on you and smiling. The sunlight on the water. The breeze ruffling your hair. The laughter in the air. He wouldn’t miss it.
    Big hugs, my friend and I hope you have a great time!

  5. Wow – you Texans love your meet products!
    It sounds like you really enjoy the reunion – that’s great. I hope you have it for many more years.
    I am sure Lee’s presence will loom at the party. Hopefully, you will all find a way to have a good time and comfort each other at the same time.

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