Monday, June 05, 2006

Family Reunion II -- A Meeting of Five Cousins -- New Hope Baptist Church Homecoming

The five cousins
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Mema's first cousins are all in their 80s. One drives her Ford pickup (rather fast on those back Louisiana roads, I must say) everywhere.
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From left to right is Viola (Mema, Mrs. Jim's mother), Gracie (a cousin by marriage), Louvenia, Oma, and Ethel. All of them were born and grew up in Central Louisiana. They all still live there, except for Mema, who lives in Texas near us. All are widowed.
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We met at the New Hope Baptist Church in Elmer, Louisiana, for Homecoming 2006. Only Mema had been able to come to the family reunion the week before in North Louisiana, so this was a second reunion for them.
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Adi wonders if she will get to eat with us

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Mema, Mrs. Jim, Adi, and I drove over to Alexandria, Louisiana, Saturday morning. That is about a five hour drive. On the way we ate at the Boiling Pot in Sulfur [not Sulfer ], La. Things just weren't as good there as when we were there before. In fact, our food wasn't very warm at all.

We visited Mema's brother, Lonnie, on the way up. Mema and Lonnie are the only survivors of the eight children. We had a nice get-to-gether with him. Lonnie's health did not permit him to attend the reunion the week before. Mema gave him her doggie bag chicken and sausage gumbo left over from the boiling pot. It was a lot better hot, Mrs. Jim tasted it.

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After our nice we proceeded to Mema's home in Alexandria. On the way we stopped at the Woodman of the World camp to check it out a little for next year's reunion. Mrs. Jim didn't sign any contracts for it.

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Mema's home was doing fine, one neighbor was parking his van in the driveway and another was mowing her yard. The lady across the street came over and we had a nice visit with her. She has fine neighbors.

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We spent the night at the new Comfort Inn on West Bolton. It was really nice. We ate the included continental breakfast and went to Emanuel Baptist church. I got my coffee and headed to a men's Sunday school class.

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Then I heard Mema fussing in the hall. She said we would be late for the Homecoming at new hope if we stayed. We couldn't convince her it was only a half hour drive. So we left. Of course we got there a good hour before the church service (Homecoming service this time).


Adi was certain she was going to have to stay in the car while we all were enjoying things in the church

[This photographer is overpaid]

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Then I heard Mema fussing in the hall. She said we would be late for the Homecoming at new hope if we stayed. We couldn't convince her it was only a half hour drive. So we left. Of course we got there a good hour before the church service (Homecoming service this time).

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The service was good, the guest minister, Dr. Joe Kite, gave a fiery sermon. He is about a year older than me, both of us slightly younger than Methuselah. He had a keen sense of humor. Since he didn't know us, he looked our way a lot; sure he didn't want to miss an opportunity for a convert. The piano player played like church music should be played in a Louisiana country church. Her grandmother was a cousin of some sorts to the five cousins.

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They took up three offerings, the first was for cemetery maintence. That's part of what Homecoming is for, to raise money for the cemetery maintenance fund. Both Mema and Mrs. Jim contributed. The next offering was taken by the children. Most everyone's pocket change ended up in a bucket, earmarked for a mission project. I don't think there was much money left then for the regular offering, but they had it too.

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After the service there was a pot luck dinner. Everything from beans to potato salad, mashed (cooked first) carrots to deviled eggs, and King Ranch chicken to barbecued brisket. None of the chocolate pie Mrs. Jim brought was left.

Mrs. Jim's grandparents are buried here

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After we ate a lot of us went over to the cemetery. All of the cousins went along with some of their kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We drove over to where Mema's parents were buried. Mema was getting worn out, so she didn't get out of the car.

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Mrs. Jim's father is buried here

Her mother will be buried here beside him someday

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After visiting the graves we went to Gracies home. Gracie, Ethel and all of us visited for a couple of hours.

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Our trip home was uneventful. We didn't need the St. Christopher statue we haven't bought yet. No blowouts or anything. Mrs. Jim and I trade off driving, she drives mostly when I get sleepy.

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Our car enjoyed that $2.7x gasoline (premium). We missed the final fillup so had to do that for $3.01 in Conroe, Texas.

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And the ladies really enjoyed their day, even though it wasn't a planned reunion.



Comments:
Sounds like you had a great time Jim. Lots of good food too. What does Mema stand for? Is it Mom? Is that a southern thing?

Take care xx
 
One must be early. At least an hour early. It's an elderly rule.
 

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