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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mini-Family Reunion in Arizona

Top row, left to right: Bill, Hilda, Arna, Grace, Carol, Claire, Charlaine, Dovin, Yvonne
Bottom row, left to right: Joniann, Matt, Donna, Rhonda, Ideaa and Aimee
Mini Reunion time for the Carters in Phoenix. Our family gathered from all over the country.  Cousins Yvonne and her Husband Bill came in from Michigan, not seeming to upset about leaving winter snows behind. Cousin Carol and daughter Ideaa flew in the fartherst, from Queens, New York. Cousins Charlaine and Jonniann drove in from San Diego, California. My Aunt Grace and cousin Donna flew in from Pasadena, where the last mini-reunion was held last July.

On site in Arizona was Rhonda, who moved from Bronx, New York to Arizona just last October. She too seems to have wearied from winter snows.  Others already 'on site' so to speak were my dears,  Uncle Matt and Aunt Arna , my cousins Dovin, Eddie and his S.O. Amy. And too, the Grand Madame, Matt's Mom Hilda lives in Phoenix too. Dovin's children, two boys and a girl are off at college now having adventures they couldn't be with us this weekend.

On the night of my arrival, all who were on hand met up at a restaurant for a bite.

The family starting to gather at Chompies restaurant on Friday night
Left to right: Cousins Dovin and Donna, my Mom's sisters Grace and Arna & uncle Matt
Left to Right: Cousins Charlaine, Rhonda, Yvonnew  Bill and Eddie's SO, contemplative Amy
The men folk, my Uncle Matt (right) & his sons, my cousins Eddie (left) & Dovin (center)
We hadn't tight plans for weekend activities so it was everyone for themselves. Yvonne and Bill took a tour to the the Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright home and the Sonora Desert Museum. For myself, on Saturday, I went with my cousin Donna to see Hilda - who has always generously allowed me to call her 'Nana'. Hilda at 104 years old is a sharp cookie. We went to a local diner for a chatty luncheon.
Hilda and Donna have been good phone buddies for ages.
Later we met up with everyone at Matt and Arna's home. Now everyone in the family came armed with loads of family photos to share, copy and reminisce over.

Aunt Grace, Mom and daughter Carol and Idea viewing family history in pictures
A Carter Women Selfie:
from the left: Jonniann, Claire, Charlaine,
Yvonne, Grace, Arna, Idea, Carol, Rhonda and Donna
The family photos shared at the table were delightful, but allow me to share a gem that caught my eye. This is an absolute precious photo of Hilda at approximately four years of age, taken 100 years ago. The photo is tattered and I'm photo shopping out the cracks and tears. Renovation is at, um... let's say 33% repaired. Isn't she darling!

Precious photo of baby Hilda holding a kitten
Another photo new to me was this one of my maternal Grandmother Adele, enjoying a bit of a tipple. I remember that silver bracelet she wears.

Loved looking at Matt & Arna's wedding pictures. I've never visited them without cheerful reminders that I was their flower girl. 
The newly weds pose with mother Hilda
The wedding party leaving for the church, proud father Lomax prepares to give away his daughter. And a knobby kneed, flower girl leads the way.

And now, as a special treat, Matt and little Gigi, lead a family sing-a-long. The first howl was me, not trying to steal Gigi's thunder, but just helping her find that first note. 

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