Monday, February 25, 2013

Generations Later

Saturday afternoon, as my girls mingled with some extended cousins of the Williams side (Mike's mother's side of the family), I found myself feeling sentimental and nostalgic about events I was never a part of.  I never knew Mike's Grandma and Grandpa Williams as the fun, energetic, and active grandparents that he (and everyone else) describes. Yet Saturday afternoon, I felt like they really must have been some pretty great people to have their grandchildren duplicating an activity done a generation ago.

(Drew wondered why he was wearing an apron in the above photo. (lower-left 1975 photo, right hand side) Funny Drew didn't even consider why he was in a photo dated 1975, but instead why was he wearing an apron?? I love that Drew looks so much like Mike did.)

As the top right photo tells, and as the story goes, the grandparents used to have a Valentines Party and the children would decorate milk jugs and then fill with frosted and decorated sugar cookies to transport home.

I've attended a fair number of these granddaughter parties over the years, and though there is usually always some kind of craft or activity, this year it felt different watching the girls duplicate an activity from yesteryear. Maybe it was just me that seemed to sense a certain nostalgic feeling in the room as a generation of young girls decorated cut off milk jugs.

I couldn't help but wonder about traditions and what makes them really happen. I can't imagine that back in 1981, Mike's grandparents even gave a thought about whether or not their posterity would decorate milk jugs 32 years later! Yet here they were.
I absolutely believe Grandma and Grandpa Williams were looking down on the traditional Granddaughter Party and smiling. How could they have not?

Now to the sugar cookie part. The sugar cookies were made using the same sugar cookie recipe that their Grandma Williams used to use. Of course, being the self-proclaimed sugar cookie snob that I am, I was VERY, VERY skeptical as I frosted my cookie, and took my first bite.

Put it this way, at the end of the party, my cousin and I found ourselves at the bowl of frosting at the same time. Cindy said, "I'll frost one to take to my little guy at home." I said, "I'm frosting a few for me to enjoy on the way home."

How have I never known about this recipe before? 

Enough about the cookies.
The party really was a swell afternoon. It was the perfect combination of good food, great company, love, memories and genuine interest in each other.

All but one of the "original" five granddaughters were there. Next time we need to take a photo of just them to put next to the 1981 milk jug photo up above.

I feel so blessed that my daughters (and I guess me?) belong to such a group. I love that my girls belong to something and can identify with something bigger than just themselves and even our little family. I love that even though Mike's grandmother has been gone from these parties for over a decade, they continue on. I hope that the younger generation feels the sense of belonging and tradition enough to keep these things going for generations to come.

What a tribute to two people.

P.S. The party happened to fall on a snowy Saturday afternoon about 35 miles from my house. Remember, I don't drive in the snow. More on how we got there tomorrow. Believe me, it's worth a blog post to itself.

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