Monday, April 03, 2006

Family Tradition

The first Saturday in April my family participates in the annual Martinville Cemetery Clean-up and Potluck Lunch. This is significant in my family because the tiny town of Martinville, Arkansas is where my father's family is from and many generations of family are buried in the cemetery there. My great-great-great grandfather is buried there. Both of my paternal grandparents were from there, so my dad, aunt, my siblings, children and I are related to more people there than most. So it is sort of a family reunion every year.

I have to confess I have not fully appreciated this gathering until recently. As a teenager I just did not care. But I am hoping to instill a sense of history and love of family in my boys early on. They had a great time Saturday, so it is going well so far.

The potluck lunch is a good enough reason to go even if you don't have anyone buried there. My mother and I discussed the idea that we should put together a cookbook. We are still working on the title though. "The Martinville Cemetery Cookbook" just does not sound all that appealing.

Here are a few pictures from Saturday:

Jonathan and Jackson with their cousin, my niece, Ella. Ella is my brother's daughter.

Jonathan and Ella by the headstone of their great-great grandparents.

My (great) Uncle Buddy Jones and my Aunt Sharon Gaskin.

Grady Martin, Robert Holyfield (my dad), Becky McCollum and Luana Beene. Grady and Becky are first cousins. They are my dad's second cousins. Luana is my dad's second cousin once removed. I had to draw a chart to figure all this out. Luana is a teacher at the boys school, but I did not know we were related until Saturday.


Praying for your Prodigal said...

Family traditions are so important. Thanks for sharing yours.


SG said...

Holy Rest Recipes

From the Tombstone To the Table

The Martinville Gravey Cookbook

Out of this World Recipes

I love a challenge. I'll be working on this one.

Karen said...

My mother's family has the same tradition... just have to go a ways north to Camp 8 Cemetery in Greenville, Missouri. I think the old Baptist church it is connected to no longer has services, but I remember a time when we could go in and my brother-in-law would play hymns on the piano and some of us would sing. After lunch, we'd all head for the river to swim.

My kids haven't gotten to experience any of that. :(