During a recent family reunion in Lexington, Virginia, I went with some members of my family to see Foamhenge. the creation of Mark Cline that “mysteriously” appeared one April Fools’ Day. It’s a life-sized styrofoam replica of the real deal. (I kid you not.) If you are in to off-the beaten-path, unique family bonding moments, this will do it.
Every family has their own traditions, quirks and follies. So for this week’s Friday Five, tell us about your family/tribe/clan for these 5 distinctive traits:
We weren't much of a game family, at least not when we were at home. But take us on the road and we new rituals emerge.
I grew up with a card game called "Flinch," which has its own unique deck of cards that include sets that go from 1 to 15. The idea was to build on common piles going up from 1 and down from 15. A flinch pile was also involved. We also played multi-hand solitaire, as demonstrated below (seven hands).
Favorite Sports Team
We weren't much of a sports family. Afflicted with polio when he was seven, my dad didn't play sports, and this probably colored our preferences. Neither of my brothers played team sports, although my older brother was on swim and tennis teams. In junior high I was highly influenced by my best friend's family, who were devotees of the Montreal Canadiens, a National Hockey League team. They were then, and continue to be, my team, although my attention waned in college when I lived in a non-hockey area.Birthday tradition
I'm sure we're not unique in honoring the birthday girl or boy with a choice of meal or flavor cake, but nothing else stands out as a tradition. My own favorite meal was beef fondue. I remember that my brother always had chocolate cake with coffee-flavored icing (below--birthday boy on the right).
The place that you collectively call “Home” (even if none of you live there any more.)
I'm the only one who has left the geographic nest, but Connecticut is still home to me, and always will be.Family Vacation Spot
In the summer we were fortunate that a cousin had a home in Hyannisport, on Cape Cod, and that was our go-to spot until I was in college. The house had beachfront, which was great, and we had a distinctive view of Marine One coming in for a landing at the Kennedy Compound there. Summers at the Cape hold a vast store of cherished memories (below).
Our other place is a family-owned tree farm in South Carolina (above). Once a peach farm run by my great-grandfather, it now yields timber from loblolly pines. With rare exceptions I have gone there every year of my life. It shares the distinction, with Scotland, of being my spiritual home.BONUS: Family Dessert: Every family has one. That yummy, calorie-laden delight that frequents your table at parties or holidays. Share the recipe, or (if it’s a family secret) share a photo.
Hands down, Mom's brownies. They were a staple of family gatherings, but also a symbol of hospitality to others. She made them to welcome new neighbors, to take to committee meetings, and to say thank you for a kindness shown. She and I recently made a batch to take to the nursing unit where she spent a couple of weeks in rehab after a recent fall, as a way to say thank you for their care. I have even used them as a sermon illustration on All Saints Day to talk about the idea of legacies (the recipe came from my grandmother), and the communion of saints. Mom happened to be in town that weekend, so we made several batches that were packaged individually to give to the kids, along with a copy of the recipe.