Days Of Old Drift Back To Me

Days of old drift back to me on wings of golden memories, taking me back to old times, happy times and family times, as the love of family runs deep in my veins and deeper in my heart…

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Treasured memories of childhood hold fast and true, as the sounds of innocence play softly in my mind…sounds of silly giggling and little legs running to hide on a warm country night, as we played hide and go seek…”Olly Olly Oxen Free.”

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Growing up I had cousins by the dozens and lots of Aunts and Uncles….the above photo was taken on my 3rd birthday here at the house. My Grandma is sitting on the red sofa next to my Uncle Ron and Uncle Rich is sitting in the red chair that was my Dad’s…and to the right of the photo you can see the skirts of my aunts…you can’t see me as I’m surrounded by cousins…I have the short hair with the striped dress sitting on the floor.

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Dad had six brothers counting him and three sisters making Dad’s immediate family a family of 11 and they all lived in this area. As a family tradition, we got together for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas Eve, it was always a very large gathering of around 60 plus family members, with Aunts, Uncles and their spouses and lots of cousins. It was an incredible gift to be part of a huge family as I grew up…as family was very important. Being an only child I was on cloud nine each time we got together for the holidays or for my cousins birthdays…those were the best years of our lives!

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My Dad is standing on the left side with the cowboy hat on and his five brothers…two nephews sitting in the middle in front and two young nephews standing with their Dad on the right side of the photo taken here about 1960.

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When I began grade school in our very small town, 8 miles from our house, there was one of my cousins in each grade from 1-12.  I loved it as my older cousins were plowing the path for us to follow along! It was incredible to experience that…if one of us got hurt or upset we could run to find one of our cousins for childhood support!  Our school was lucky to have a 100 kids enrolled in 12 grades. Most classes were under 10 kids. FYI, I was thrilled when Mom finally told me I could grow my hair out if I took care of it and I did and still do:)

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As we cousins grew up, went to college and got married, we began a new chapter that was very foreign to us. In the last few years, we have buried our parents together. It’s hard at times to fathom that we are now the older family members and yet…we still feel like that same group of cousins, laughing and calling out “Olly Olly Oxen Free”…young at heart…life was good…we had each other and we had our parents and we had lots of Uncles and Aunts to tease us and keep us in line. The picture above is only half of my cousins!

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The last week has been bittersweet as we lost a family member who was very much loved. He was my oldest cousin, but because of the age difference, we called him our Uncle Gerald. He was always in a good mood and had a smile for everyone…if you showed up in his shop he would offer you a meal and something to drink…he loved his family and he worked hard his entire life. He was always there with a smile and a wave as he drove by…I will miss him.

The picture above is at cow camp in the old log cabin. My Mom always cooked up a storm…using a wood cook stove, with no running water and no electricity…she was amazing!  Gerald is sitting with his back to the picture, my Dad is pouring us lemonade and Gerald’s son Jerry is sitting next to my Dad and cousin Matt is sitting next to me and yes…that is me with the dorky glasses and pixie haircut!.

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In remembrance of my Uncle Gerald…the picture above says it all…he was a good husband, a good father and a super grandfather and friend to many…and the best Uncle/Cousin you could have. He will be remembered for the caring love he had for his family and for others…and the great sense of fun he had in life…he lived his life fully with honor and with the simple love of family.

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Time passes by and before you know it those whom you love are gone. Wherever you are…reach out to your family and to those that you love…as time gets shorter each year and before you know it, time passes by…Kathy Mattea sang the song below…it is one of my favorites and so very true.

Dreams drift away like leaves on the water
They roll down the river and slip out of sight
Too many times we do what we ought
Put off ’til tomorrow what we’d really rather do tonight
And later realize

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Thoughts are like pennies we keep in our pockets
They’re never worth nothing ’til we give them away
But love’s like a promise in an un-opened letter
Where nights full of pleasure seldom see the light of day
When life gets in the way

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

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Have a wonderful week with a bit of whacky….as the whacky will keep life interesting! HRCG over and out for now but not for long!

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