A couple of weeks ago, we still had a PC that worked. That lasted all of about enough time for me to upload these pictures before the whole system went on to its great reward, having served this family well. However, we don't miss it that much.
Now that we're back in the land of the information super highway with all important documents uploaded and saved (and by important, I mean Eric's, since our external hard-drive didn't seem to like me very much, but, then again, I wasn't its original owner. It definitely held its loyalty where it was due), I can finally update our activities.
We had a rare opportunity a couple of weeks ago -- the opportunity to get my Mom's whole family together for a CELEBRATION. A celebration of life. And, for the first time in our long history of reunions and celebrations, it wasn't a "celebration of life: funeral style". Yes, that sounds awful, but it was all anyone could talk about -- how rarely we get to see each other outside of funerals (and weddings, of course, but we don't have many of those anymore since most of the adult cousins have been married off).
So, off to West-by-God we went:
ah, the K&W Cafeteria -- our go-to spot for lunch anytime we made the hour-long trek into Bluefield for a day of shopping at the Mercer Mall (the only mall, mind you, in a 50-mile radius).
We were off to celebrate Mary Ruth's 85th birthday. She had no idea any of us were coming, nor did she suspect that a party was being held in her honor that day. She had gotten all dolled up that morning to attend a wedding in the afternoon. On the way, my cousin, Julie, told her she wanted to stop by and see the church where her parents had gotten married. She was pleasantly surprised when she came in.
getting ready to watch the family slideshow. I wish I had a copy of this -- so many amazing memories and photos of those we've lost. There weren't many dry eyes in the room! On screen now: Bill, Diane and Mary Ruth around the time their son, David, was in service.
The cousins had a blast playing together, old and young, but these two were inseparable the entire afternoon.
The afternoon was filled with a whole lot of happy -- catching up with family and old friends, snuggling with little ones (including meeting the newest members of our family, twins Violet and Lily, who belong to my cousin JoAnna).
Mom's best childhood friend and a surrogate Mom to me -- Gerpie. While she has 3 boys and 6 grandkids of her own, Anna was like her 7th for the afternoon!
After the party, we ventured up to Memorial Gardens. It's been 3 years since I've been back to WVa, and I still had yet to see my grandmother's grave. It was a very emotional time for my Mom and I, but it was nice to be able to introduce Anna to her Great-Grand A. She even said, "Hi, Gram Rose".
We concluded the day's celebration with dinner at the Bluefield Country Club. Anna thoroughly enjoyed her grilled cheese and just about everyone else's course of side dishes that would share.
A tiring.....but ENJOYABLE......time it was, and all agreed it should be repeated ANNUALLY.