Friday, December 21, 2012

Cousins at the ranch

These pictures popped up on Facebook this week.  My cousin's daughter was busy making a calendar for their family but thought we would all enjoy seeing these cousin pictures.  That is my grandma, Rhoda Ann, surrounded by the younger set.  Part of that group is the 60's club.  In 1960, five of Rhoda's children had babies and those five babies have been bragging about it ever since.  I'm guessing that these photos were taken in the summer of 1967.

That educated guess is based on the stripped shirt I am wearing.  I'm pretty sure I wore it and my 501 Levis to the Sadie Hawkins Dance at McClintock High in the Spring of 1967.  It appears that they lined us up by age in this picture.  I'm glad that they did as it is interesting to see our birth order as a group.

After moving to Arizona, my family would take a annual summer trip back to Idaho.  Sometimes my mother would work for someone else who was on vacation at Madison Memorial Hospital to pay for our travel expenses and the caretaker fees for my father after he was no longer able to travel with us.  Those trips always included a family reunion at the ranch.  We loved being at this beautiful place with its golden rolling wheat fields and the Tetons in the distance.  We are seated on the lawn of my Uncle Keith's home, he having taken over the ranch after my grandfather's death.

My grandparents had two homes in the 1950's, the one on the ranch and a cinder block house that they had built in Ashton.  The Ashton home was a winter home and made it easier for their children to go to high school as the ranch was often snowed in.  My mother boarded with a family in St. Anthony to attend high school prior to the time of the cinder block home.

I distinctly remember a family Christmas party in the Ashton house.  It was the first time that I had seen bubble lights.  They were on my grandparents' tree and I was mesmerized.  Because of that childhood memory, bubble lights are usually on one of our Christmas trees.  Most of the older cousins in the above picture were at that family party.  We had drawn names for gift giving.  I received a beautiful tea set from one of my cousins.  This was before the Christmas time of my grandfather's death so I was six years old or younger.  I remember the lights, the joyful house, the gift exchange, a busy grandmother, and my anxious ride to their house filled with anticipation.  It is a magical Christmas memory.

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