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The Tie That Binds 

Somehow it seemed important, at the time, that the place look ship shape. Truly though, in my heart, I really knew that it was bigger than whether or not I had painted the shed or he had mowed all the lawns.  

We were honouring our past and continuing with the tradition that started decades ago. A “Nanna” picnic. My paternal grandmother would call up her 3 daughter-in-law’s and tell them whose house the picnic was at that Sunday and what to bring. I have a dim recollection of going to a couple of these at my grandma’s house in the city. The older cousins in my generation remember them at the farms and at our grandparents house in our small town before they moved. 

Truth is the people who turned up here this weekend were glad of a place to congregate. Much time and energy was spent on food preparation but that was also not the highlight. Although I must say that the Saskatoon and rhubarb pies were very well received. Puffed wheat cake also ranks up there with family favourites.

 There was the Nanna noise and story about forgetting the pie in the oven when she was at church. There were a host of other memories shared by cousins of all ages and many stories told by the senior matriarch that was there. Although my mom is younger than her sister in law she was the oldest person here. Time was spent looking and laughing at old photos. 

  We did the traditional photos of the youngest and oldest and then each generation plus the “outlaws” as we call them. I can’t say I got many pictures but I suspect everyone will share their best ones. 

There was family from the 3 western provinces with one day tripper and one 24 hour tripper. Only in Canada, that’s my opinion but seems pretty solid, would you drive 6 hours one way to spend the day and then drive home but I think everyone felt that it was well worth it. A far cry from the Nanna and Bompa days when four miles was the farthest anyone had to go. 

It seems that too often that families only come together for funerals. My much older and much wiser cousin had a great idea that we should get together for happy occasion. She planned the picnic the same weekend as their 50th wedding anniversary so many of us attended both events. We hosted a house full for the weekend but there was always so many hands making light work of dishes or food prep that it seemed easy. It’s amazing how many of us share similar traits despite never living geographically close. 

The wind played a small factor but overall it was a nice weekend and lots of time was spent outside. The weather today was perfect and so this evening we are enjoying the fire we couldn’t have last night. 

Tonight the laundry is done, the borrowed items returned home and the recycling all processed. The house remains clean and the yard still look good but the important legacy is really the memories we all created. 


3 thoughts on “The Tie That Binds 

  1. What a wonderful gathering to have – a family fun time NOT associated with a funeral. Our family talked about doing this at dad’s funeral – I guess it will take place at Shauna’s wedding reception this summer but minus the cousins. Your gathering looked wonderful – such good food and a good representation of cousins. Puffed wheat cake AND devilled eggs – it doesn’t get a lot better than that. Tell your mom she looks terrific.


    1. How funny you should comment on this post — it was noted by Gwen that the only thing missing was the Bacon’s and that lead to a long discussion about the connection. Which in turn lead to the sad reflection that the Dunn’s and Bacon’s in Ogema have seriously dwindled in numbers and that they probably wouldn’t even know about the connection.


  2. This really was a fantastic weekend! Thanks to the Cruikshanks for their hospitality! Looking forward to our next family get to gether thanksgiving weekend when we celebrate Aunt Thelma’s 90th birthday. Love you all!


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