Family gatherings have declined


Everyone is aware of their aunts and uncles, and the herd of cousins that all used to gather at grandma’s house on Sunday.

At least they used to do that, but today it seems some children don’t even know who their cousins are and have rarely seen grandma’s house.

What in the world happened to those Sunday gatherings and huge meals that would be the envy of a fall Sunday harvest spread at the local church?

Aunts and uncles were the children of your grandma and grandpa, and they all used to gather on Sunday and bring a covered dish.

It was always an extravagant get together featuring food, friends and a little bit of nippin’.

Y’all recall when the men folk in the backyard would all of sudden disappear?

They were with grandpa in the shed for a little taste of what grandpa called “branch water.”

He kept them all under control and usually the afternoons went off without a hitch.

Maybe every once in a while an uncle would get a little loose in the head and wind up sleeping it off in the back seat of his car or truck.

It was a treasured event among families during an era when family meant something.

It had been done for generation after generation, and cousins knew one another and remained close through until the end.

But, as technology has taken over and values have changed, so did the meaning of family life.

Those Sunday afternoon gatherings at gran’ma and gran’pa’s house were memory-making moments for a lifetime.

Many of us today recall them as vividly as if they happened yesterday.

It was a time for the adults to discuss matters of the adult world, and a time for the herd of cousins to run and romp and have fun getting to know one another closer each time it happened.

Do young’uns today even know who their cousins are or where grandma’s house is?

If so, bet there ain’t no chickens in the yard.

The horse may know the way to carry the sleigh, but grandma’s house is no longer over the river and through the woods.

She is most likely in a nursing home.

What a tragic ending to a glorious past.

Thanksgiving is not that far away, but when it does get here look around and see how many cousins are at the table.

How about aunts and uncles — are any of them there?

Most of all where is grandpa and grandma?

In many cases, they have passed away and with the passing was also the end of old family gatherings.

William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at wnh9326@gmail.com.


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