Another Family Reunion
Yesterday was another family reunion. It was started to honor the Curtis Rugg family. Curtis was my great-grandfather. His farm was located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. I can remember the large white clapboard two-story house that always had a tingling, smoky aroma inside. It wasn’t harsh, but had the smell like a smoked ham. There were always chickens and turkeys in the back yard and the orchard filled with heavy bearing fruit trees.
This thin wiry man was my grandmother Rebecca Rugg Miner’s father. My last memory of him was of him sitting with my great-uncle Wesley on the swing of the small front porch of his home. Wesley was as rotund as Curtis was wiry. Now, the reunion always honors the eldest Rugg alive.
I like going to the meeting of the clan. I can reestablish family ties with cousins that I haven’t seen since the year before. It sometimes expands with new, babies and new faces as some marry or some have children. The great thing about the reunion is seeing some who live far away coming for a once in a many year visit. Many are older or their health limits the times that they can rejoin this celebration of family.
Many, like me, are growing old and the ball games, races, and other activities are relegated to the younger children. We sit and watch them run, filled with the slowly waning energies that we once had. Water balloons seemed to be the enticement for mischief this year.
Great food is always the centerpiece of the gathering. Different recipes fill the tables and smorgasbord style we peruse and partake of the goodies, sampling whatever catches our eyes and wishing that we had sideboards on our plates. There is always one table spread with the desserts; pies, cookies, fudge, but missing this year was the watermelon.
Watermelon and lemonade are things that take me back to the old Rugg farm and the reunions that were held there in a pasture, under the fruit trees on sawhorse tables. At the one end of the table were always cold slices of watermelon. The huge crock of lemonade dominated the farthest end, filled with the sweet concoction. It held the pale yellow nectar and huge chunks of ice. It was so refreshing to taste these treats on a hot sunny day, beneath the shade of the trees.