Monday, July 29, 2013


 Grandpa John Thane Daggett's oldest and youngest sons,
and his two youngest great-grandsons.
Left to right: Jim, Malachi, Thane, John

Family reunion.
For some people, these words bring on a case of hives.
For this particular gathering, the elder generation grew up close-knit,
cousins in the small town of Windom, Minnesota.
Their parents were the off-spring of Grant and Anna Daggett.
Grant and Anna produced eleven children.
All but one from that generation are now gone.
But their stories remain.

 Deb and her baby girl, me with my baby boy.

Every family has difficult stories, ones that they do not love to tell.
The tales that are told and told again
are the ones that bring laughter and healing.
Some of my favorite stories aren't really stories,
they are simply the slightly off-kilter remarks that my Grandma Edna threw out.
Everyone knew, for instance, that Aunt Vera had a terrible time being married to Uncle Jake.
So somebody asked, "How did Vera cope with Jake?"
"Oh honey," my Grandma replied lightly. "Sometimes Vera would just take off
like a big bird."

 Too cold outside to do much on the lake.

 Six Daggett women (four of them by marriage), still getting along after all these years.

 Aaron (Marv's great-grandson) plays with Malachi (John's great-grandson).

 Epic Frisbee shot.
Left to right: Tim, Doug, Nate, Caleb Erpelding, Isaac

 Nate and Isaac on Grindstone Lake.
Just behind them, this lake is 150 feet deep.

  Julia, my Dad, Malachi and Anna Kate

 Tim at fire pit duty.

 My dad is the short one at six feet.
The Amazon tribal people had a hard time believing that all his brothers were taller than he.

Jed casts on a gray day.

Despite the cold weather,
we had a wonderful day together.
My aunt and uncle are gifted at hospitality.
It turns out we didn't need a sparkly blue sky to have a great time,
tell new stories,
retell some old ones.
My sister said to me last week,
"I realize my family's currency.
We trade in stories."

Here, a few pithy gems from the previous generation.
May their memory never die.

Grandpa John, when something didn't work: "That's a bad patent."
Marvin: "That'll help some."
Wayne and Marvin, sitting in the high bleachers at a ball game, overheard two drunks near them: "Do you think they can see us from here?" (A surprisingly useful saying).
Marvin, quoting a favorite teacher: "I'm tired, I'm ornery, and I don't want none of your whammy."
Great-Grandma Anna, hosting the pastor during the Depression (the boys hunted pheasants off-season, times were desperate): "Please pass the pheasant...chicken...rooster...hen!"

That's all for now, but if I collect more quotable quotes, I'll add them later.
Here's to the next generation, and an inheritance of words.


  1. You, my friend, have inherited the gift of story telling, and sharing quotes. I'm so blessed by that.

  2. Thank you sweet Jamie. Every family has amazing stories, and all too often they are lost. I'll tell you some funny ones in person.