July 21, 2008

Family Reunion

I was going to post this yesterday morning while my mind was still swirling with all the conversation and memories of the day before, but I didn't. I sat on my deck drinking my pot of English breakfast tea, reading, and enjoying my birds and chattering little gray squirrels. Then we went to church, ate at the Smiling Moose Cafe, and then walked around Summerfest, Evergreen's annual arts and craft fair. This year it was moved to the ball park and I missed the ambiance of trees. So this morning I've got my tea and can still enjoy all the birds, but I brought my MacBook out here.

Saturday was a family reunion for the Magnuson clan, here in Evergreen, at my mom's cousins place. His dad had a cabin along Upper Bear Creek since I was a child and reunions and church picnics often happened there. Now the cabin (which reminded me of a basic double wide trailer, nothing fancy) is gone and the son, Sherod, built him and Phyllis a home there.

I'm the oldest girl grandchild of the Arnold Magnuson family tree, so I'm the one of my siblings that has memories of the older family now gone - all those reunions and then gatherings in Washington Park for picnics too. Looking around at all the people, my mom and her older sister Betty, are the last ones left having all the old stories!

I enjoyed sitting with my aunt Betty, her oldest son Terry, and Sherod, listening to the old stories. My aunt's body may not be functioning well these days but there's nothing wrong with her memories and wit! Sherod was able to pull stories from Betty that he has memories of as a child, and Terry and me have only heard stories of, and I think Sherod's been doing some researching.

I have vague memories of a family cabin with a large kitchen and lots of bunk-beds and a rope swing, prior to the Upper Bear Creek one, that was near South Turkey Creek and Deer Creek. And Sherod was old enough as a kid to investigate further from the cabin - him and Nic would sneak peeks at a nudist camp, that apparently still exists there, he says.

But the stories tell how much the Magnuson's played roles in Denver's roots. Monte's seen the Magnuson name all over Colorado in connection with mines and mills. Brick manufacturing and concrete and so much other stuff started, with them involved. And then there's the fun family stories.

Travis and Sarah came Friday night to sleep over. I made fish tacos which are so good, and we had a campfire and made s'mores. What I didn't know, since my mom FORGOT to tell me... My brother and sister, Rob and Kelli, with their families, were driving up from Arizona for the reunion - so that made it more special. And our cousin Sonja came from Alaska with her two kids.

It was with Rob and Sonja that we got on the subject of family traits. I don't remember the thread of conversation that brought us to our feet, but we have unique feet. Some of us in the Arnold Magnuson descendants have what we've called "webbed" toes. We started comparing toes, with some shedding of shoes. Sonja said it's a Bradford trait - Arnold Magnuson married Thelma Bradford. Sonja said, her dad said, William Bradford from the Mayflower wrote in his journal about his webbed toes. My cousin Tim's kids said they called them "twin toes" and my Aunt Betty said she called them "Siamese toes" (hers and uncle Ted's are joined all the way to the toe nail). We all decided we like the twin toes description the best! (I am posting a picture Rob!)

So 'twas a good day. Good food. Great weather. Plenty of table seating with red check tablecloths and flowers in pint jars under rented canopies. The river flowing and kids playing in it ...
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