Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You Can't Choose Your Relatives - - -

.
But if I could, I would still choose these.

This is how we were as we gathered from "the four corners" this past weekend to celebrate the life of Aunt Doris. We are the Butcher Clan. We came, four generations of us, from as far away as New York, Colorado, and several states in between.


We spent a lot of time just being together. Catching up. Sharing dreams. Laughing. And yes, crying.


We were a blend of born-ins and married-ins.

Someone from the hotel told us: "We see a lot of families here for funerals. There is something different about yours - - - you all seem to love each other and no one is angry." What wonderful words to hear - - - and even more so since they were true.

Let me share some of my wonderful family with you:


Cousin Dar and Sister Pam. Dar "lurks" on this blog, leaving a few comments from time to time in my cbox. She is my "twin" cousin having been born on my birthday exactly one year later. Aunt Doris was her momma, so if she has the "cares of the world" on her face, there was good reason. I can't say enough about how much I love her - - - the stories of our exploits together could go on and on - - - -


Kevin, one of only two boys who carry the family name, and Mary Alice. Kevin is one of the younger of the 25 first cousins in my generation, and Mary Al is, well let's just say she is at the other end of the generational spectrum!!!!


Renee, one of the married-ins. She and I grew up together, but she was in high school and cool while I was still a bothersome junior higher. Then she married my cousin John and became family. Somehow I missed getting a picture of John.


Uncle Clinton. One of only two (out of nine) of my mom's living siblings. He now lives entirely in the moment.


Aunt Janet, the other remaining Butcher sibling, and her son, our BABY cousin Brent. They came all the way from Colorado.


Kevin gives Gail a bit of a squeeze. You'll hear more about Gail in just a minute.


Kent, one of our "babies," and Rusty. Sister Pam and I spent a lot of time with Rusty's family while we were growing up. I have a funny story or two about those days - - - maybe the spirit will move me to share some of them one of these times.


Dad, Richard, and Pam.

OK - - - the spirit just moved.

Richard is Rusty's older brother. Richard is four or five years older than me, Pam is a year younger than me, and Rusty is a year younger than Pam.

Once upon a time on a small Wisconsin Dairy farm, we four decided to have a "sword" fight. Our swords consisted of sticks. Richard and I, being the two oldest, took on Pam and Rusty. As if that wasn't already unfair enough - - - the two oldest against the two "babies" - - - Richard was an athlete who once beat ALL THREE OF US single-footedly at kickball, and he was on CRUTCHES at the time.

But I digress - - -

I confess, all I had to do was WATCH and back Richard up - - - he certainly did not NEED my help to harvest a FRESH, green branch about an inch in diameter. He shaved off the smaller branches and leaves, and our "arsenal" was complete.

Pam and Rusty on the other hand, being much younger and less wise, combed the woods for fallen, dead branches. They appeared with an arsenal of quite a pile of brittle sticks.

The fight was on.

Richard made quick work of ALL their "swords" - - - slashing through them and chopping them to bits with his fresh green branch.

Undaunted, they returned to the woods in search of a better weapon. When they emerged, they were dragging an old, dead, tree trunk of about 5 inches in diameter. Between the two of them they could barely hold it up.

Richard took one fell swoop at it with his trusty sword and knocked it right out of their hands. He proclaimed that if they couldn't HOLD their sword, they were disqualified.

END of battle.

BEGINNING of YEARS of laughter over the event - which laughter I hope continues for many more years to come.


Cousin Kim and his lovely wife Gail. They too came all the way from Colorado.

Back in the day - - - the High School day - - -Kim taught me to play Euchre. Let's just say I HAD to learn FAST!!!

Oh, these are fun memories. Thanks for letting me share them with you.

.

11 comments:

Cass @ That Old House said...

Dear Keetha,
What a charming post -- and a happy family. While it is sad that the occasion was the rememberance of your Aunt Doris, it's lovely to read of a family that LIKES one another and is not feuding. That is special!

We too are blessed with a family like that -- our family parties are hot tickets even with the young folk.

It's wonderful to be a part of something larger than ourselves -- your Aunt Doris would have been so proud to see you all.

... Cass
PS Howard says thank you for liking the print! He's very proud of his find!

Luke said...

What a fun post to read! I enjoyed seeing some pictures from last weekend. Oh no...is that me lurking around the food? It couldn't possibly be... ;)

I also enjoyed the previous post that documented my grandparents' old house. Just seeing it gives me chills as I revisit old memories there. I made my dad drive me by there before we left Eau Claire. After telling my Grandpa and family goodbye right before seeing the house, I can say somewhat unashamed that I shed many tears!

Thanks for the comments on my dormant blog! I hope to revitalize it soon, so hopefully there will be more to read in the future.

Keetha said...

Cass - - - thanks for the kind words about my family. There were many first cousins once removed there too, but I didn't highlight any of them, mostly because I didn't have any close-ups of them. You will see some of them "lurking" in the group photos.

Luke - - - Thanks so much for continuing to visit my blog!!!! I'm going to start "following" yours so I'll know when you start posting again, and I HOPE it will be soon. I still have a couple more Eau Claire posts to do - - -

debbie said...

DEAR KEETHA,
I AM A SOBBER SO THIS OST MADE ME CRY AND LAUGH. I'M SO SORRY YOUR FAMILY IS NO LONGER WITH THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF AUNT DORIS BUT WE WILL ALL BE REUNITED ONE DAY IN HEAVEN.
YOUR DADDY IS SOOO VERY CUTE AND LOOKS HEALTHY.
I LOVED VERY MUCH HEARING YOUR FAMILY STORIES AND MEMORIES AND I LOVED THE POST ALSO ABOUT AUNT DORIS'S HOUSE. I HAVE BEEN IN HOUSES THAT HAD THE TWO PORCHES.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SHARING THIS POST AND MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. IT STANDS AS A TESTIMONY WHEN OTHERS NOTICE HOW MUCH LOVE YOU HAVE AS A FAMILY.
I LOVE POSTS ABOUT FAMILY AND I KNOW YOU DO, TOO.
THANKS FOR VISITING MY BLOG. I LOVE TO HAVE YOU VISIT
HUGS
debbie

Julie said...

What a great family you have! Loved your pictures.

Kirby3131 said...

I know that funerals are not something that most people think about as a good time, but I have always looked forward to seeing family and friends at the funeral.

When my grandfather died I saw people that I hadn't seen in 20 years. It was so wonderful to see them again.

I think this is one of the reasons why there can be joy in the midst of sorrow. Family and friends can always bring joy.

Thanks for introducing us to your family.

skyesofblue said...

The house is beautiful. It is always wonderful to be with family. We all live so far apart these days it makes me sad that it seems to we weddings and funerals that we have to gather at. We all need to make an effort of seeing each other more often. Family reunions are the way to go. Easy to say but we haven't done that in my family but we need to!

Pam said...

Just a little reminder that Kevin and Kent both have boys who will have opportunity in years to come to pass along the Butcher name.

Luke - keep on commenting. You have a gift with words. When you start your Americorp service, I'd love to be able to check in on your blog and keep up with what's happening in Boston. Lastly, anyone your size needs to be grazing, not just lurking, around the food!

Amy said...

What a sweet tribute to your family Keetha. I agree, family cannot be replaced, I cherish the time I get to spend with mine when we go home up north.Your sister Pam reminds me like a sweet and gentle soul, and your dad, how precious is he?!!!

Keetha said...

Amy Louise!!! You have changed your avatar once again - - - how in the world am I supposed to know who you are???????

:-)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I loved learning about and seeing your family! And WOW...your mom was one of nine...I can't even imagine. I bet Aunt Doris is happy to see all of you together.