Sunday, July 5, 2015

We went forth on the Fourth ...

... and we ate!

This first picture is dedicated to my cousin Steve...
Steve had had perfect attendance at our Will White family reunion...
until yesterday.
That peach cobbler his mother made had a little bit left,
but it would have been licked clean if Steve had been there.

And here's the homemade potato salad, peas, and brisket his mom also brought.
So Steve, Lori, David, Talena, Brian, Sylvia, Carol, Dale and all their children
probably didn't eat as well as I did yesterday.

The crowd was smaller than usual...

but the food was still as amazing...
(I really like good deviled eggs.)
(And that's Mother's delicious green bean salad. Yum.)

Here's who represented my granddad's (Andrew Nuel White, Sr.) side ...
That's Mother, me, Frank and Helen (Daddy's little sister) (Steve's mother).
Here's Mother before the day started...
I made her pose on her patriotic porch.
(One classy lady, huh?)

So we drove to Van, Texas for the 98th annual family reunion.

(If you'd like, you can click HERE for our 2013 reunion post I wrote.)

We hadn't been there since Van was hit by that terrible tornado
on May 10th, 2015.

We met in the community center that had just been vacated by FEMA.
They had left some things, such as this map that showed us just where the tornado hit...

 My (second) cousin, Jerry Don, showed me where his son, Lance, lived...

And where his nephew, Nathan, lived ...
 Nathan's house was leveled, while Lance lost his whole roof. Lance was at the reunion and he told me he and his family huddled in the closet. Nathan, fortunately was somewhere else as I recall, when his house was leveled.
Two people were killed in the tornado. It really is amazing that there were no more fatalities.

I took some pictures yesterday, but it was clear that a lot of the houses and big trees had already been cleared.  There were lots of house foundations seen.

And here's where Mother used to teach...
There used to be huge, beautiful trees all around... and definitely a nice roof line.
And here is the building just to the north...

So we had a bitter sweet time yesterday - fun with family,
but sadness at seeing the devastation.

Well, we really did have a wonderful time.
I really missed my McElhany cousins, though,
but I have missed more reunions than they have,
so I understand.

Now the rest of the summer is before us.
And snow cones are in order!

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