We're getting ready to head out to my Uncle Clay's place for our annual Easter picnic. Thunderstorms are in the forecast, but they have a big barn, so we'll be safe and dry. We just need to put our heads together to decide how we're going to do the Easter Egg hunts (one for the kids, and one for the adults).
Meanwhile, here's an Easter photo from 45 years ago: it was our first annual family Easter picnic in in Livermore, California. Over the years, our picnics have been out on Mines Road and Alden Lane in Livermore, and then they moved to my immediate family's homes on Koster Road and Bird Road in Tracy. I recall a couple of Easters up the hill on Bird Road when the adult Easter Egg hunts included the addition of Easter Beers, often hidden in the field, under dried cow patties. Mom tells me, though, that this tradition actually started at one of our Easters up on Mines Road. We country folk know how to put on a good party!
Since my dad passed away in 2003, Uncle Clay and his girlfriend, Robin, have taken over the family Easter gatherings at their small ranch in Stevinson, California, and they've kept our long-standing tradition of good food, games and multiple Easter Egg hunts.
Here's the attendance list at our First Family Easter Picnic at the Roderick Ranch on Mines Road in Livermore, 1968:
Great Grandpa Louie Madsen; Aunt Rae (Madsen) and Uncle Rob Christensen and my cousin Stan; Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Trixie Madsen and my cousins, Judy, Alan and Maryann; Aunt Brenda (Bartram) and Uncle Art Davina and my cousins, Dee Dee, Glenn and Vikki; Aunt Bobbie (Anselmo) and Uncle Jim Bartram and my cousins Debbie and Leslie; Uncle Clay; Uncle Art's mother, Lucille (Tatum) Davina (who we all called Nana. She just passed away last week at the age of 100!) and her daughters, Mary Lou and Dorothy, and Dorothy's kids, Annie, John and Mark. Mom (Becky Bartram Brittain), my little sister, Cindy, and I are also in there, of course. I'm the one standing in front on the left.
Uncle Jim wasn't in the photo because he was taking it (where's the tripod when you need one?). And, where was Grandpa John? My dad, Bill Brittain, is also missing from the photo. He was a firefighter for Alameda County at that time, so my best guess is that he drew the short straw and had to work that day.
I was three years old, so I don't really have a strong memory of this particular Easter. However, there's a certain smell in the air when I'm out in the country that always makes me think of the Easters we celebrated when I was a kid.
It's so sad to think that so many of these people are no longer with us: Grandpa Louie, Uncle Rob and Aunt Rae, Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Trixie, Maryann, Nana, Grandpa John and especially my Uncle Jim and Dad. I'm sure we'll all think of them today, though, as we continue the tradition, now with added family members and friends, that they all helped to start 35 years ago!
I hope you're all enjoying your Easter Sunday, as well!