I spent most of the week at Farm Fest, a three day farm show in Minnesota. Farm Bureau has a pork chop stand (tent) where I help out. I’ve spent three very full, tiring, awesome days hanging out with MN Farm Bureau staff people that I absolutely love. It is one of those I-am-so-tired-I-can-hardly-function-but-I-can’t-wait-to-do-it-again events. Today, I slept in until 8, and it felt so good. I’m starting to feel the time crunch now, though. I have a mountain of laundry to do, a recipe to attempt, and a salad to make…oh, and I need to pack. Why? It’s family reunion time!
This year started out kind of rough. I lost two uncles on my dad’s side in a span of about two weeks. All of the cousins agreed that we really needed something else to bring us together – something happy. We set a date, started a family Facebook page (okay, my very organized cousin took charge, and I’m very thankful she did), and started dreaming of what this weekend would look like. After all of the RSVP’s were in, the excitement really started to build for me. We’ll have over 60 members of the Clarence and Annabelle Bredlow family descending on Thornton, Iowa in the next 24 hours.
The photo above is exactly how I remember my grandparents. Grandma was almost always in a dress, and if she was in the house, she was barefoot. Grandpa had a ring of hair, with tiny little prickly hairs on the top of his head. I don’t remember how it started, but I always greeted him with a “pinch” and a kiss on the top of his head, then I would rub the little prickly hairs. Weird – probably. I also have a zillion memories of him rush through my head whenever I smell the combination of Doublemint gum and used motor oil. Grandpa worked at the Standard Oil Station in Clear Lake, Iowa when I was young, and always carried a pack of Doublemint gum in his pocket.
I also remember all the wonderful Christmases and summer visits we had with Grandpa and Grandma Bredlow and the “Iowa” cousins. Some summers we would all gather at Grandpa and Grandma’s house for Independence Day, and watch the parade go by in front of their house. Christmas was always a big deal. We would head down to Iowa, sometimes late at night, to make it in time for the Christmas celebration. The hosting duties were spread around, but many times I remember sitting at a very long table in Grandma’s basement, or sitting at the kid’s table in Aunt Letha’s basement. There was always a ton of laughter, love, and food.
I am so excited to see my aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings..and all the in-laws that come with them. I am looking forward to spending a weekend with all the people who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. We may be a bit rowdy at times, but there is so much love in this bunch. I can’t help but think about how amazed and proud Grandpa and Grandma would be of this crew.
Now, I really need to get some laundry done! Have a great weekend!