Wednesday, April 3, 2013


For quite some time now my blog posts have all been work related.  The last one to be remotely personal was probably this past Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Fest, but that too, though loads of fun, is still work related.  

To remedy I'll share my Easter Weekend.  I feel as though I need to document it.  We drove out to Youngstown, Ohio to spend Easter with my cousins from my father's side of the family.  Being the youngest out of five I never met the cousins on my mother's side, though my older sibs claim they have.  But we grew up visiting this branch of our family tree, they'd host an annual Fourth of July Family Reunion and we always made the 7 hour journey from Chicago.

Here's the gang.  My Aunt Ethel was married to my dad's brother Uncle Andy.  They had 7 kids and my mom and dad had 5, so we were always closet to this particular family.  Andy and my dad were from a family of at least 7 children, though with the infant mortality rate there were more.  Presently from my mom and dad's generation there are only three Aunts left, my mom, Aunt Ethel and Aunt Metz.
Easter Sunday in Youngstown, Ohio
Top Left: Carol, Me, Julieanne, Cleo, Jessica, Aunt Ethel, Paul and Andy
Bottom Left: Ajit, Mary, Zoe and Tom

I'll just touch upon some of the highlights...My dad's family was directly from Slovakia, his parents and oldest son immigrated to Youngstown in the early 1900s, and they were Catholic.  One of the traditions from their Slovakian/Catholic church in Youngstown is to have their Easter Baskets blessed.  We went to the ceremony to have our Aunt Metz's basket blessed, the first time I had heard about or seen such an event.  Some of these baskets were works of art covered with traditional Slovakian embroidered clothes and flowers. 

Next we got to visit Aunt Metz and deliver her special basket.  She's well into her 90s and still kickin' it.  Well her kickin' days may be behind her, she had just left rehab that morning to return home, she is recovering from her second broken hip, but she's as sharp as a tack and loads of fun to talk to about ancient family gossip!  I consider myself lucky to still be in touch with her.

Sunday was all about the food!  We gathered at my Aunt Ethel's home and feasted on traditional Easter fare!  For the very first time I had my cousin Carol's famous Orange Jello.  How have all these years gone by with my never having heard of it or tasted it?  A delicious concoction of orange jello, Mandarin oranges and orange sherbert!  I was sad when later that night as we were putting away leftovers I didn't have room for even one last bite.  Maybe I'll get her to email me the recipe.  

But the highlight of this trip was looking at old photos, lots I had seen before but I discovered a cache that I had never seen.  They were of Kay Francis' wedding day back in 1963.  Kay is the oldest cousin  from my generation and she has since passed away.  I spied a woman I swore was my mom and upon closer inspection a girl that may or may not have been my sister and a little boy who could have easily been my oldest or youngest brother.  

Upon speaking with my Aunt Ethel and reading the back of the pics, thanks to my cousin Mary who had cleverly wrote who everyone was, it turned out to be my mom and dad, oldest brother George, my sister Jackie and brothers Gordon and Eric.  I hadn't been born yet.  Also in the photos were my dad's dad, Aunt Jay, and cousins Murph and Ted.  Next trip I hope to photocopy these pics.  

Anyway that's what made me insist that we all gather to pose for the photo you see above.  Future generations will marvel at how young, or old, we all look and who is still alive and who has since long passed away.             

No comments: