Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Meeting Clay

Our next adventure was our last.  It was also the initial reason we planned this trip, to meet Clay, a cousin (first cousin, once removed:  his father was a younger brother of my Grandma), who invited me to a family reunion at the same time that he confirmed that my Dad was adopted - "We all understood that; you mean you didn't know?"

We found the condo where Clay and Dick live and immediately hopped into Sue, Clay's sister, and her husband Chuck's van to go for dinner to a beer and burger bar.  At Groveland Tap I discovered EPA doesn't stand for 'Environmental Protection Agency', but for 'Extra Pale Ale'.  We all sat on stools and started getting to know one another.  Dick used to work in finance; Clay, Sue and Chuck are retired from real estate.   Clay bought our dinner, which I thought was kind.

Because of their interest in real estate, I discovered they liked to look at houses like I do and after dinner we drove around a bit, looking at houses where Clay and Sue had lived as children and seeing what subsequent owners had done.  This reminded me of the 'ancestors' house tour' Norma took me on a couple of years ago.  Then we drove into a very interesting neighbourhood where they showed us what they called The Mushroom House. 

I was just as amazed by it as they were.  (Though I'm beginning to think it has 'eyes' which is a bit creepy...)

I thought it was great that we could be enthused by such similar things!

Then we went up to the penthouse of the condo, where the family reunion would take place the next afternoon.  The view up there was brilliant. 

About 50 people were expected the next day. 


This enormous family tree went back about five generations, with each colour representing the same generation.  It was complicated but I eventually figured it out.  I don't think there is a really simple way to present that amount of information.

A back wall had been decorated with family photos dating back to the late 1800s.  I had the photos of my great-great grandparents already, but there were others I'd never seen.  Also, obituaries and funeral mementos and photos from previous family gatherings.  I was rather envious.

When we went back to our hotel room, I stayed up until nearly 2 am pulling together photographs of my Grandma and of her family that I had scanned from her photo album over the last few years.  I put them into a slide show to run on my computer.  Only after this was done could I settle down and go to sleep, I was so looking forward the next day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The mushroom house is very interesting---wondering what the roof is made of.

As for the genealogy, I am forever looking for ways to accurately portray the relationships. These days with such broken families, one sort of needs an extra-familial category.