Country Gal by Vanita Blundell 05-30-06
Memorial Weekend has always been extra special to our family. I have a fear that my generation will not observe the tradition of decorating the graves of our loved ones. I can remember how my dad would take us to the cemetery to put flowers on his grandparents, parents and other friends and family graves. Dad would see some of his aunts, uncles and cousins and visit with them as long as he could. I liked to go with him, but as always, there is a down side. I never could remember which direction the grave was from the headstone. We would be wondering around and all of a sudden Dad would very nearly rip my arm out of its socket and tell me in a disgusted and disappointed voice to quit walking on the graves. He had a great respect for the dead and one just never - ever walked on top of someone. Even though I am all grown up with kids of my own I still wince just a little when I go to the cemetery and walk around.
When we would get done with the flowers and remembering those who have gone on before us we would go to the Veterans Building for the Alley Family Reunion. When I was a kid we had a large crowd. But now most of Alleys are now at Crown Hill. Even though our numbers are fewer we still have a great time together. I have some cousins who live in Greensburg, just 20 miles away and about the only time I get to see them is this weekend. It is not that we do not like each other; it’s just that we all have such a busy life. The reunion is a good time to catch up on every one. We get to hear how great grandchildren are and now this year I heard all about great-grandchildren. Some of you remember Jane and Gary Trummel; they are now great-grandparents. That makes their two sons, Mark and Kent granddaddies and their daughter Teresa, a grandma. I love to hear all of Jane’s stories of her grandbabies. Jane is not the only grandmother who has great stories, her sister Edith is a proud grandma, too. John and Linda Alley are a lot of fun as well. Edna May Riggs was here for the first time in several years it was good to see her. Edna May’s daughter Rhonda brought her to the reunion along with her daughter and two grandchildren. I think that their car ride from Pampa Texas was not dull; it looked like they were having a good time and making good memories.
I missed my brother and sister’s family not making it this year, but Virgil has gone to Wyoming to visit their daughter’ family. Pamela and David are expecting their second baby just any day now. And Vickie was here a couple of weeks ago.
The wonderful thing about the Alley Reunion is that the Alleys are great cooks or they married great cooks. We never go away hungry or usually without a new recipe to try. From what I have been told our Grandma Alley was a terrific cook among other things. I have heard stories about her and how tough she was but that is another story.
I hope that you had a good Memorial weekend with your friends and family.