Aunt Marie telling me to take a pretty picture. And here it is.
My brother Everett is standing to my left with his wife, Gloria. They were married when I was three. My cousin, Earlene Hart Townsend, is on the left with her husband Jim.
With my youngest niece, Melissa, who is Everett's youngest. She is a sweetheart and so are her two sisters and three brothers.
The barn where I spent many hours playing as a child with my cousins and sometimes by myself. It was actually built before the house, so it may be closer to two hundred years old. The American chestnut posts and beams show no signs of age. Chestnut is impervious to insects and rot.
Jaye and Matthew in front of the small stream that runs between the house and driveway. It was a much more adventurous ride down the sidewalk when I was a child...no handrails! The stream flows into a creek across the road which almost always flash floods when there is heavy rain. The house has never flooded because it sits on a high bank.
Lauren and Melissa's two boys, Harm and Jake, explore the stairs to the basement. I played on those stairs all the time, and in the basement, when Mom would let me. My sisters swear that there are ghosts in there. My late sister Jane told that when she was a teenager, Mom sent her to the cellar to get something and on the way back up, she felt a hand grab her shirt. She turned around on the stone steps to look and she claimed to have seen a ghost wearing an old-fashioned uniform. Lots of screaming ensued! I was never scared to go in there...I loved playing in the dark coolness and smelling Mom's pickled corn and green beans in the big stone crocks weighted down with heavy plates. Those crocks are still in the barn.
This year's turnout was a little light. I'm hoping that next year the whole family will be able to attend. They were missed.