I am back from North Dakota! The family reunion was fun. I was raised in a little farm town of about 800 people, and we had the reunion there so it would be easier for the oldest member of the clan to be there. My mother had 8 siblings; her father had 7 siblings, so it potentially could have been a huge gathering. It started out as a reunion of my grandfather’s descendants, but expanded when we were contacted by one of his siblings’ grandchildren; our second cousins twice removed, or something like that. I had met one of them as a kid, but otherwise none of us had ever met before. So it was a great experience to get to know some relatives that we didn’t know, and a way to re-connect with the cousins that we haven’t seen in years. As the older members of the family are passing on, there was more of a sense of urgency to talk to the remaining elders to preserve memories. There is an old family feud from the previous generation that rather stupidly has passed down to my generation, so one branch of the cousins decided not to show up. We laughed and ate, took a lot of pictures, and just in general had a great time. We made a pilgrimage out to the original family farm that my grandfather homesteaded in the early 1900’s. The original farmhouse is long gone, but the house that I grew up in is still there, though it hasn’t been occupied in years.
Here is my old home:
It was truly sort of weird to be there. The house was open so we walked through it. It is still actually in good shape other than a lot of cosmetic things that would need to be done. I don’t think I have the fortitude to live in a North Dakota farmhouse in the winter though!
Here is what main street looks like. Note the pickup drivers stopping to visit:
We had a couple of meals in the local cafe. This is the sort of place where you are in your seat for dinner promptly at 12 noon; not 12:05, but noon. “Supper” is in the evening, and “lunch” is that meal you eat between dinner and supper, or maybe between breakfast and dinner if someone stops over at 10 AM. The whistle blows exactly at noon and 6PM so you know it’s time to eat, and again at 9 PM so you know it’s time you got your butt home if you’re a kid.
Here’s the day’s menu from the cafe:
On to knitting news. I got a bit of knitting done while there. I worked on the Rowan Audrey sweater, and am about two thirds done with the first piece (front? back?). Initially I didn’t like the shaping but it is growing on me. I think the darts really help draw the eye in the direction it is supposed to go to make it look shapely. I don’t think I would have figured them out on the first try without this from Norma. The directions in the pattern for the increases/decreases leave a little to be desired.
I don’t have good pictures. I tried to get pictures tonight but the light is just not right, and they just suck. So rather than showing pictures that suck, I will try again. Actually I am going to block the pieces to that blue sweater this weekend and seam them together. My goal is to finish this next week; I still have to knit the turtleneck collar after the seaming is done.