Bett Norris


Okay, Once More

All right. I swore I wasn’t going to do this again, go maundering down memory lane, get all nostalgic and sniffing and wet-eyed. But here I go.

This is Good Friday, for all you good Protestant Christians out there.  For country folks, you should get all your planting done by today. For members of my family, going back several generations, you should be cooking, and getting ready to go tomorrow to Aunt Duck’s house for the annual Easter family reunion. For the generations younger than me, I can tell you that this get together has been going on since before I was born, and attending this ritual gathering is one of my earliest memories.

I haven’t been able to attend for the past several years. I think the last time I went was Easter 2009, the year after my mother died. I went to honor her and for Aunt Duck’s sake. It wasn’t the same.

Maybe this annual thing has improved in the years since. I hope it is now what it always was to me: a happy, exciting time, a time for good food, listening to stories from the elders, hiding Easter eggs for the kids, see relatives that I only got to be with that one time each year.  Family portraits were taken. I probably have one of our family from every year. Here they come.


These were taken when we lived in town, around 1970 or 1971. On the left, my mother with all her siblings, even Uncle Bill, who rarely came. On the right, my mother, step dad, and all of my siblings except my oldest brother Jimmy. Like Uncle Bill, Jimmy rarely came to family events.

I heard that something happened to Aunt Duck, so the Saturday Easter family reunion thing has been moved to my brother’s house, which was our mama’s old house, the site of many many years of family gatherings.

scan0067 scan0070

The pic on the left was taken before we had the porch built. My nieces and nephews look like K4 or K5.The one on the right is sometime in the early 1980’s, judging by the ages.


These two pica above may have been taken at Thanksgiving rather than Easter.



This was Easter family reunion, 2004, the last for my brother Jimmy, who died of cancer later that summer. Missing is my oldest sister Charlotte who couldn’t make it that year.

ScannedImage-13Mama's sisters, Easter 2011 001

The photo on the left is the last one with all Mama’s siblings together, I’m guessing around 1975 or so.  The pic on the right is Easter 2009, all of Mama’s sisters at the reunion, this time held at Aunt Duck’s house for the first time since Mama died.

scan0082 Once a long time ago, we held the Easter reunion at Aunt Duck’s daughter’s house. That’s me on the left holding my niece Stephanie, and Aunt Duck on the right holding my niece Tessa. This was in the early 1980’s.

Easter 2012New Babies

These pictures above are from recent Easter reunions at Aunt Duck’s house, ones I haven’t been able to attend.

n564680985_2159849_3524864Easter 2009

This was taken at the 2009 reunion, the last one I attended. That’s my great nephew Gavin, so adorable.  The other pic shows Aunt Judy, Aunt Mildred, and Aunt Duck in 2009. The only one missing was Aunt Barbara.

Aunt Judy passed away last year. I learned that Aunt Duck is unable to host this years reunion, so it has been moved. It will once again be different, and I wish I could be there. I loved these reunions, and I loved sneaking and listening to Mama, her parents, her siblings, as they sat on the porch and talked about old times while they watched their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren run around the yard, searching for Easter eggs.

April, Stephanie, Tessa, you all weren’t born when we held Easter at Uncle Ernest and Aunt Bob’s house way out in the country, and Aunt Duck cheated by helping Cathy find the prize egg. Back then, we got a dime for finding it. Cathy was always Aunt Duck’s favorite. That’s the truth.

To all my mother’s grandchildren, I tell you this: your Granny didn’t have any favorites among you. She loved each and every one of you boys and girls.  If you get the chance, sit for a while and listen to the old folks talk.





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