Happy Birthday ‘Murica. Did everyone have a good 4th of July weekend? As usual, I look forward to our big family reunion on Great Uncle Jack’s almond farm in Modesto, CA. It’s the highlight of the summer as far as family events are concerned. My Japanese American side of the family (Dad’s side) literally planted their roots in California’s farming country (as did many Japanese Americans after the war) where they raised almonds, strawberrys, and peaches. Without giving you a history lesson since that’ll be it’s own book, I’ll just round up the highlights of this year’s festivities.
We grandkids have a very close relationship with our Obachan, aka “Granny.” So even with all that has happened to her this year, at 92 years of age she was able to enjoy the day (wheel chair and all with the special thanks to my mom and Auntie Kioko.) The boyfriend came with our fur baby Boo to meet the entire family which was incredibly fun. It was great to show him the farm and countryside as he’s never been before. Everyone adores Boo and everyone agrees Tracy fits right in with our big fam. And to verify acceptance, Great Auntie Fumi said “oh my, he’s so handsome” *winks*..so there’s that hehe :D
All us cousins are grown up now and as we’ve gotten older we’ve become much more connected, i.e playing multiple rounds of a boardgame called Tsuro. It’s challenging, and we were all really into it. Old photo albums were out to look at, most of which were from the 60’s-70’s, some earlier. I love looking through those polaroids, Granny and Auntie they were quite fashionable with their cat-eye glasses. Eerily, there’s a lot of facial expressions Auntie Kioko makes in these photos, and they are quite distinct so apparently it’s genetic as I have those distinct expressions as well…yep the older I get, I’m becoming more like my Aunt. Hmph.
It’s not a party without food, and we take it very seriously here. We’re all bakers and cooks, at least the women are. So every year we have an array of grass fed burgers, polish sausages, salmon patties, sushi, Japanese fried chicken, at least 5 different salads, and cousin Barbara’s 3 different homemade ice creams to accompany some sort of pie or cake. By the time everyone eats and rests and eats again, the sun is setting and we light some firecrackers and call it a mighty full day.
Family is really everything here and any third party observing can see just how strong our personalities, genetics, and sense of humor really trickles down to each person and generation. My Dad grew up in Modesto and he’s instilled this great sense of work ethic into my brother and I. It’s incredibly humbling and the respect for our parents and grandparents are of the utmost, that never goes away.
From my family to yours, we wish you the best :) As always, thanks for reading.
What I wore:
Sunnies: Le Specs
Overalls: Greylin Collection