Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Now and Then!

One is never too old to enjoy an old fashioned family reunion. 
Canada Day was one of those scorching hot summer days. 
We brought together 4 generations from the Schmidt sisters.
Fifty years ago we used to meet at Berthusan Park.
It was time to reunite.

  On July 1, the cars drove in....one by one, they all aligned themselves perfectly.
I did not see any muscle cars, Chev Camaros, Barracudas, or Dodge Chargers,
Young and old...all coming together. Some even rode bikes.
We had a sign-in table with name tags, and a bottle of ice cold water.
Many of us did not know who belonged to which 'sister'
Fifty years ago...we knew everyone, because we met annually.
 Ron Doerksen was my side-kick.
Elaine, his wife kept organizing him and the food.
Food came wrapped and packaged in all sorts of dimensions.
Large insulted bags, iceboxes, thermoses, desserts.
Food was brought to the house, where it stayed cool.

Lawn chairs and tables were lined outside,
 decked in red and white to stick with the Canada Day theme.
Guests came early...to set up the coffee perks.
( I think we traditionally serve coffee at the end of a meal)
My guests were very gracious with me as they tried to inaugurate me to the 60's era.
Thanks Rita and Irene for all your support.
People clustered in groups..competing over the shade trees.
Fifty years ago...each family brought their own meal, dishes, coffee
and set their own table for their immediate family.
Each family provided for themselves.
Then they laid the food and dessert items on one communal table
And some families did exactly the same thing today.
That was their tradition.
 Vic Doerksen, updated the family members with some heritage notes.
The Schmidt's came to Canada in 1926 from Ukraine.
He mentioned how hard they fought for their freedom in Canada.
He talked about the strong faith that carried them through...
And yet...he also alerted us to the uprise in Ukraine today.
It truly gave significance of coming together on Canada Day!

We were led with the the singing of the doxology, followed by prayer.
That familiar hymn was also sung fifty years ago.

Fifty years later, we're still getting together,
only today we had an open buffet smorgasbord and all the amenities were provided.
Regardless of how it's done then or today...
it's all about coming together, enjoying fellowship and enjoying the foods that were prepared.
 Mennonite heritage foods lined the long tables set up in the garage.
Potato salad, Kotletten, Mennonite Farmer Sausage,
Bean Salad, Pasta Salad, Roll-kuchen & Watermelon,
and Tanta Susie's Famous Baked Beans.
Then we cleared the tables and brought out the desserts....
Platz, apple sheet pie, ice-cream, raspberries, strudel and more roll-kuchen.

I loved it how one fellow brought Tim Hortons' Doughnuts.
Why not?
After all, it was Canada Day!

 Do you still remember this old fashioned Coleman container?
Green coffee urns from years back were also filled with coffee.

 Fifty years ago, I being one of the smaller ones, played on the merry go round,
slides, teeter totters, and swings, in hopes of the older cousins pushing me higher.
Then the adults men played an old fashioned ball game, 
while the women cleaned up, took care of the children and visited.

And this year, we played some old fashioned games.
Tug of war, balloon toss, sack race, tire roll, soccer shoot out, boot toss and of course,
what hot day could not pass without an eruption of a spontaneous water fight. 

These two girls were my favorites...they particiapted in all the sporting events.
I knew we would be friends right from the beginning.
And they won the soccer shoot out representing team, Germany.
Yea!!! Today is another big game.  
Germany vs. Brazil

While games were being played, some participated, others cheered on from the fence lines.

Others spent time reminiscing and relaxing.

 Others chopped up watermelon serving it with Roll-kuchen!

 Meanwhile one little fellow claimed the first injury of the day....
Off to ER...a slight fracture from jumping off the tramp.  
What did they do with injuries 50 years ago?
Oh yes, Dr. Voth or Dr. Dueck were 'on call'

Even the youngest showed up.
Ivy loved receiving the attention from all her cousins and aunts.
I can guarantee, she won't be remembering or comparing notes.

 Today's tradition of  hoisting a new Canadian flag is somewhat new for most,
and yet together we could stand in one accord and thank God for the country of Canada.

What better way than families coming together,
sharing authentic foods,
meeting new faces, young and old,
sharing faith stories which needed to be heard,
and ending off the day by singing.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


  1. What a wonderful family reunion!! Marg, you have recalled this day with your pictures and words in such a lovely way. My extended family is hosting the annual Gerber family reunion this Fall and I hope we can make it as meaningful as you have made this one. Ivy is just the cutest.

  2. Family reunions are a wonderful time to keep those ties alive and strong. Your party looked like a huge success -the food, games,, and of course visiting. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  3. What a great and meaningful gathering. It's so nice that some take the task upon themselves to make these events happen. Glad you have such a nice space for people to gather. What a blessing.

  4. Marg, everything about this post speaks of the priority of the bond in a family created by the past and accepting the now. I can feel the excitement as I read and see the photos. Your family is blessed! I remember your parents and how much they would have loved to have been here.

  5. Marg, everything about this day looks just so wonderful and really makes me wish for a true old fashioned family gathering like in days gone by. The food looks like it was delicious too. Your parents would have loved to know you did this and remembered the past and looked forward to the future.

  6. I remember those family reunions and miss them. The rollkuchen and Rabooz, the platz, the potato salad, ham, cutletten and farmer sausage. And don't forget the zwiebach and the favourite of the 60's - Jello salad!
    You and John hosted a great party and it was so nice that the family all came together and actively participate.

  7. We had a great time! I too remember Berthusen Park from when I was MUCH younger... Very nice to start it up again! Thank you for hosting!

  8. AnonymousJuly 20, 2014

    Marg, your Tante Susie and Onkel John were MY oma's neighbours on Underhill in Greendale for MANY years. They were the best, kindest neighbours ...have lots of great memories. And I agree, the BEST baked bean mmmm

  9. What a wonderful get together! Love that the Doxology is included. Such a powerful piece:)


Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes you might identify with what I've posted, and the next time you wonder where I'm coming from. I'd love to hear what you are thinking... Leaving a comment makes my day.
Drop by again.