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When we were growing up, it was nothing for us to head to Grandma and Grandpa Moody‘s house north of Rossburg on McFeeley-Petry Road every Sunday to spend the day. Nowadays, you don’t hear that much about it.
Yes, I’m sure some families do it now and that’s great, but I am wondering if the tradition has gone by the wayside.
In addition to sharing a great meal, the cousins would play while the parents did what they did. Several times, the men gathered to butcher and the women I imagine, sat around talking after cleaning up the kitchen table.
I miss those good old days extensively, but that’s life and we live with it. We were just fortunate that we could do it then to have those memories lingering in our minds as time goes by.
Maybe the size of the families had something to do with the tradition fading away. Dad had four siblings and all eventually got married and had children of their own. Now, Aunt D’Arleen Waymire is the only child of Laura and Lee Moody (our grandparents) who is living. She not only out-lived her husband, J.C., but by her brothers, my father, and Harry, Jim and Dan Moody.
We youngsters found lots to do on that farm, and sometimes got to ride horses and perhaps got into a little mischief.
After all of the families started growing, the Sunday dinners subsequently were no more.
Later on, Mom and Dad (Bea and Lee Jr. Moody) then had Sunday dinners for us four siblings (Ron, Bev, Brenda and myself) and our families. Then, that ended probably about six or seven years before Mom and Dad went in to the nursing home.
Mom did most of the cooking, but we girls would sometimes contribute something we made on Sundays, if I remember correctly. Afterwards, the females did the dishes and then out came the card and board games or we’d go outside and play some softball in the front yard with Mom.
Uncle Jim Moody started holding the Moody family reunions at his home south of Ansonia for quite a few years, then his son, Rick, took over hosting it on his property on the road north of there until a few years ago.
These gatherings were not always about the food but about the camaraderie and sharing of our lives and enjoying each other’s company.
I, being the oldest granddaughter on the Moody side of the family, remember one time, when I was on the newspaper staff at school, and I created a family newspaper for all of those interested in looking it over. It made me feel important. Little did I know I would become a reporter. I wish I would have kept one of them to see how I did.
Just for the sake of it, I am going to name my first cousins on the Moody side of the family. They are Harry’s children — Tom and Don Moody, Connie (now Starline), Kathy (now Wagner) and Tammy (now Klipstine); D’Arleen’s children — Steve Waymire, Deb (now Rose) and Sandy (now Garber); Jim’s sons — Greg, Rick and Dennis (aka Doughnut); and Dan’s children — Kelly and Stacy Moody and Jackie Moody (now Sanders).
I remember also some get-togethers on Mom’s side of the family as well. Grandma Mary Riffell lived with Aunt Miriam and Uncle Austin VanSkoyk near Arcanum and we would go there a number of times. I remember playing softball there and I remember playing on the toys Uncle Austin made in the backyard.
The Riffell side later began having reunions at Seman’s Woods west of Greenville and eventually in Greenville City Park. But, like I said, those stopped too several years ago.
Mom was the youngest of nine children but I will be fair to them as well and list just the first cousins because there is not enough room on here to list everybody. They are: Hazel Byrd Teaford’s children — Dolores Dunevant (deceased) and her brothers, Carol and Ralph Byrd; Johnny Riffell and his children — Virginia Lee Scanlon, Donald and Buddy Riffell (both of whom are deceased), Donna Pauline Elleman, Barbara Helm, Shirley Morrow, Sandy Easterling, Janet Bowers and Annette Miller; Aunt Mary Gasper’s children — Delbert John, Bobby and Richard Hecht, and Joan Hiestand, all of whom are now deceased; Uncle Gene Riffell’s children — Evelyn Sebring and Dennis, Harold and Roger Riffell; Uncle Russell Riffell’s children — Sharon (now Maloy), and Jerry and Rick Riffell; Aunt Miriam’s daughters — Karen and Lois Gibboney; and of course, us four by our mother, who passed away in 2019.
Mom, who was the last living sibling, had two other siblings, who died when young.
These family reunions were something to look forward to. I am just glad we got to experience them and even more grateful that Jamie got to attend some of these functions before they faded away.
They were good memories. It’s been great to be born in the family I was born in. I couldn’t have asked for better relatives.
If families out there are still having reunions, I’d say keep on doing it.
You’ll never regret it and neither will those who keep entering the family.
Think about it: “Education is what you get from reading the fine print. Experience is what you get for not reading it.” – Author Unknown
I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.
Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ email@example.com or 937-337-1955.