Thursday, June 12, 2014

Family Reunion

We had a whirlwind of a time going to and returning from my family reunion in Murphy, North Carolina.  My sister flew in from Costa Rica, a cousin on my mother’s side drove down from Connecticut with her husband, a cousin on my father’s side flew up from Florida and her brother and his wife live in Murphy. So there was six relatives and their spouses.

We’d drove up the night before and stayed overnight at Holiday Inn at Stapleton and what a nice experience. We found out we could leave our truck in their parking garage for only $5 a night, which is quite a savings from what other park and drives were offering at $9-12 a night.

We arrived in Atlanta about 4 p.m. and picked up our rental car.  By the time my sister arrived at 7 p.m. and got through customs, it was 8:30 p.m.  We had a 2 1/2 hour drive up to Murphy and with stopping for a bite to eat, it was midnight by the time we got there.

My brother has two beautiful rental cabins (Stone Creek Cabins) which he let us stay in…Jim and I in one and my cousin Sally and her husband, Bob, from Connecticut in the other.

DSCN3556       DSCN3553

We took turns cooking and had a nice time chatting and savoring memories of our childhood together.  My parents had a restaurant in Florida where all the kids worked at one time or the other.  It was a big surprise when the first night my brother came out wearing the apron my dad use to wear every night cooking at the restaurant.

DSCN3568     DSCN3569



This is my dad and mom wearing the aprons. We all wore them when we worked in the restaurant.






My sister was surprised by her friends in Florida that had a bouquet of flowers delivered to my brother’s for her. Here is my sister on the left looking at old photos and my cousin, Susie, on the right (she’s the one who flew up from Florida).


One of the days my brother, Mike, took Jim out on a ride in his 1984-85 Camaro IROC.  It has a powerful engine.  They sure had fun!

DSCN3574 DSCN3573 DSCN3576

DSCN3605On Wednesday we drove into Murphy proper to visit my other cousin, Bob, and his wife, Sandy, who own a bed and breakfast, Angels Landing Inn. Bob was recovering from foot surgery so he couldn’t get around easily so we went to him.


This is the Stone clan…seated is Bob, in the back is my brother, Mike, me, Susie (Bob’s sister), and my sister, Evi.  Look how different we all look and yet our father’s were brothers.  Even my brother, sister and I look so different.  Everyone was kidding that there must have been an interesting milkman or postman in our neighborhood cause I look so much different from the rest.

Here are individual photos taken …. doing this so they can copy them off this post.

Jim and I
Brother Mike and his wife, Debbie
Cousin Bob and his wife, Sandy
Cousin Sally and her husband, Bob
Cousin Susie and my sister, Evi

Sally prepared two wonderful meals and featured some of her mother’s Polish recipes….yummm.  I’ll never forget that beet gelatin salad and those lemon bar….oh,yes, those lemon bars. Thanks for giving me the recipe.


One night Jim made his now famous, bacon wrapped, cornbread stuffed pork loin on the grill.  Oh, my….fantastic!


One morning Mike made a large pot of machunka which we use to eat for breakfast dipping in chucks of bread.  It’s a tomato dish made by rendering bacon and then making a roux with the fat and flour.  You then add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and sugar.  It’s becomes this sweet and tart thick tomato gravy. We use to dunk rye bread in it.  I must have been 6 or 7 before I found out not everybody ate machunka for breakfast.  To me eating bacon and eggs was a treat and only happened on special occasions. Thanks, Mike, for bringing back such wonderful memories.  I haven’t had machunka for over 50 years.

Jim made his wonderful biscuits and gravy to go along with the machunka so we really had a feast for breakfast.

DSCN3614      DSCN3615

Friday night we met over at Sally and Bob’s cabin and ate leftovers. It was a combination of machunka, ham, spaghetti pie and Polish kielbasa.  What an extraordinaire taste fest.

DSCN3626 DSCN3627 DSCN3628

Here is the Makruta family….Sally’s mother and our mother were sisters.


And then here is me with my brother and sister.


The country side of these Smokey Mountains are beautiful and it was a fitting backdrop for our family reunion.  It was wonderful to interact as adults and reminiscence of times in our childhood in Lake Worth, Florida.

To get my sister back to Atlanta in time for her Delta International plane to Costa Rica we had to leave Murphy at 5:30 a.m. As I was seeing her off Jim was returning the rental car.  I then took a shuttle to the car rental center and met him.  Then it was walk, airport train, escalators, moving walkways, and more walking to get to our Southwest Airline gate.  We had a 5 hour wait for our plane before our 3 hour flight back to Denver.  Picked up the truck and boogied down I-25, stopping in Pueblo for a late dinner before tackling going over La Veta Pass back to Alamosa.  If you use only one time zone we were up 21 hours before we got home at 11 p.m.  Long day, but so worth it.

Thanks be to my brother and his wife, Debbie for their generous hospitality; to my cousin, Sally for traveling from Connecticut and her wonderful cooking; to my sister for conquering her fears and flying to America after 15 years; thanks also to my cousins Bob and Susie for caring so much to be part of this reunion and finally, “thank you” to those of you who read this blog and your tenacity to keep reading through this long, long post about people you don’t know.  My family wanted to see pictures and identify relatives they have never met, but you, you read all of this also….thank you!!!!

Remember, you are loved.


  1. Excellent blog, Bobbie. We had such a great time visiting you, sharing family stories (though I still have more...they're for our next reunion), and eating all that delicious food! We made it back on Monday and avoided the thunderstorms. Now it's back to normal, if I could only find out what that means. Take care and keep in touch. Love to you and Jim
    Sally and Bob

    1. Yes, we did have a good time together, didn't we? We'll have to think about having another one in a couple of years.

  2. Sure looks like everyone had a great time. Love the smiles and aprons. I'm getting very hungry just reading your post.

  3. Omigosh that pork loin looks amazing. My mouth watered lol!

  4. This is a wonderful blog and it was so wonderful to see all of you. What a wonderful cousin reunion it was.
    Thank you!
    Love to you all,


I really enjoy reading comments so please take a moment and say HI or something so I know someone is reading this thing.