Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Family Reunions on the river past and present

We had our Zook/Wauson Family Reunion last weekend. We had in New Braunfels at Gruene Outpost Lodge. We checked in about 3:30.  A little while later my daughter Kristi and her husband Chuck arrived and checked in at their cabin, and Taylor, my granddaughter from Ft. Worth and Brett her husband and their kids arrived. A little while later we had a little sandstorm and then a thunder storm that didn't last long. The temperature went from 103 to about 83 in a matter of 30 minute. Then my granddaughter Jessica came with her son Ayden. I was excited and happy.

We went to Freddie's for supper.....did you ever hear of "Freddie's"? I found out they are all over the South.  I love that restaurant. I wish we had one in Floresville. They have the best hamburgers or should I say, "steakburgers"...they were Steak not hamburger. and milkshakes and icecream. So we sat there eating, talking, and visiting with all of them, including Tay's and Brett's Dylan and Zayne and Ayden.  Those kiddos are so darn cute, always smiling,never frowning, always laughing and talking...are so friendly, they don't know a stranger. And such fun! I loved being around them. Grandparents have so much fun!

As we left Freddies, the cool air brushed our faces with a cool breeze. The atmosphere had changed from hot and humid, most cool, moist, and smelling like it does after a rain. This felt like heaven!

We went back to the OUtpost Lodge. Then sat up our lawn chairs in front of our cabin facing the river. We sat there for several hours, in the cool night breeze, watched as the lightening bugs started lighting up - down by the trees by the river. Then they became more numerous and then there was like an army of fireflies flitting everywhere in the darkness.  Zayne and Dylan and Ayden began chasing fireflies with Jessica helping them. Then Jessica and Taylor and Brett played Red Light/Green Light with them and we watched and laughed at them and with them.

I began to think about all the family reunions we have had in the Zook family throughout the was so pleasant just sitting out there in the cool night air, the smell of the river especially after the little shower and the sight of the fireflies and the occasional shooting star, made me remember former days  when our family sat all together on the river bank talking and laughing and loving each other. As old as I am, there have been many such nights, many! They first began in the 1940's at my Uncle Warren Zook's farm by the San Antonio River. His farm was part of the original farm land that my Grandfather Zook bought back about 1906. His son Gary still owns the farm. Those years it was a whole weekend down by the river. All my aunts and uncles came then. Uncle Everett from Houston and his wife, Alta, Aunt Maurine from Brownsiville and then Houston, Aunt Ola Dee from Houston, Aunt Gladys (a Catholic nun who changed her name to Sister Agatha Linn), Uncle Warren and Aunt Janie. I remember sitting up late in the night, listening to the "old folks" laughing and talking and my daddy and uncles telling "tall tales" and my aunts arguing with them that they had the story wrong. The same cool air was there, the same smells, and also the smell of the wood smoke from the fire drifted across us kid as we nodded and fell asleep on the pallets. All these memories were brought back to me Friday night down by the river. old picture below taken in the early 1940's. from left to right is Ola Dee, Warren, Aunt Gladys, Everett, Lawrence (daddy), Maurine and the Everett's dog Lassie.

Later my nephew, Scott and Karen and son Brandon came down there from their cabin,and sat with us chatting and then Jeff, Carmen, Brandon her son, and my sister, Margaret came awhile after they had gone to eat supper, as did my brother Sam and Rose.. But then most people left to go to the cabins, it was late - around midnight....and I was sitting out there alone...and was thinking "How come I was so lucky, or blessed to still experience this at my age?" I could have sat out there by the river all night, thinking I might need to go in and get a sweater or a blanket, it was that cool.

So I finally went to my cabin, where Jessica was putting Ayden to sleep on a pallet, then she went up to Brett and Taylor's cabin where they had put their kids to bed, and then they sat outside to await my grandson,Brad and Kendal and their two little girls who got there about 12:30 a.m.. I think they all sat up and talked for a long time after that. I remember those old days when I used to sit up and talk half the night with people. Oh for the good old days!  I knew I had to be rested for tomorrow because I had volunteered to babysit all the great-grandkiddos while Kristi and Chuck and all her kiddos went tubing on the Comal River.

After over 70 years of Zook Family reunions I was ready for one more day of memories. Saturday afternoon my daughter and her kiddos ready for tubing on the Comal River.