Monday, July 28, 2008

Hanaway cottage in Michigan

Source: L. Guinee, Stevensville, Michigan,
original photograph owned by P. Taylor
My beloved grandmother "Lucy Baby"
Hanaway cottage
June, 1972
Last Friday I took the day off from work and my cousin Terry and I went to our cousin's cottage in Michigan. I have been going to this cottage since I was a very little girl (which I admit was awhile ago!). I love the little cottage itself, but more than that I love the company that is always there. There is always someone to talk to, take pictures of, collect rocks with, go fishing with, walk the beach with, holy cow, there is always something to do!
Terry and I really lucked out with super weather, low 80's, plenty of sunshine, and very little humidity! My cousins Vicki, Susan, and Karla were there and we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the beach. We have been walking those same steps for over forty years and it never gets boring. The lake was smooth but the water was cold, as it is so very often. How we ever swam in it when we were younger is beyond me! I know, I get used to the cold water.....right. We went out for a wonderful Mexican lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the cottage where we talked and laughed and giggled and talked so much about our family and the memories this special little cottage holds for all of us. We didn't run out of conversation, we just ran out of time.
The cottage was built about 1940 and has been in my cousin's family since 1941. It's really two rooms, one bedroom (with three big beds!) and one kitchen/living room area. It doesn't matter that there is not much room, we had the outside--campfires on the beach and bar-b-queing on the little cement porch in front of the cottage. Oh and who could forget those terrific spaghetti dinners we had! (Spaghetti dinners can ALWAYS feed a crowd!) Many times there would be over twenty five people spending the day and sometimes just made do...after all we were family-the more the merrier!
The "neighborhood" is changing now. There are no longer little cottages in the area, having lakefront property on Lake Michigan is primo! What you find are mansions. Mansions that have so much room people don't even have to see each other let alone talk to each other. Mansions with cable and direct satellite television, microwaves, six bedrooms, three bathrooms, pools (why do you need a pool when the lake is fifty feet in front of you?), spa's, etc.
What are they missing???
So many family and friends coming in and going out you can't be sure who you saw. Kids running around getting underfoot. Men discussing the right way to clean a fish, filet it, and cook it for dinner. Teenagers united in taking a "real hike" on the beach because they sure don't want to be around their parents. Boys struggling to get the row boat to the beach without a motorized trailer! Girls laying on the beach trying to get a suntan without getting a sunburn. Women catching up on all the family news; showing off their children's newest pictures, demonstrating the new yoga pose they've learned, talking about where they hope to go on vacation or sharing the newest "easy" recipe with the girls. Everyone coming and going and no one wanting to be left out of any of it.
What are the people in those lakefront mansions missing???
The chance to make memories like these!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hanaway Reunion, 2008

Well, the reunion was another success story. We had about one hundred and fifty people attend. The weather cooperated with plenty of sunshine, the food was absolutely delicious (I requested at least three new recipes) and of course the company---wow!
My great aunt Berniece was able to attend and she looked super! One of my second cousins brought a book of photos which included my GG grandparents when they were quite young. Of course I couldn't figure out how to take pictures of the pictures with my camera. I have done it many times before, but for whatever reason I couldn't get any of them to focus this particular day, so no luck. My cousin indicated she will try to have her son scan a lot of them for me and email them to me...that will work!
I walked around and visited and asked many questions of course. My nature. I was particularly interested in knowing about my GG grandparents home. What happened to it? My cousins Ronnie and Jerry were very helpful for they grew up across the road from Bert and Eva Hanaway! Ronnie told me that the house was torn down many years ago when someone bought the property. He said all that remains from when my GG grandparents lived there are some huge boulders that marked the entrance to the root cellar. Unfortunately, the house that my great Uncle Jim, Aunt Marge and Ronnie and Jerry grew up in burned down a number of years ago. Jerry still lives on the same property though which is terrific.
I believe that average age of the people who attended had to be over thirty years old. There were a lot of children but not the number from when I was a kid and went to the reunions. My G Aunt Berniece was the oldest and we had two babies that were born in May! It's really an older crowd now gathering and celebrating. Most of the younger generation isn't able to make the time to attend for whatever reasons. Too bad, because I can really see the reunion going away. The traditions and history of our family will be shared only among a few. I was so happy that six of my eight children attended, helped with the set up, take down, and clean up and had a really good time!
The raffles were a success. A number of adults and almost all of the kids left with goodies to take home. Beach gear, toys, automotive supplies, gas cards (we all could use those now), games, coolers, a digital camera and much more were raffled off. Thanks to my cousins Vicki, Susan, and Karla who did a GREAT job again organizing this reunion. When it came time to discuss who will take over and run the next reunion, there were no hands that went up. Another sign of what may be going away. Someone suggested that one of the prizes of the raffle should have been taking over the next organization of the reunion. What a great idea, although it came at the end of the day. Of course, I told my cousin if no one else steps up to the plate I will certainly do it. I can't image no Hanaway reunion!
I left the reunion very tired (it takes a lot of work to talk to people you know....especially when you have so many questions and so little time!). What did I take home? Smiles, and oh so many more wonderful just doesn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hanaway Family Reunion

Bert and Eva Hanaway
January 15, 1901
Wedding photo

I always look forward to the month of July. Not only to celebrate the 4th of July, which is always a fun time to bar-b-que and watch fireworks, but a month to remember and honor our ancestors who fought for our freedom. Like so very many other people, I have quite a number of relatives who fought not only in the Civil War but also the Revolutionary War.

Since 1956 my Hanaway relatives have held a family reunion in the month of July. My G Grandfather Marion Albert "Bert" Hanaway died July 19, 1955 and shortly thereafter, April 26, 1956 his beloved wife, my G Grandmother Eva passed away. Their eight children started the family reunion as a way of gathering together and celebrating their parents lives. Bert and Eva had 42 grandchildren, 141 great grandchildren, and at this point in time over 269 great great grandchildren. I'm not sure how many ggg grandchildren they have.

We are bound together by family roots. Hanaway family roots, Deneau, Boudreau, Senesac, Bowsher, Hockenberry, Donavan, Yarnell, Bunnell, Castner, and oh so many more fruitful family roots. We gather together to celebrate where we came from, to renew family ties, to meet and greet new additions to our family tree, to reminisce, to eat together, to laugh, take family pictures and catch up with long lost cousins. This year we are once again blessed to celebrate with Bert and Eva's youngest daughter and only living child, my beloved Great Aunt Bernice! How lucky we are!

Our numbers may not always be many. Some of our younger generations have yet to develop an interest in family members they are related to but may not know. They may not make a point of attending for one reason or another. Although I have always loved going to this event, I too remember when I was younger being a bit uncomfortable meeting a lot of relatives who looked familiar but I really didn't know. I would always gravitate to my many cousins who I knew very well. They were and still are a fun group to be with! There are never enough of those times so when a reunion comes around, you bet I'll be there. I'm also going to be involved! I'm really lucky that all of my children actually like going too!

As I have discovered in the last ten years of doing family research, I am not alone in my quest for knowledge of where I came from. Several other family members have taken to shaking our tree. I love to share discoveries and learn about new connections. I really don't mind being called the genealogy addict in our family! Happy times, here I come!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!