Friday, March 9

Golden Oldies

These kids were gathered for my cousin's birthday party. I was too young to be invited, so this must have been before 1943. It must not have been a very good party; the kids all look bored out of their minds!

Two of my uncle's boys were older than I and one was younger. The younger boy died about 3 months ago, but the older two are still alive. They led me and my other girl cousins on a merry chase when we were children. Girls were only good for two things: pinching and pig-tail pulling. Every time we went to visit them, I dreaded the treatment I knew I would get, and I tried to get my mom to let me stay home, to no avail. The oldest boy was especially mean to me, and he would laugh and laugh at my plight. As he grew older, he mellowed some, and after he started to get interested in girls, he softened towards me as well. We didn't see each other often, but he was nicer. After my mom died, he came to the house and helped me remove an antique chandelier. We have lost touch, and I haven't seen any of them since my Dad's funeral in 1995.
It is a sad fact that as we age, unless we are extremely close to our extended families, we do lose touch. There comes a time when the only reason to get together is to attend a wake or a funeral. I wish it were not so. It is too late for me, but if you are younger, you can work to be sure that doesn't happen. It is especially important for those who don't have siblings, because once your parents are gone, cousins are your only family connection (other than your spouse and children). My advice is that you seek them out and stay in touch. You'll be glad you did.

17 comments: said...

Now that we're older the only thing we girls are good for is pinching and...wait...I'm not going to go there.

Cravey said...

Awesome photo.
Wonder where all those kids ended up?

"family" in my life includes many more people than those I'm blood-related too - but I do work at keeping those connections close.

Raggedy said...

That is so true!
Very good advice.
When my dad moved our own little family north we lost touch with our relatives. When I joined the military and moved I lost touch with even my family members. I realize now how important it really is.
I need to find all the lost members of my family that are still alive.
Thank you!
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

rosemary said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have lost all contact with my dad's family sadly. I am close to my cousin on my mom's side...she is the one that helped me the blog about my mom. Other cousins I hear from when there is a death, problem or someone needs a place to vacation. I haven't spoken to my brother since my mother's death more than a decade ago, but that is a choice. I just hope my kids don't follow in my footsteps. Thanks Judy for a thoughtful post.

Shephard said...

Good advice Judy.

Shephard said...

P.S.... did I say Michele sent me this time? lol

ET said...

Maybe they were all frowning they wanted you there!

Weary Hag said...

I have lost touch with just about all of my cousins (there were 27 first-cousins in my family), but then, I am a bit of a family blacksheep too. You're exactly right though - once your parents are gone, unless you have, and remain close to, your siblings, that's IT.

I love the photo - my mom had so many of that type of picture... those were the days when little girls were dressed in pretty dresses to attend someone's birthday party.

colleen said...

It's so sad when people die. I think kids just don't know how to pose happy. The probably don't want to be sitting still!

I don't know what to do about bloglines. I don't understand how it works. I don't do feeds...only because of that. I wonder if you're the only one not getting the feed?

tiff said...

Also? put some kind of indentifying info on the backs of all those photos.

I've got Jenny's back on the family thing - I have blood family and chosen family, and for both types it takes some effort to stay in touch. If you do, it's totally worth it.

Duke_of_Earle said...


At first glance I thought the little boy in the front row (second from the left) was flipping off the camera. But enlarging the shot proved me wrong.

I concur with your advice at the end. I would add: If you HAVE lost touch, make contact again and try to maintain it. It's worth it!


P.S. Ditto to Tiff's advice!

Blitz Krieg said...

I'm 47 and I don't talk or get together with any of my cousins. My wife has tried to keep in touch and visit her BROTHERS, but they are always to busy. Sad.

Anna said...

I will take that advice Judy because I think that is very important and I will agree...those kids look bored stiff! :)

Badabing said...

Very good advice Judy. My cousins and I were all pretty close when we grew up...of course we all lived in the same neighborhood and saw each other every day. Over time most of us drifted apart and would only see each other at it's only at funerals. Back in the late 80's my mother, grandmother, and a close family friend all died within a month of each other. We were all so affected that we began having a cousin's party every year...they were wonderful. That went on for a few years, but eventually died out as well...a real shame.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'd say those kids look bored because they HATED being rounded up for a photo.
Little boys can really be pests towards little girls.
As they get older, they can still be pests at times. :)
I agree with you about family ties. Keeping them strong is important.

srp said...

50th wedding anniversaries seem to be what gets our family together. Mom's doesn't have too many left. She has one aunt and a few cousins that they try to see once in a while. My third cousins there are scattered from Florida to California.

David said...

especially these days with searches, and email, it is not that hard to do. good advice.