How to gather graciously
Both the holidays and summertime make the best times for families to get together! In our family, Marianne and Alan Mumford are the heart and soul of our gatherings and they keep the fun going non-stop! Their farm in Mississippi is where the action takes place. Recently 30 of us got together for three days of hiking, fishing, tennis, archery, basketball, swimming, pingpong and hay rides to Stonehedge.
Yes, I said Stonehedge. The Mumfords created a replica of the famous Stonehenge, an ancient monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, which was built between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. But they used plant material from their tree farm. They used Alta Magnolia and Japanese Magnolia trees as well as dwarf yaupon holly.
Each family divided up the meals, and everyone brought side dishes and drinks and snacks! We ate outside with antique quilts adorning the tables. The kids cut giant Ligularia leaves for placemats. There were trips on the golf carts and four-wheelers to see the cows and to jump on the hay bales, and Alan made up competitions for all of the children which culminated at Stonehedge. Our nights were spent singing songs around the bonfire with Ford Church playing the guitar, and we roasted marshmallows for s’mores almost every night.
The key to any of these huge reunions is to never talk about politics – and everyone followed the rules!