Now I Can Relax

Mom had 2 brothers and 5 sisters so I have lots of cousins and  I guess I have taken on the responsibility of keeping us connected.  Yesterday was our reunion and we all enjoyed seeing each other.  Two years ago we had 75 people here but this year we were only about 40  – several cousins currently have health issues which kept them home.  So all summer this reunion has loomed over my head – the yard, the house, the food – you get the idea.  This time I did all the food and kept it pretty simple because then I had control of what was here.  I accepted donations because the food bill got high but entertaining is not something I really enjoy.  When you have animals in your home, it’s hard to keep a house clean.  I did have professional help with the porch windows but each day of the last week was scheduled right down to the last minute.  Thursday was my day to mow and I could always mow Friday afternoon if it should happen to rain on Thursday.  Whoever heard of it raining two days in a row in August?  But rain it did!  And you know how I am about mowing!  So the grass did not get mowed.  Darn!

This was the scene Friday morning when Becky and my cousin Tonya came to help mix up all the food.  See why I don’t enjoy entertaining?  Too many 4 legged helpers!


We entertain the kids with golf cart rides through the grove.  There weren’t too many kids here and no bigger kids so the 2 young dads had to drive – miles and miles all afternoon.  Rick mows and clears the road through the grove in a long route to the garden – it was grass at the beginning of the day but was worn to mud by the end.  Here are the drivers and riders with one grandma.


The twins discovered the dog door – this was just too cute!


Meet Bo from Peoria – isn’t he beautiful?


And I’ll just post a few pictures for my cousins reading this.


Rick provided all the sweet corn for the event.  You just can’t imagine how delicious it is – if you’ve never had Iowa sweet corn, you’ve never tasted summer.  Now I can relax – no more company!  I  played for 9 am church today and I’ve had a 2 hour nap.  Rick is in the process of freezing 5 huge batches of corn – he does it all – he even cuts it off outside so I have no mess in the house.  What a good husband!  


The cats can now come out of hiding, I can sleep at night, no pressure to keep the house spotless – I’m not good at entertaining.  It was a fun day but I’m so glad it’s over.  Tonight I will sew and watch the Olympics!  Go USA!

23 thoughts on “Now I Can Relax

  1. San

    It sure looks like everyone had a great time and appreciated all of your hard work. Perhaps next time you could see if there’s a hall or camp ground area to rent. Has Rick seen the neat trick where you set the cooked corn cob in the center of a bundt pan, then use that round tool to clear the kernels off the cob, which then go right into the pan. Really fast. I did it 2 years ago and it worked like a dream.

  2. Ann Barlament

    What a hoot….love the twins discovery with the dog door. Just the right height for adventurous kids to explore!!!

  3. Susie Fiorito

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this! What a beautiful family! Reunions are so special.
    Oh I would love some of that corn. I have always told my kids if I had to survive on three foods
    it would be sweet corn, watermelon and tomatoes!

  4. donna j

    We lived in Artesian, IA (rural Waverly) for 5 summers. The corn was the best we ever had! Have never found any since then that tasted as good. I really miss Iowa, but am very happy now to be in Kansas near family again.

  5. Karla T

    I am with you on the entertaining biz— it stresses me out too— but so wonderful of you to sacrifice of yourself to make the memories with your family like you did— family is precious, and not valued enough these days— thank you for doing it, (and i am not even a cousin!) Now, YES! enjoy some sewing time! You TOTALLY deserve it!

  6. Mary R

    Trying to keep anything clean is always a chore. It looks like ya’ll had a wonderful time.

  7. Paula

    Mary, I believe you have earned the “Gold Medal” for planning and entertaining the Cousins Reunion!
    Congratulations for making the Special effort of keeping your family together! I enjoyed seeing the small quilts on your tables. Hopefully, the twins traveling through the dog door will become an annual event…….what a great picture collection that could become!
    Relax and enjoy the Olympics!

  8. Launa Peters

    Oh Mary…the darling twins and the dog door pictures are just precious. Whatever works to keep the little ones entertained. Board games are always fun………
    Preseason football games and the Olympics have kept us busy. Am so happy to see USA medal in GOLF. It is absolutely impossible to watch all the Olympic channels Direct TV offers, but we have our favorites and don’t miss much.
    We call it butter n sugar corn…..Your Corn Star’s harvest sure looks wonderful. I prefer to ‘nuke’ fresh picked corn in the microwave.

  9. Katie

    Family Is great, does come w work when your hosting..you r blessed with a Beautiful country life.. And can share the fun..
    How wonderful all that corn..enjoy
    Nice your husband is sharing with you, I am sure he feels great off the road..and HOME
    Enjoy your evening..🇺🇸

  10. Carol

    You should know by now your family doesn’t care about clean, they care about each other! And the golf cart rides! And the corn! But not the dust!
    Go USA is right! We are staying with people who have no TV and therefore no interest in the Women’s Volleyball, the gymnastics and Michael Phelps! I’m. Going through withdrawal! Don’t give away the endings…I’ve taped it all for Tuesday viewing!

  11. Diane

    What fun!! The house doesn’t matter, the memories do. Those twins in that dog door are adorable and any husband who does all that corn is definitely a “corn star”. Love it;)

  12. Peggy

    Oh, my Mary,!! That is a bg job. But probably appreciated by so many!!
    The corn looks very good, but our MINNESOTA corn is very tasty right now, too!!

  13. Jean Elliott

    You really have a great place for a gathering like that. The twins in the dog door was too cute!

  14. Betty Klosterman

    Oh, for big groups of company. That doesn’t happen very much as we would meet at a park or something like that because nobody had a house big enough. And the house would be just “so, so” and nobody cared? I would want the bathroom clean until the 1st person came, then who cares!! They come for friendship and don’t give a hoot about the dust, which is a permanent fixture in my house. And fresh sweet corn is wonderful so forget about the carbs and enjoy as it is in season for such a short time. Tomorrow is another day and the corn was delicious.
    Several years ago we had 27 people in a 900 square house for Easter. It was nasty outdoors so everybody was inside and I’m not sure somebody didn’t eat in the bathroom. Nobody complained and we all enjoyed it.

  15. bernadette

    What a great home you have. Something to look at and admire at every turn. And no doubt everyone enjoyed their turn in the cart. And all your quilts and collectibles. Who wants to party at a dull and boring home with no animals, no quilts, and no animal hair to be seen! Everything looks lovely and as it should be, Mary.

  16. Martha Engstler

    I know it’s a lot of work but you are so lucky to have a big family. There were 11 brothers & sisters in my mothers family in Iowa but I’m almost the last grandchild left. No family here on the east coast. I did a small reunion a couple years ago but had it catered. Worked great.

  17. Karen

    Why are there not more “corn” quilt patterns besides “Corn and Beans”?????????? I remember when we were in Europe long long ago, corn was considered only fit for the animals … they sure were missing out! I love it when a batch of the “bread and Butter” white and yellow corn lands in the local grocery store — whether it is “Iowa-brand” or not! Have to remind myself corn is a carb and thus, watch I don’t stuff myself.
    Yes, if your family was turned off by your home and lifestyle, they’d not come — sounds like they enjoy being there! Know the children will remember those rides AND the doggie door! Priceless memories for all….

  18. Annie Collett

    My guess is that everyone loves coming and could care less about spotless or not! Great family resemblance!

  19. Rose Mikulski

    Glad you survived, I’m not one for entertaining either, at least you have a wonderful house and land for entertaining. The corn looks delicious, tell Rick he’s a corn star.

      1. Rose Mikulski

        I thought I share the origin of “corn star” it came from Bill and not me. We used to hang ears of corn on a bungee contraption that made the squirrels go up and down and was referred to as watching Squirrel TV so Bill referred to them as “corn stars”. I couldn’t resist using this for Rick. We stopped doing this because our neighbors had single stalks of corn growing in their front and back yards and were wondering why this was happening. Bill would go around the yards pulling the stalks out. We love our corn too.

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