January 29, 2007 Myspace blog post

Precious Memories

Current mood:good

We are back from Emily’s birthday weekend. Emily, Andrew, Mom and I went to Gettysburg to celebrate Emily’s 11th birthday. I wish I could take credit for the weekend, but it was all my Mom and my cousin Sue who worked out the details. Saturday was the big day…

My Nannal (my great-grandmother) has a niece named Connie who lives on the land that has been in our family since Nannal’s great-grandparents cleared the land and built the farm. Her home is just down the mountain from the original house. (Her son Brett now lives in the original house.) Connie has horses. As most of you who read my blog or who know me personally knows…Emily LOVES horses! So we hiked up to the barn (by the original house) and spent the day caring for and riding the horses. We played and just enjoyed being outdoors with these wonderful animals. Emily’s cousin Hannah was with us, which in Emily’s eyes made the day complete!

That evening we had a birthday party at my Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house. Sue and Hannah were there, as well as my Grandma O and Aunt Barb. It was a lot of fun! It was a little horse-loving girls dream party!

Something precious happened that we didn’t expect. We didn’t just give Emily a horse day for her birthday…we gave her a glimpse into her heritage and legacy. She was up at the farm and saw the house where her great-great-grandmother was born and grew and played as a child. She played in the barn and hayloft where 7 generations of our family kids have played. She heard family stories. She was gifted with a sense of family and belonging that continues today. Her Nanny was with us and the three of us added to the family stories that day. We became a part of the lore.

Another precious moment actually occured Saturday morning, before we left for our “horse” day. My Grandmother Yingling was in the kitchen making breakfast…chipped beef gravy and homemade buscuits! (my Grandmother is the best cook I know!!!) Emily came in and asked to help her great-grandmother. So Emily and grandmother made buscuits together using a cutter that my mom remembers from her childhood. As they worked, Grandmother told Emily of her childhood and helping her mom. She told of the farm and growing and raising their own food. We all laughed because Grandmother is a very good story-teller and has a wonderful humor! Emily was able to learn more of her heritage…more of what came before her to give her the life she knows. I video-taped this precious time in the kitchen! I have already watched it, and though it is only from this weekend, I already treasure it. This 15-20 minutes of video are more precious than gold!

We are so blessed in our family to have so many of the “older” generation with us and able to participate with our kids. Emily and Andrew have 3 great-grandparents on my side…Grandma O is 77, Grandmother and Granddaddy are 71. They have all four of their grandparents…my folks are 50 and 55 and Russ’s folks are both 67 this year. They have numerous Aunts and Uncles reaching back to the great-great! It is amazing how much these people can instill in our kids…how much they are able to pass down. Stories of their childhoods, of life “back then”. Stories of my childhood or that of my parents…these things facinate the kids!

They aren’t just stories though. They teach. They show perseverence, loyalty, a hard work ethic. They tell of both hard times and good times. They teach of faith. Love. They offer guidance and advise…lessons learned from life and from mistakes. This is PRICELESS!!

We made some very precious memories with our kids this weekend, memories that run much deeper than a simple 11th birthday celebration. My kids are so very blessed to have our family…their lives are so very much richer for it!!

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