2014 Gdovins and More Family Reunion Day 4

Thanksgiving Day.  Couldn’t have asked for nicer weather.  Jeffry and Kerri and the grandkids arrived the night before, and we had planned on getting together for Thanksgiving Dinner at a local buffet.  Mateo and Marluce and I were ready to make the trek to Whitewater to pick up Gramma Anne to join us for some family time.  I was quite proud of myself that I kind of winged my way to her home!  Mateo got out of the backseat and held her arm as she got situated in the front seat.  He is quite the little gentleman!  I could tell that  Anne was quite taken with him.  We were off to meet the other Gardners for an early dinner!

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 And now, outdoors to enjoy some beautiful Thanksgiving weather and family photography!IMG_3244

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After dropping off Gramma Anne at her house, I took the kids over to meet Dennis & Sandra Forsgren.  Dennis was married to Bob’s sister, Linda until Linda was killed in a vehicle accident in 1996.  Dennis was and remains a part of our family and close to my heart.  A really nice visit followed – so nice to catch up.

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Dennis actually owns the house that Gramma Anne resides.  Don’t know why I cannot find anymore info on it, as that house was the original Whitewater Post Office.  There is still a little side door that had the US Post Office in that old gold script.  I would think it would be listed as a historical place, but I literally cannot find anything as far as research.

After a brief respite at our hotel room to let the kids lay around and wrestle a bit and me to do a tad of accounting, Robin and Alina rolled into town after a 2-day drive from Austin.  We all met up at Denny’s for dinner and laughter and general catching up.  It gave Robin a chance to meet Mateo and Marluce and for me to meet Alina.  She is a sweet and precocious 3-year old with silky dark hair and brown eyes on the verge of turning green.  What a beauty!robin1 robin2

We had a wonderful day, albeit a tad long. Lots of family visiting. Lots of laughter and conversation. Lots to be Thankful. Back to the hotel early. In our pjs and the kids played their games on iPad while I caught up on some blogging and accounting. Good times.

2014 Gdovins and More Family Reunion Day 3

The day before Thanksgiving and lots to do.  Lori and I, along with my trusted assistants, Mateo & Marluce, are off to the venue to set up for Friday’s fun.  I purchased 19 tablecloths of every color I could find.  Lori purchased a gazillion disposable chafing trays with racks and Sterno and silverware and all the dinnerware and napkins you can imagine.  We set out moving and arranging tables and chairs.  Mateo and Marluce strung twisted crepe paper around the room.Day 3d

and they made the banners WELCOME FAMILY 2014 REUNION.

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Day 3c Day 3f The last thing to do was to set up the kids table to keep them from being bored. We had crayons and coloring pages, wooden ornaments and colored pencils, clay and shaping tools, Skip Bo and Story Cubes. I am thinking this table will be a hit!

2014 Gdovins & More Family Reunion Day 2

Breakfast at the Hotel and enjoying the type of conversation that you can only experience while dining with a 10-year-old grandson and an 8-year-old granddaughter.  All of the sudden, I feel a thick mane of hair on my neck and get a huge sister hug from my youngest sibling, Lori.  After surprising us at breakfast, we head up to the room to gather anything else we need for the day.  Day 2a

Finishing a great photo-op with Auntie Lori, we jump in her new red Ford Focus and head out to see the hall in Palisade that she rented for our reunion. Always a pretty drive to Palisade and brings back so many memories of our entire family going out to the peach orchards to pick the best peaches that I have ever tasted.  Kind of makes a lump in my throat as we pass so many familiar places from, oh, so long ago.  Back to reality as I quiz Mateo and Marluce on the landmarks surrounding us as we drive.  “Mateo, what is that mountain?”  Mt Garfield.  He catches on quickly.  “And what is this long flat top mountain?”  Right again.  The Grand Mesa.

Lori and I take a lot of the drive to reminisce,  And within a few minutes, the valley has enveloped me in her arms, and I am home again.  My mind wanders from seeing myself as a child in a peach orchard with the family laughing and picking fruit and back to the present conversation of reunion plans.   Lori picks up the keys and we check out the reunion hall and make mental notes of supplies we still need.  Mateo and Marluce decided that some decorations were needed to add some color.  After Lori drops us off at our hotel, we hop in the car and head out to Hobby Lobby and find crepe paper and banners and big sticky letters.  It has been a long and busy day, so we decide on an early dinner at, in my opinion, the world’s best pizza ever – Junct’n Square.Day 2d Day 2c Day 2b

After a pizza that Mateo is talking about three days later and describing it as “AMAZING”, (that, in itself, is amazing!  Mateo is, shall we say, a very particular dining guest), we head back to the hotel and hop into pajamas and make an early evening of it.  iPad games for them and accounting for me  A wonderful day in my wondrous home town with people I love to share.

Best Gift EVER!

A few short years ago, I started a sibling Christmas gift exchange.  The reason was a simple one.  After the death of our oldest and youngest brothers, I just wanted the remaining four siblings to connect.  The idea was to be nothing fancy but should be handmade or recycled or at least had some kind of personal aspect.  We all were living in different places so far away from one another.  Lori in Grand Junction, Mark in Colorado Springs, Robin in Austin and me in Tucson.

blog map The first year I had Mark’s name and made him a calendar with footprints of his grand kids and family photos. The second year, I made Robin an ornament using some of Gram’s old costume jewelry. I cannot say what I did this year for Lori, because it would ruin her surprise!

I loved the gifts that Robin and Lori bestowed on me the previous two Christmases. This year, Mark had my name. Imagine my surprise to see a huge package all wrapped in cardboard and taped together by our front gate yesterday. As soon as I began cutting the tape, I realized just what my gift from the heart was.

Some years back, with the blessing of Gram,  I signed over the deed to her house to her niece, whom I affectionately called Sissy.  This house shared a split deed with Sissy’s home since the day they were built.  Gram’s home was built in the late 1800’s and Sissy’s house built in the early 1900’s.  Gram’s house at 4500 Perry Street in Denver, was the original family home of my great grandparents and was built by my great-grandfather and other friends and relatives.  Years later, in 1906,  my grandma was born in the front bedroom of that little 2 bedroom home, as was my mother in 1927.  To say that this home had sentimental family history that always touched my heart, is an understatement at the very least.

After Sissy passed away, my cousin had both homes demolished.  Gram’s home was nowhere near modern building code and would have been cost prohibitive to bring it to building and safety code.  After the demolition, Mark made the trek from Colorado Springs to Denver and managed to salvage a little 24 inch door for me.  It must have been a difficult thing to see the house gone, but still, he did it because I asked.  I had to hold back tears as I removed the layers of cardboard and packing and tape to discover the door that Mark took the time to grab and then store at his home for several years.

I have so many ideas for this door. Shall I make it into a kitchen table? Maybe a wall hanging? In the meantime, my first instinct was to dress her for the holidays. And here she stands in her glory showing off a new wreath. Thanks, Mark. You made my day. No, not day. You made my Christmas oh so special, and I love you so much for your thoughtfulness. 12 19 2013 3