The Mayo Family reunion was this weekend in Thomson,GA! It was Chad's side of the family...specifically his Granny's side of the family. It took us about 6 hours to make the trek up there, but it was well worth it - we had such a wonderful time! Chad got to re-connect with a bunch of his cousins, aunts and uncles, and I got to meet a lot of really special people. Horrace and Nina (?) host this reunion annually, and it is INCREDIBLE! It's literally in their backyard...and what a marvelous back yard it is! Their property comes complete with goats, cows, geese, swans, hummingbirds, martins and butterflies...it was breathtaking! The people who hosted and who helped the hostesses must've worked very long and hard to create a relaxing weekend for all of us who travelled in, and we were all grateful. I can say from the bottom of my heart that the Mayo family is grounded in everything that is most important...faith, love and family.
This was the pavilion where everyone gathered all weekend to visit and eat. It was such a neat area filled with plenty of seating and shade.
These men (and a few others I didn't get photographed) stayed up for practically 48 hours cooking meat for the entire family. They were dead on their feet...but somehow they managed to con't cooking - and MAN - that meat (chicken, goat, hog, beef) was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lillie spread her little wings and flew...or walked rather! She tromped up and down those hills over-n-over-n-over-n-over...well, you get the idea. We ALL got a work-out chasing after her and I think it's safe to say that she's a walking PRO now!
There was plenty of time to just sit around and bond with one another. There were empty chairs sitting around all over the place just begging to be sat in...and we did. :-)
The kids spent quite a bit of time in the pool with their cousins, Chase and Caitlyn. They learned to dive off the diving board, and began to learn how to do both a front and back flip off the diving board! It's amazing what kids will try when there's no lifeguard blowing his whistle, (or parent hovering over them shouting "Noooooo!"). We love Fleming Island, but sometimes it can feel a bit stifling as kids are encouraged to be as safe and clean as possible everywhere they go! This was the perfect place for the kids to get dirt under their nails and take a few risks in the water - it was GOOD for them...and they LOVED it! :-)
And THIS is what 63 years of bliss looks like! Let me introduce you to "Bob and Becky"...the cutest couple I think I've ever seen! I got them both to share with me how they met - married at 17...Becky was fresh out of highschool, Bob was in the National Guard...and I honestly can't imagine that they were much cuter than they are now. I was in awe of these two and couldn't keep my eyes off of them! They were obviously still in love as they constantly found ways to put their arms around each other, and their tender smiles came so easily as they made eye contact. Life hasn't been easy for them as they shared with me that they've lost a son and a granddaughter, but they've held on to God and to one another and God bless them for it...they were such a testimony of love and faithfulness and literally witnessed to me today.
And this ol' girl?...she and I had a connection! Ok, truth be told, she stared miserably at every person who walked past her. But I felt I could so relate to her uncomfortable stance and her agonizing moo's. Why??...the poor cow was pregnant! I could literally...(LITERALLY!!)...see the baby calf inside of her kicking! Can you imagine how horribly uncomfortable a hard hoof would be kicked in to your rib cage?! I told this sweet cow that I promised to never again "udder" a complaint while pregnant. (What she doesn't know is that I'll NEVER be pregnant again...but hey, what she doesn't know won't hurt her!) Do they offer epidurals for cows?!...aw...poor girl...you think a mere kick hurts?!...you have no IDEA what's comin'!