Time to let you see some of what I've been blathering about for the last couple of weeks.

First, the reunion.
From left to right: Aunt Nora, Jeff, my mom. Jeff is my 4th or 5th cousin, I always get it confused and to be honest, at that point is it even necessary to remember? Wasn't sure he'd make it this year, but he did. His dad lives there in "the Valley" so he had a place to stay for free. Although Nora & mom don't look like they are happy, they really were happy to see him and get a hug. Jeff lives in Alabama (and apparently has the shirt to prove it...on no that was for his alma mater).

Did I mention that my family likes to sing? There is some actual talent in the family. Back in the 1920's one of the son's G.W. & Levina Thompson (of whom most of those in attendance decended from) played at the Grand Ole Opry. For that last couple of reunions we've had some help with the playing part and used the kareoke machine there at the Community Center. See this little girl...
That's Chris, yet another cousin, and his grandbabies. Yep, we start them out young and yes, she was singing into that mic.

We had a good time sitting and talking and eating and listening to whoever decided to get up and sing. The singing was cute short due to a really bad storm that came up. But that gave some of us more time to just sit and talk. That's my cousin Jennifer, me and cousin Don. Jennifer and Don are 1st cousins, and my 3rd cousins. Their grandfather and my grandmother were twins. Jennifer lives in VA and Donald lives way out in CA.

After the actual reunion we went back to the house and hung out for awhile, then mom & I took DF Ann up to the cemetery and for a ride through the "rest of the Valley". Then folks started gathering at our rental for a gourmet dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs. My cousin Steven (an actual 1st cousin), did the cooking and the fixings were provided by whoever came and brought stuff. Per tradition, I'd also made frozen margaritas and those went fairly fast. Thankfully, Jeff had a cooler of beer for later. Steven's wife Angie brought her autoharp and we did some singing on the back porch until Nora told us we had to come inside and sing. Angie & I managed to put together a fairly good rendition of "Joleen". I don't think Ms. Parton would have been too offended by it.

Before the whole reunion though Ann & I made the rounds at the crafts part of the Highland's Festival in Abingdon, VA. I introduced her to my favorite potter there and she bought a few lovely pieces. (I noticed that Ann hasn't placed any pictures of her finds on her blog yet. Perhaps she'll do so soon.) She bought the coolest tea pot ever. I settled for these....
Perhaps settled isn't the best word. I actually adore them both! They are both coffee cups/mugs but as you can see one is a little bigger then the other. The colors are perfect for me, but no the usual colors I buy from Boanna Pottery. (I thought they had a website, but I can't find it now, hmmm.)

The final leg of our VA adventure was on the way home. We stopped by my father's cousin's home for a short visit. Ron's house is amazing, and I swear I didn't take any of the rabbits in the upstairs bedroom, really I didn't. I was tempted sure, but I didn't take my purse with me so I didn't have anywhere to hide what I wanted. My Aunt Nora and Ron have a standing joke from when he was at her house after my dad's mother died. Those of you familiar with "Mrs. Bucket" and her antics will understand, the rest of you will just have to bear with me. It's all about drinking coffee from a "beaker". So Nora found theseThey drank out of those while the rest of us got our coffee in what he normally uses. (Which is not hand-painted Royal Doulton, but wasn't too far off I'm sure.)

That's all for now. It's decided to come a terrible storm and the lights are blinking so I'm going to post this and try for more later.
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