Saturday, December 5, 2009

Reunions and Holidays

Besides the traditional Christian holidays, it seems the most special days for the Alberts were the Valle reunions. We would all meet at Valle's Steak House near the turnpike in Westbrook but I don't remember how often we used to gather. These get-togethers were always fun. Besides good food, we got to see all the cousins together in one place, and everyone seemed to be in good moods!
Today it seems we only get together when someone marries or dies with the exception of the Bernie Girls. Sue explains how the Bernie's Girls got formed (sounds almost like a singing group~!):

When Memere was dying--and in that nursing home at the very end, I told her I would make her a premise that I would keep the Albert cousins together---THEN, I backed up a bit after thinking that might be a bit much, so I said, "Well, at least the girl cousins.  We'll meet every now and then and remember how we all grew up together. We'll call ourselves Bernie's Girls."
     She laughed and said, "That'll be fun. I wish I could be there with you."
    I said, "You will be!"
Albert reunions of the far past included summer trips to Limerick to visit Memere's sister, Marie. I retell the story from talking to Pauline: "We used to go have family reunions at the farm with all my mother’s family and all my cousins. They had a big field where all the food was laid out. Some of the guys played ball, and one time somebody threw an egg at Pepere as a joke but it wasn't received as such."
Christmas was a big holiday growing up. It was certainly more materialistic than it was religious for me. This holiday was the busiest time of year for visitors both family and friends. What about Christmas Eve - always fun huh?  Here's an early Albert Christmas Eve story:  Memere and Pepere went to midnight mass. Pauline spoke to Lorraine, “Has Santa Claus come yet?”  She said, “Well, I don't know, let’s go down and peek.”  So they all went downstairs and found all the presents were there. When Memere and Pepere came home, they found the kids playing with all the unwrapped gifts! Pauline remembers getting a doll carriage that year. 

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