March 20 • 05:38 PM

Christmas in July is family tradition

August 05, 2009
Monday Moanin' and I am moaning, a bit tired and beat after a wonderful weekend. How can one be so tired after such a great visit with the Brooks clan.

A number of years ago Red's sister, Eris Bleau, began a tradition at Christmas time of having her brothers and families gather. As the families grew it became harder to gather at Christmas so one year when it was Alan and Pauline's turn they decided to try something different...

Christmas in July at our farm pond. It was a success and this year Lee and Lynda, Carol and Bob, Alan and Pauline again hosted the Brooks Bash at the pond. It was missed by one day for Christmas in July, it was Saturday, August 1. Next year will be one of Eris's family hosting and it will be near West Branch.

A huge tent with tables and chairs were rented, trailers and tents started arriving and surrounding the pond as early as Thursday. What a joyous weekend. Lots of swimming, playing on the sand beach, jumping off the dock, paddle boating and even a kayak. Eris and I being the matriarchs, Eris with her cane and I with my walker, enjoyed all the activity from our comfortable lawn chairs.

Oh yes, even a Christmas tree on a table in the center of the tent surrounded by what appeared to be tons of gifts. Everyone takes a gift, numbers are drawn, number one gets first choice of a gift, number two and so on get to choose a gift or steal someone else's. I was number 16 and stole a wonderful gift. Lynda had painted a scene from the pond. The "Shack'' with its surrounding bushes, a few limbs from the weeping willow and sumac in full beauty. No one dared to steal Aunt Gertie's gift. One other year she painted a scene of the pond and I have that also.

Of course, lots of food. I leave my grill down there and Alan has one down there also. The men manned the chicken, hot dogs and brats. My 91st birthday was also celebrated with a birthday cake and crown.

Those with trailers and tents stayed Saturday night and we enjoyed Sunday together also...lots of leftovers. Now to recuperate...but it seems so lonesome.

— Country Cousin

Gertie Brooks, of Almont, has been a columnist for the Tri-City Times for over three decades now. Gertie's style of reliving days long past in her writing make her one of the Times' most popular columnists.
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