My sister and her husband share their birthday with the United States of America…July 4th. It was my privilege to have them here for an Independence Day picnic and birthday celebration.
A few days later my side of the family had a reunion…the annual Bruce reunion in Johnstown, PA. I’ve been attending that reunion for most of my 59 years. I may have missed a few of those family gatherings throughout all those years, but truly, not many…two maybe three. Family gatherings were so important to my Grandma Bruce, so her kids made family reunions happen. The venue, always the same. Dad’s brother, Uncle Jim had a cottage with a picnic pavillion and pool. Perfect.
Years later, the cottage is now a big house where my cousin, Jimmy lives and where he raised his family. The pool has been rebuilt over the years. Long ago it was converted from cement to a more climate tolerant vinyl-lined pool. The pavillion still serves us well and has picnic tables to seat 70 people or so. Grandma has been gone since 1972, Pap passed in 1975. Aunt Carol and my dad are the only ones remaining of Gram and Pap’s six children. We still say we’re to going to Uncle Jim’s when we talk about and head for the reunion. In reality, it’s Aunt Marion’s or cousin Jim’s place, but no, it was and always will be (at least until our generation passes) Uncle Jim’s.
The reunion is a great time to catch up with aunts and uncles and cousins and cousin’s kids. My cousins and I — we used to be the kids. Then we were the parents. Now, we’re the one’s answering to “Grandma, Pappy, watch this!” And time marches on.
The following day the Dick Bruce family met in Bedford at the “Nancy House”. I don’t know if Nancy is a sur name or a first name…but…it’s the house where my Grandma (Ruth Allison) Bruce was born back in…let’s see, real close to 1900 (it may have been 1898 or 1899). The log cabin home is still used as a hunting camp. It’s rustic. It’s off the beaten path.
The afternoon was spent reminiscing about family roots and trying to figure out the extended family tree, a delightful day long history session.
Oh, and my dear family tried to make me turn 60! Three full months before my 60th birthday is here. I’m smiling, but I’m not having it. Still, thank you Mom and Dad and all my sibs and their families, for making my 59 and 3/4 birthday celebration so very special. I love you all!!!
Just the girls. (back)Anne, Joan, Ali, Kathy, Chloe, (front) Rebecca, Luann, Mom/Oma/Glor, and me, with the birthday tiara. Four sisters, one sis-in-law, 3 granddaughters and the matriarch. (I hope you laughed, Mom!)
And Dad/Pop/Dick — Thanks for a great pre-birthday event chock full of family past and present!
My funniest birthday gift was a check for $59.75. My brother the comedian says he’ll mail me a quarter on October 4th. Gotta love this family.