Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FAMILY REUNION


When my cousin Joe Campbell was asked while a student in elementary school if he had a lot of friends, he answered, "I just have cousins."

And so he did--and does. This year Joe was the cousin in charge of the annual Campbell reunion, held at the Stripling Irrigation Park outside Camilla, Georgia on December 13. This is our way of continuing the Christmas night gathering at my grandparents' house where the table was laden with good food, cousins sang Christmas carols, and my grandfather sat in his chair and beamed.

My mother, her friend Ann Noble, and I arrived first, followed shortly by my brother and sister-in-law. My mother didn't want to be photographed, as you can tell from this photo.

The Campbell clan gathered before the meal.


My cousin Dicksy arriving amidst hugs.

My first cousin Jean Dixon Coalson before the onslaught.


Photographs upon photgraphs as the Campbell clan arrives.



My cousin Gail Gunter Williams and I pose before an irrigation map at the Stripling Irrigation Park. Gail was Miss SW Georgia when she was in high school over in Worth County, home of Sue Monk Kidd, by the way, but Sue can eat her heart out when she sees how my first cousin looks these days. Best-selling novels are fine, but heading into your sixties looking like this trumps best-sellers, I'd say!



Passed around amongst the Campbells was this photo of my beloved "Uncle Dick," who died too soon of diabetes. He was an avid horseback rider and a great, fun-loving uncle to have.
His children Dicksy and Murray were on hand.


My mother lets us know how she feels. Let the feast begin! (barbecued chicken, barbecued pork, beans, potato salad, scrumtious chocolate pudding and banana pudding....)




8 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely reunion. I have a lot of distant cousins on one side of my family that I never ever see. Maybe we're missing something by not getting together since it looked like you were having fun.

Hope you have a happy holiday and a healthy new year.
Sam

Glenda Council Beall said...

We always had my mother's family in SW Georgia for a Christmas/birthday party on the 23 of Dec. Both mother and her sister Mildred had the same birthday. Those reunions/parties were fun in the early days when we would move tables and chairs and my aunts and uncles and cousins would square dance. Mother made eggnog, but some folks had a nip or two.
I can see them right now in my memory, young and full of life.
So many are now gone.
Kay, your reunion with cousins sounds so nice. Enjoy it as long as you can, and I hope that will be a long, long time.

Jessie Carty said...

what fun! whenever i make it to the chesapeake area i get to see a lot of my cousins and it just makes me feel so welcome but also homesick!

have a great holiday :)

Vicki Lane said...

Looks like a great time! Sadly, all my cousins are down in Florida and I haven't seen them in far too long.

A Merry, Merry Christmas to you, Kay!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hey, thank you all for your comments. I hope you are all having a warm, cozy, joyfilled day today.

Jose said...

great reunion

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Cynthia said...

I was flipping through blogs, and yours caught my eye. I, too, am a Campbell. Our reunion is held annually on Christmas Day. I too have a cousin, Joe Campbell. Only two of my grandmother's sisters are living now--Minnie Alice and Willie Dee. There were 7 of them. Their parents were James Campbell and Hattie Alonsdale Capps from Centerville, Tennessee. My great-grandmother Granny Campbell asked that we continue the tradition to keep the clan together. I loved looking at your family and wondering...if just maybe there could be any connection.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Cynthia, I wonder, too, if there could be a connection. My grandmother had 6 children, the oldest named Kathryn (for whom I was named) dying at age 12 of diabetes. My Uncle Dick died of the disease years later. On winter days like this one I long to smell the woodfire in my grandmother's house and draw close to the warmth of those memories.
My grandfather was Ulmont Ulvester Campbell. He had several siblings who ended up scattered around the south. My grandmother was Carrie Mae Harrison Campbell. She married when she was 16.