Everyone loved the place...my cousin's very nice pool was most popular, but their pond definitely drew a few of the younger ones. They paddled and splashed around so much that the fish, I am certain, celebrated our departure.
These three were inseparable all weekend. It's odd now to think that the one standing had never met the other two. They are fourth or fifth cousins, but I'm sure there are some Instagram pictures being shared right now.
These two almost facing the camera, Aunt Ann (in white) and Uncle Kelly (in red) will celebrate their 60th anniversary in just a month or so. The guy all the way on the right is the cousin whose home we invaded like ants--crawling into every corner and eating all but the wood.
We shared a few big moments--announcements, well wishes, and memories of those who are no longer with us.
Here's my little crew ready to pounce into the soup line. This family knows how to eat! Wayne and Pam served several meals but managed to keep it different and interesting: spaghetti, hamburgers, crawfish pie, gumbo, fried fish and shrimp, and a table laden with cookies, cobblers, and breads. An ice-cream truck came by and parked in the drive for quite a while.
Richard and I left before the rib cook-off because I had to show up for work this morning. Wouldn't that have been fun? And I do love ribs!
One way to burn off the calories is to climb up many crazy-small, hard steps and slide down. Do it a couple of times and muscles that are 50+ years old start crying. Oddly, the younger set didn't seem to be bothered by either the hard steps or the muscles.
We had fireworks on Saturday night. The teen-aged boys in crowd enjoyed setting off the fireworks. Our shy 16-year-old who rarely talks to anyone but his Poppa, Lane, hung out with Texas neighbors until the wee hours. All the way back home he told Poppa about the things they did, how they worked together to clean up the fireworks mess, played in the pool and so on. (Maybe I can stop worrying about his shyness.)
Whether we were sitting around tables of food, lounging at the pool, or cooling off in the water, there were people to meet and get to know. Cousins from as far away as California, Indiana, and Florida dropped in for a few hours or a couple of days. Everyone seems to have the gift of gab in this clan.
Richard and I ended the weekend with mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Orange. When we returned to the family, we began packing up and saying goodbyes. It was a bittersweet morning, but that's to be expected after spending two days laughing, crying and hugging, even in that severe heat.
Of course our drive into Orange had me looking at the architecture of the surrounding homes and buildings. These two neighbor the church and I just had to snap a couple of pictures "on the fly."