We held our annual family reunion in Gordon Nebraska this year, just like we did three years ago. We have one every year, and we always have a great time. Three years ago, one of my cousin’s took us on a trek/tour of all the places our grandparents lived near Rushville Nebraska.
We had lunch in the Rushville’s park and some of us played on the slides.
We pulled up, 8-10 cars at least 20 or more of us. I was the last car, everybody said they liked that. My bright green car meant they could tell at a distance if we were all there. Other cars all saw us coming and would pull over. Apparently, we looked like a funeral procession, which was ironic because of all the fun we were having.
We took pictures. We went to one home and chatted with the owner. She said no, it wasn’t their house, but thought the place we were looking for was down the road.
Off we went. At one point, my uncle, who is celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary this year, got out of the procession. He sped up way too fast, keeping on the opposite side of the road to pass me and get back to his place in line. Don’t disturb the order.
We went down another side road. This little boulevard had grass growing up past the undercarriage of most of the SUV’s. My little Mazda was not built for country driving. It took a beating. I could only hope and pray nothing fell off.
We bumped and glided along. I had three of my female cousins with me. We pulled up to another farm-house. They had a sign that said they welcomed tours. Once again, this crazy group of relatives all piled out. My aunt, the other half of the 60th wedding anniversary party, came running over to us and begged for a ride. She said her husband was driving crazy. Or maybe she said he was crazy. No matter. No one offered her a ride. Sorry, you made your bed 60 years ago.
One of my male cousins got out wearing his mother’s wide brim, red hat. The people from the house all came out. He, my male cousin, spent the next several minutes explaining to them that he was a normal red-blooded American male and pulled his recent bride close to him. He didn’t take off the hat.
The owners were very generous, but they too said it was not the right house. We had some great laughs, and then the matriarch of the place told me that they sometimes get people out looking around because she happened to be Mari Sandoz’s granddaughter.
She said many people want to see the places that her grandmother wrote about. It was incredibly fascinating to me as a writer that people would travel long distances to seek out the places an author wrote about.
She was very sweet. I took her name & took her picture. While looking around, her handsome grandson walked over. My family teased me for speaking with the good-looking guy, but as I pointed out, he talked to me.
We left on a worse road, all sand ruts and grass. My cousin, in the red hat, made a wide swing around, and I made a lesser swing and cut him off, so he had to follow me. (Snicker)
Going uphill, my little car dug in and wouldn’t move. I backed down and tried again, we just spun. Unbeknownst to me, some of my cousins saw we were no longer with them and started honking and flagging down the rest of the family.
My three female cousins piled out, and I tried to make it up the hill without them in it. Still, I spun. This time, I told them to push. Another cousin came running back to help. The pushing got my car up and over the hill. My cousins piled back in and were spent. I looked at my passengers, and they were all fast asleep. That sand took its toll.
After the Bike Ride Across Nebraska, I raised my bike over my head. (A lot of bicyclists do.) My relatives wanted to lift my car over their heads and get their pictures taken.
On the final day of the reunion, I gave my 81-year-old aunt a ride home to Omaha, and everyone told her she’d better watch out cause I might make her get out and push.