Although the Rugg reunion has been going on for 93 years, I can’t remember its beginning, but can remember when it was held at the old Rugg farm in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. People would gather, planning on spending most of the day socializing and eating. It was a time to reconnect with the roots of our family. We looked at the scarce black and white photos of past generations and were introduced to newly born members of the clan.
Food was possibly a bigger part of the gatherings than the reconnection with aunts, uncles, cousins, great-grandparents, or cousins twice removed. The varied items of the potluck meals filled long tables of bed sheet covered boards resting on saw horses. The fare was placed under the shade in the apple orchard and soon became the center of attention. Even just sampling most the meats, casseroles, and desserts, I can remember the fullness of my stomach. The wonderful tastes made me wish I could eat more. I was afraid I might miss eating a delicious bite of cake, cookie, or pie.
Although the food was always good, what made the biggest impression was the huge, cloth covered crock of lemonade claiming its spot the end of the table. It was filled to the brim with ice, sugar, and squeezed lemons that floated in the concoction. The cloth kept the honey bees from sipping the lemony nectar. Even when nearing the end of the day, the lemon flavor became watered down from the melted ice was still so refreshing. I can remember the cooling liquid as it slid down my dry parched throat after running and playing with my cousins in the hot afternoon sun. Memories can be made from the smallest things, if we keep them precious.