“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”

Today is a perfect morning. The sun is shining, it’s cool and the birds are loudly singing their homage to the day. It’s quiet in the way weekday mornings are when people are at work and kids are in school. Gracie is asleep on the couch and breathing so deeply I know her tongue is probably out the way it always is when she sleeps so soundly. The cats are lying in the sun. Today I need to fill the bird feeders and go grocery shopping, one of my least favorite chores, but I really don’t have much choice. I’m just about out of everything-the list is long.

My niece had her baby yesterday. Declan weighed 9.2 pounds. Sarah, my niece, is a diabetic so the doctor knew the baby would be a big one. He has been watching her closely for the last month or so and knew it was time for Declan to meet the world and his family, all of whom were there. In the picture with his father, Declan is screaming and looks enormous for a newborn. I half expected to see him standing tall and maybe even saying hello. The best picture is of Declan being held by his cousin Ryder who is almost six.Β On Ryder’s face as he is holding the baby is the most wonderful look of awe and joy at finally meeting his cousin.

I am now the old aunt. I remember my old aunts. They were my grandmother’s sisters and were at most of our family parties. Aunt Madeline played the piano and everyone stood around and sang. My family was always great for singing. My uncle fancies himself a Bing Crosby. When I was in Africa, my sister sent me a tape of music she had recorded from the radio. I was listening to it when right in the middle I heard my uncle’s voice singing to me. He had commandeered the microphone, and I loved hearing his voice. It was a huge piece of home.

My mother always sang while she worked in the kitchen. She’d put on a CD of Tony or Frank and sing along. I have the best picture in my memory drawer of my mother working at the counter and singing as she mixed and stirred her ingredients. That kitchen was always where the singing seem to start at my parents’ parties. People would be sitting on the benches at the table or standing in front of the table their arms sometimes around each other’s shoulders. When I close my eyes, I can still see them all.

I dearly miss those parties and the singing in the kitchen. They are just about my favorite memories of my family, of all my family, of aunts and uncles and most especially Mom and Dad.

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20 Comments on ““Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!””

  1. Hedley Says:

    OK Christer – 1-1 for ENGLAND and France, you are up !

    By the way Ribery is a cheat.

    • olof1 Says:

      I’m a bit disappointed at the English team, but this was probably the best result we swedes could hope for πŸ™‚

      Yes he is! I did wonder about that referee, could he possibly be part French? πŸ™‚

      • olof1 Says:

        I’m not impressed by the swedish so far! I do hope they’ll start to play football soon because they haven’t so far. Nill-nill so far and the second half still to play.

      • Hedley Says:

        Christer, so now we wait patienty for a goal from Sweden. Perhaps in the second half ? Then we have an appointment together on Friday. Dont really see Ibrahimović as a Swede, but there you go. Hopefully better stuff in the seconds half for your team

        I am sure that Kat knows that we are distracted especially if the teams progress out of the group stage

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I send a warm welcome to the planet for Declan and congratulations on your elevation to the honorable status of Old Auntie. πŸ™‚
    My old aunts did not sing or play piano. Not in my presence, anyway. Great Aunt Bessie knitted things and Great Aunt Blanche pinched our cheeks and called us her Little Studebakers. I have no idea why. I always called them Great Aunts, not Grand Aunts. They were my maternal Grandfather’s sisters and shared his wicked sense of humor so perhaps “Grand Aunt” would have been just too fussy Victorian for them.
    For the last two weeks or so I’ve been looking for someone to do my lawn and have had several calls out with no response. In a fit of impatience and because my grass is getting out of hand, I ordered a cordless lawn mower. Two hours later…yeah you guessed it.
    But I’m not canceling the mower just in case.
    Enjoy the day!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Thanks, I think!

      I looked up the great and grand aunts, and it seems the terms are interchangeable. My nephew announced on the phone I was going to be a great aunt which I thought I always was (ha!), but that seems to be the term we use as well.

      See! That’s like finding the pump after you buy another. It has to be one of Murphy’s laws!

      Great day here, and thanks, I did enjoy it.

      • Caryn Says:

        Murphy’s Law gets even better. About a hour ago a guy who crews with the lawn service that kissed me off showed up at my door looking to do my lawn on his days off. I hadn’t even called him.

  3. olof1 Says:

    I really don’t have the time to come here today, the European Championship in soccer has started and I’ve just seen Englad play 1-1 against France. I’m a bit disappointed with the english team but this was probably the best result seen from a swedish point of view πŸ™‚

    I can’t remember any singing on our family parties, except for those times my uncle was way to drunk. My mother usually never got drunk but one Christmas around 35 years ago she did. She and her brother then sang White Christmas for hours πŸ™‚ However the color white did bore them after a while so they changed the color every now and again πŸ™‚ I think that was the last time I’ve seen her drunk πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Hedley Says:

      Shevchenko ??????? Christer, he is nearly as old as me. 1-1 and a much more interesting second half – but this isnt one that Sweden dare lose.

      • Caryn Says:

        Obviously this is a different Shevchenko from the one I remember because the one I remember is older than almost everyone I know. In fact, he may even be mostly dead. πŸ™‚

      • olof1 Says:

        Hi Hedley!
        But lose we did!!! I have no words for how bad our players played yesterday! Well we’re out of the championships now, I doubt we’ll win over England and France πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ But thankfully I still have Denmark and England to hope for πŸ™‚

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      I read the comments between you and Hedley and none of them stirred my sports instinct.

      My family, during the evening, usually ending up in their cups as well, but the singing was never dependent on alcohol. I love the story of the multi-colored Christmas!

      Hope you enjoyed the games!

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat
        That is ok – right now we are in the group stages and Christer is hiding in the barn as his Swedish team takes a 2-1 loss to the Ukraine. Two teams get out of each of the four groups and then go in to the sudden death format in the week of the 21/22/23/24, which will be the quarter finals

        For this tournament, England and Sweden have been drawn in the same group. Both would like a win on Friday, neither could take the loss. A tie would still be ok for England because Sweden got beat by an aging forward Shevchenko.

        A lot is tactical in the group stages and it gets quite frantic as we move in to the second and third round games. Round two begings tomorrow for the Poland group.

  4. Hedley Says:

    What ????
    Christer old slow Shevchenko twice ?? Maybe England were not so bad after all πŸ™‚

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    No von Trapp family here. God thought differently so we had talented friends over with their guitars and bongos and it was mostly Kingston Trio songs. We were surprised when neighbor Bill sang a beach boys song. I wasn’t too hot on them until I heard his version. My Mom was the serious chemist in the kitchen and we learned at an early age to stay clear of her sacred ground even if you were thirsty for a coke.

    • Kat Says:

      Z&Me,
      I am no Von Trapp but most of my relatives weren’t half bad. My sisiter Moe and I were left out of the singing gene pool in which the rest of them were swimming.

      My mother loved company in the kitchen. I was her sous chef!

  6. bill s. Says:

    Kat:
    My mom came from a family of six musically talented children. When we were younger she played the piano and sang, mostly light opera and popular tunes from the 30’s and 40’s. At the time my brother and I would go outside because her music was not our cup of tea. It is only now that I recognize her musical talents, and wish I could hear her sing again. I have to give my mom credit for, perhaps inadvertently, instilling in me a deep appreciation for all kinds of music (except rap, if you call that music).

    On Wed. this week I am going to Florida for her 94th birthday, and judging from her medical conditions lately, this may be her last (or not).

    • Kat Says:

      Bill,
      I usually sat and listened when they sang. Keeping a tune has never been my strong point. By Iistening I ended up learning all those songs. My brother and I used to joke we were the only ones of our age group who knew Shrimp Boats.

      A very Happy Birthday to your mother. 94-amazing!

      Have a safe trip!

  7. Bob Says:

    My entire family, including my immediate family, were and are all musically challenged. We all can sing about two notes in the key of U. The key of U is for ugh. We all sound like cats in heat on the back yard fence on a full moon night. My mother never sang as she worked because her voice would scare away any wild life within hearing distance of our house. My father thought he could sing, but he also had no talent just a baritone voice. In his mind he sounded like Nat King Cole, Nature Boy was his favorite. In everyone else’s mind he sounded just bad. Everyone sounds better in the shower. Too bad you can’t carry a shower stall around with you when you want to entertain πŸ™‚

    Today the high temperature was 97 degrees. When it’s this hot a couple of degrees in either direction doesn’t feel much different.

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      I’d fit in perfectly with your musically challenged family! In my family I am the odd one!

      I got a laugh from your descriptions of your parents’ voices-that description could also fit mine. Like your father, I love Nat King Cole.

      I always think I sound just fine in the car. I sing along with the music all the time, but I keep the windows closed.


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