Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family Gatherings

Today I had the opportunity to attend a ninetieth birthday party for my (great) Uncle Jim. Looking around the room, I knew very few faces. Yet, all these old women hugged me and swore that I looked just like my grandmother, or I must be a Harrington with my face. Well, what does that mean? What on my face exactly looks like a Harrington feature? Is that a good thing? I'm not so sure.

At any large family gathering, you know the food is going to be good. I love the idea of everyone bringing a covered dish, so I can try as many things as possible. A twenty foot table was covered with bowls and plates ranging from every food item. We had beans, collards, boiled potatoes, brunswick stew, and pig (as my cousin, Jessica, would say). I filled my plate with small servings of everything, as not to forget the other long table filled with desserts. I'm terrified that in twenty years, all the good food will be gone. What will happen when all of our grandmother's pass away? The stories may live on but what about those buttered biscuits and fried chicken. I do hope her recipes and good cooking will live as well.

At family gatherings, everyone always knows who I am, and yet I have no idea who all these people are! I hope when I celebrate a ninetieth birthday party, I can be that old lady who hugs all these young people.While enjoying a large slice of ten layer chocolate cake I thought, how many people actually have the opportunity to turn ninety?

Ninety years ago was 1921. Ninety years ago McDonald's didn't exist. Coco Chanel perfume had just been released in France. Ninety years ago, a stamp was less that 5 cents. Back when marriages actually lasted forever.  When I get married it will be forever. My forever may not be 60 years, like my grandparents, but I will commit. I know one thing too, I will make damn well sure that I want to be with this man the rest of my life before I tie the knot or I won't get married.  Divorce is expensive, my friends.

Uncle Jim has seen a lot in his lifetime. Much more than many people have the opportunity to see. I hope that my life is filled with the many blessings he has seen.

Have a happy day!

Dani G


  1. That's one thing I love about working in geriatric nursing -- you learn so much about life and the truly important things. It's very refreshing and puts it all in perspective.

  2. Yeah, its like people rush through their days for no reason. A long time ago, lives weren't as rushed as they are now. I think the older generations are fascinating because they really appreciate the small things in life.