Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vacations (5)

Ruth Leone Taylor Hoover Boren Smith family reunion

When we were kids, my closest cousins and I played in Grandma Smith's backyard. See Vacations (1). In addition to hanging out at Grandma's we also had a family reunion every year at Grandma Smith's house. Usually all of our Aunts, Uncles, and cousins would be there. Since Grandma had had 8 children, and many of them had at least 5 kids of their own - the reunion gatherings were huge. Sometimes Grandpa Smith's sons and families joined us, and that made even more fun.

Water Fight

The defining event of the reunion was usually a huge water fight among all the family members. I don't remember exactly who started them, or how they became a tradition, but once the fight started it was every man, woman, and child for him or herself. Sometimes people would scoop water from the little canal running along side Grandma's place, others would grab the hoses around the house, and some even used pitchers, bowls and buckets. The main objective was to see how long you could hold out by not getting wet.

Some people would sneak around to the back of the house and surprise and unsuspecting relative who was focused on avoiding those in the front of the house. Sometimes the soak-er would tip-toe up behind someone on the porch and pour an entire receptacle full of icy water on a unsuspecting Aunt or Uncle. Sometimes two or three wet relatives would gang up on a dry one and hold them down while another drenched them.

As kids, it was fun to watch the adults blast each other. . .but eventually we all became a part of the fun. It was against the rules to hide in Grandma's house - so unless you ran into the street, there was no place you could go to evade the inevitable soaking.


When I was still fairly young, my Uncle J. was on the Las Vegas police force, then later worked for the FBI. His favorite thing to do, was to grab one of his sisters and handcuff them to the nearest immobile object - such as a street light pole or car handle. Usually, he'd just grab them, pick them up, and plant them next to the object of choice, and before they could get away. . .they were handcuffed tight. While handcuffed the aunt or Mom, would plead on deaf ears to be released for one reason or another. I think all of us kids thought it was really funny. (I was glad he never handcuffed any of us kids - or I would have been terrified.)

Eating watermelon

As kids, my cousins and I would sit on the front porch at Grandma Smith's and eat watermelon pieces. The sticky juice would roll down our arms and drip off our chins. We didn't care, because the watermelon tasted so good at the end of a hot day. We'd also spit or seeds onto Grandma's lawn. She was pretty fastidious about her home, but maybe she didn't care about the watermelon juice, cause they could hose off the porch, and the seeds would just add fertilizer for the lawn.


Jackie said...

I love reading about your vacations. You had such a great childhood. Me - not so much. So I really enjoy reading the 'family' and the 'normal'. I can just see all of you together.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I have really enjoyed your vacation blogs. We never went anywhere except Spokane and Orofino to see the two grandmas so all this seems very exotic and foreign!! LOL

Mrs. Fierce Shoes said...

Watermelon is the best! The messier, the better!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Jackie: Glad you enjoyed reading about the family. Not sure if we were normal - just had a lot of relatives and we got together whether we wanted to or not. My mom and her sisters were all very close.

IEG: "Exotic" well, that's a new one, but I guess it's all in what you know and what you haven't experienced. I always felt deprived because we never went to Disneyland. I also never went down through the middle of the state (Moscow & Lewiston) until High School, and never went from Boise to No. Idaho until sometime in the last 15 years.

MFS: I love watermelon, but don't like it running down my arms anymore. Besides, who wants to see a middle aged woman with red streaks down her arms and juice dripping off her chin??? (NOT ME!)