Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Families, Festivals and a Funeral

The photo has nothing at all to do with this post, I just like it.  It's Cowboy on the annual trail ride between Weatherford and Mineral Wells.

We’re heading out on another short (about 10 days) trip in a few days, but in the mean time, here’s some random thoughts.

My Daddy had 2 brothers, Mama had one brother.  I have one brother.

Then I married the Cowboy.

Cowboy has 4 brothers.  His Daddy had 7 brothers and sisters. His Mama had 17 brothers and sisters. That’s not a typo.  Seventeen.  And we’re not talking divorces, with half and steps.  That’s one daddy and one very tired mama. I guess, being good Pentecostals back then, they couldn’t dance, or even play cards, so….

Anyway. The first family get-together I attended with the Cowboy after we got engaged, was a Christmas with his dad’s family. They had to rent the National Guard Armory Building.  It was the only building in town large enough to hold all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Culture shock.

I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the funeral we attended yesterday.  Cowboy’s cousin was only 43.  In such a large family, it’s difficult to be close to every cousin, and this was one of the ones that we really didn’t know that well.  But we sort of watched him grow up from a distance.  We marveled at family get-togethers at how the kids had grown.  We heard about his ups and downs through the family grape-vine.  We love and admire his mom, a thoughtful, caring, strong Christian lady.

But, ya’ll…he was only 43.  And at times like these, I always wonder…how do non-Believers cope with death?  I am so thankful for my Savior for many reasons.  Yesterday, I was thankful, knowing that one young man has shed his pain-wracked human body, and is free from all earthly cares and worries, enjoying life abundant in Heaven.
It was great seeing family yesterday.  I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in Small Town, Texas, funerals are huge social event.  There’s food, there’s family, there’s reminiscing.  True stories that sound like tall tales.  Lots of laughter, mingled with the tears. 

I have no good segue here, so I’ll just plunge right into the festival portion of this rambling tale.  Saturday our little church hosted our annual Gospel Grass Festival.  That’s gospel music with a blue grass beat.  Awesome.  Twelve solid hours of music, ten in the morning until ten at night. For free. No charge. Even if you think you don't like blue grass, I gotta tell ya... if you are anywhere near Parker County next year, ya gotta come!  It starts with a hearty country breakfast…free, to anyone who wants it.  There are activities for the kids, those huge air filled bounce houses and slides…absolutely free.  The only thing that cost is food for the rest of the day.  And there’s nothing much better than good Baptist cooking! 

Our little church is one of the many reasons it is so hard for us to leave home.  But there’s a whole country out there waiting to be explored.  We are so thankful for the chance to travel and see America.  It’s something we’ve dreamed of for forty years, finally coming true. 

But we are also thankful for the ties that bind us here…friends, family and church.  It’s good to know we have a place to come home to.
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