Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beating the Heat...

with little friends in their new swimsuits (or swimming soup as the little one says).

and a few bigger friends

I'd like to stay and type some little profound ditty, but the girls aren't having it.

It's so hard for them to wait, and how can I resist these smiles? (And you're not hearing the, "Please, Betsy, come swim with us, pleeeeeeeze.
 How many more minutes?"

No more minutes. I'm coming right now...promise.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Celebrating Birthdays

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'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.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Family Fun on French Creek

A couple of days with family from as far away as Paris, France: Kathy, Bernard, and Pierre, and as close by as Cleveland, Ohio: Luann, Jerry, and Rebecca and our own Adam and Alica from Butler, Pennsylvania. Yesterday... tractor riding, canoeing, skipping stones off the creek bank.

It seemed appropriate for the visiting French boy to have a canoe ride on French Creek. And as it turns out, he's quite good at skipping stones.

Not everyone made the trip to the creek and back.

But to clarify... everyone who went to the creek, did come back.

Home again, home again jiggety jog. And then they were off to Cleveland. All but Adam and Alica who were off to Butler. And we had our home to ourselves again. Peaceful and serene...our sanctuary.

And that calls for a swim by the light of the moon.

Good night friends. Good night moon.