Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Country Adventure: Site Seeing With Cousins

We had some family come from out of state for the family reunion. My cousin and his wife (I will refer to them as G for my cousin and T for his wife) came from Texas. She had never been to Ohio, let alone this little part that I live in.

While talking with T and G at the reunion, I was telling T about all the farms we have, a covered bridge and a reservoir all within a 20 minute drive from the reunion site.  She seemed so interested in all of this that I invited them to do some country site seeing the next day.

This is our little adventure:

G and T were staying at my sister’s house, which is out in the country and is beautiful. I drove to my sister’s house and they are ready to go. We load up in my car and headed to town because I needed some gas for the drive. They were so gracious and paid for my gas.  There’s some of that southern hospitality. We grabbed a couple drinks and were on our way.

The first stop was the covered bridge. T was so excited, she had never seen one before. On the drive to the bridge there were lot of corn and soy bean fields.  The corn was standing over 6 feet tall and the beans about waist high. All fully grown and green for miles. G was telling her that she will always see on one side of the road there will be corn and the other side will be beans. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s how things are done in Ohio.

As we round the corner there sets this red covered bridge. I swear I heard a gasp come for T’s mouth. I couldn’t stop the car fast enough for her to get out and explore. She grabbed her phone and camera and started taking pictures within a few feet of the car. She was snapping pictures before I got out of the car.  I should also let you know that T is a photographer. (A great photographer too). We spent about 40 minutes just taking pictures and exploring the covered bridge and its surroundings.

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge 

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop was Ohio Caverns. Ohio Caverns is a popular tourist attraction. I had to drive through my home town in order to get to Ohio Caverns. T took more photos of barns, fields and whatever caught her attention along the way.

Just outside the city limits is a John Deere dealership. It’s where our local farmers can buy a new tractors and such. T had not seen anything like this. All the new tractors lined up and shiny. I stopped and we took some pictures.

John Deere Combines

John Deere Combines

The drive to the caverns is beautiful. All farm land, hills and trees for miles. The cavern sets on a large hill and overlooks the farms and trees. The caverns offer a large shelter house to hold family functions or just a picnic.

The land the caverns sets on has over 50 different types of trees. Which you can take a tour of. Many different flowers and rocks that have fossils in them to explore. Just beautiful.

We didn’t do the tour of the caverns but did wander the grounds for a while.  We went into the gift shop to look around. G and T decided to get some souvenirs for the grandkids.

If you’re ever in Ohio, you need to visit Ohio Caverns. It’s open year around and is just breath taking in the fall when the leaves change.

Ohio Caverns: flowers and rocks

Ohio Caverns: lowers and rocks

OC Sign

OC Sign

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns

 

 

 

 

 

On our way to the reservoir. I showed T a barn quilt. This is a barn or business that has a patchwork art on the barn/building. These patches are painted, they can be on wood or metal. The patchwork is to embrace what the farm or business is about. These may look like your everyday quilt patch or they are designed by the owner and placed on the building.

There are over 80 barn quilts in my county alone and there is a tour too.

She found many more of the barn quilts when they visited Berlin Ohio (Holmes County).

Barn Quilt

Barn Quilt

We arrived at the reservoir, called Buck Creek Reservoir. It’s a large body of water that has camp grounds, cabin rentals, fishing, a beach and a marina.

We stopped at the marina to take some pictures of the water and boats. To my surprise I see T taking pictures of the wild flowers and weeds growing near the water. I asked her…with all this water and tress, why are you taking pictures of weeds? Her response was “we don’t have things like this growing in Texas.”

We drove around the reservoir, stopped a few times and visited the beach. Then headed back to my sister’s home, stopping a few more times along the way to take pictures of more barn quilts and a couple of old churches.

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Buck Creek

Bird at Buck Creek

Bird at Buck Creek

We spent about 5 hours just driving around and visiting a few locations. I had great time showing them some things they had not seen before. I can’t wait for them to come back, I have more ideas for the next adventure.

I have to say, on my drive back home I had a grin on my face. I also realized I have taken my little state for granted. All those wild flowers that grow along the side of the rode, beside the corn/bean fields are unique and special.

Seeing red barns everywhere is also special, not all states have red barns. Especially ones that have a barn quilt on them.

Watching someone discover something new is exciting. Thank you G and T for helping me remember why the state of Ohio is so special to me.

Tell me what is special about your home state.


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Family Reunion 2015: Success!!!

Our family reunion was last Saturday (8-8). I am glad to report that the reunion was a hit. We had some new faces and then the ‘usual’ yahoos were there too. We had over 60 folks come for the festivities.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 80’s. The sun was shining, big white fluffy clouds in the sky and a cool breeze blowing. The weather was perfect. Just warm enough to break a sweat playing some games.

City Park

City Park

The reunion was held at our local city park. We have had many reunions here when I was a kid. It’s a beautiful park with ball diamonds to play on, lots of playground equipment for the kids. Big shelter houses that seat 75-100 people.

Our shelter house set on the top of the park.  I say ‘top’ because the park has 2 entrances. One part is setting on a hill, that’s where most of the playground and shelter houses are. The second entrance is for the ball fields and a shelter house. (The picture above is the ‘top’ of the park looking down onto the ball fields and shelter house.)

Our family likes to play a game called Corn Hole or Bean Bag Toss. It’s a fan came and we had a couple set up for everyone to play. Most of the second cousins played. Some of us first cousins are too old to break a sweat.

The little ones had fun playing on the playground equipment.  Well, some of the older ones had fun playing too.

jees ashan       mike connor

The food was awesome. We had one of the cousins cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone that came brought a side dish. Sorry I don’t have any photos of the food spread. Take my word for it.  It was all yummy.

We had homemade potato salad, deviled eggs, chicken and noodles, baked beans, potato and cheese casserole, mac-n-cheese, pineapple upside down cake, banana pudding and so much more.

All I can say is: we have some great cooks in this family. No one left hungry.

There was lots of catching up at the reunion. Some of us have not seen each other in a long time. Having so many cousins connecting and reconnecting with each other was a wonderful sight to see and be a part of.

Everyone sharing with the next person. Telling stories of the good old days. Sharing what has been going on in each of their lives. Making new memories with family. Can it get any better than that?

alyza jess            george cameron

One of the Aunts brought her genealogy research of the family with her. Very interesting stuff to go through. I found out I am in the 10th generation.

Also found out that we are descendants of two Declaration of Independence signers: The first being John Hancock and the second is Roger Sherman. My son thought this was the coolest information of the day. He went around telling anyone that would listen. Love my kid and how much he loves this family and our history.

Just for fun we asked the family to provide a quote that their parent said that was funny or something they still use today. Here are a couple of the quotes.

“Fish and company stink after three days.”

“Follow the dictations of your heart.”

“Don’t be ugly”….meaning do the right thing, make the right choices

“You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and mess up your life.”

“That would gag a maggot on a gut wagon”……my personal favorite.

And last:  4 things you need when you live in Ohio:

Money in your pocket

A decent car

Good pair of boots

Good mattress

Now there’s some sound advice to everyone. Love my family’s humor too.

The photo slideshow was a hit. It ran the whole day. I had made an 800 picture show. It was fun watching everyone guess who the person was on the screen. Lots of laughter and lots of “Oh Shelly, why did you put that photo in there?”

jill slideshow   merle carly

It was a great day filled with laughter, love and lots of hugs. I am so thankful for everyone that helped make the reunion work so well. There were so many helpers that chipped in when needed. I am blessed beyond measure with my family. I can’t wait till next year.

If you want to have a great reunion too, check out the “BOOKS” tab and get your book today to plan for your next reunion.


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Planning A Reunion In 9 Steps—Promotion included

family reunionIt’s that time of the year where some of us will be going to family reunions. Better yet some of us are planning the reunions.

I love our family reunions. I like reconnecting with my family which are my friends too. I like catching up with everyone, playing games, looking at pictures, hanging out and I love all the food.

If you are planning a reunion this year I have a few helpful tips.

First: Ask for help, you can’t do this by yourself. In our family we have a group of cousins that pitch in and help. There are 5 of us that generally do all the planning, date setting, organizing, set up and clean up.

Second: Pick the date/time. You need to pick your date and time at least 2 months in advance. We do ours about 6 months ahead. Because we have so many that come out of state and we need to be sure this is the final date for them to have time to arrange their schedules.

Third: Pick venue. Decide where you are going to have the reunion. It could be someone’s home, a city park, the country club. Make sure you have your reservations in place.

Fourth: Food options. Have a chat with your committee to see what options they are wanting. You could have it catered, you can assign what foods to bring by what family, and you can do a pot luck style, or the committee provided the main dishes (meats) and everyone bring a side.

Fifth: Make a list. You and you team of helpers need to make a list of everything you will need for the day of the reunion. Such as, plates, cups, silverware, ice, coolers, trash bags, table clothes, extension cords.

Once the list is made then divvy out who’s getting what. This helps relieve the pressure for one person to get everything. You can also ask other family members besides your team to help purchase a few items if needed.

You could also do a day shopping spree with your helpers. This way you have everything at one time and no need to any more shopping.

Sixth: Send out invitations. I recommend social media as your first invites. Do this about 2 months ahead as a reminder. Then mail or send e-mail or social media reminders a month in advance.

Corn HoleSeventh: Entertainment. Plan for some games. This can be yard games, board/card games. You can have a craft table for the little ones.

If you want you can have a DJ come in and play music or a band.

Eighth: Set-up/clean-up. Here’s where your committee comes in handy. Make sure you have everything you need and have your team meet you at the venue at least 1-2 hours in advance. You will need this time to put table sloths on, make sure bathrooms are clean, setting up food stations, drink stations, games, the band or DJ.

The clean-up is just as important. You want to make sure the venue is just like you found it, if not better. Make sure you help take out the trash, sweep up you mess, wipe off tables and chairs. This will also help your family remember everything they brought. No need for a lost and found each year.

Ninth: Remember what worked and didn’t work. After you get home rest a day and think about the things you want to do different the next time. Call your helpers and see what they have to say too. Make a list of what worked and what didn’t so you can be sure to make your reunion better the following year.

If you would like more information on planning a family reunion, please go to the top of the page and click on the “BOOKS” tab. I have written a short book on family reunions. It is a step by step guide with lots of helpful tips. Only $3.99 and you can have it the same day to help you get started.

I will give away (for free) my book to the first 3 people that e-mail me at motherofnecessity1@gmail.com  In the e-mail please provide your name and e-mail address you want your book delivered to. Promo ends on July 3rd.

I hope these tips and book help you and your family have the best reunion.

Please let me know what worked for you or what didn’t work.

Do you have any helpful tips for a family reunion?