Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Burns Family Reunion June, 2007

'Burns' is my maternal grandmother's maiden name. She was 1 of 13 children.

When I was little, the Burns family reunion was the highlight of family get-togethers! It was held for years on the grounds of Current River @ Owl's Bend, which is about 3 hours south of St. Louis. Just saying it now stirrs joy and nostalgia. I can almost smell the chicken and dumplings (my childhood favorite).

There were so many relatives in one spot (many times over 100), the food was outstanding-the best to date in the world and it was truly something special to kick off your summer off from school. It was almost always HOT, which made gathering at the river side even sweeter. All of us cousins would be so excited to see each other. We'd play in the cold waters of the spring that ran along side the river until time to eat. After eating and visiting, we would beg and beg our parents to let us put on our suits & go swimming in the river. Of course they were happy to let us. The boys would almost always spend the next few hours hunting crawdads and honing their rock skipping skills. Us girls would walk up the campground carrying our inner tubes and float down to the boat dock. Of course, we'd always follow that up by walking back and doing it again and again!

These days, however, there are only 2 of the original 13 siblings still with us. The Burns family reunion is held in a park about 10 minutes south of South County, St. Louis and now consists of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original 13 brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, alot of them don't attend. But for the few who do, it's still nice to see the faces of family members who seem to grow more and more distant every year.

I still look forward to the family reunion but I think now, for me, it's almost like an homage to the memory of reunions past-when I could still sit on the lap of my grandmother who almost always wore a dress and sat on a lawn chair, visiting with her brothers and sisters. I can almost hear her sweet laughter and feel the cool breeze that blew in from the river.

My brother, his girlfriend, my mom and me.

~ Burns Family Reunion June, 2007 ~

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