Last Saturday, we went to Franklin, Pennsylvania for the Rossman Family Reunion. There were 47 of us that gathered at the Bonanza Steakhouse to catch up and enjoy a meal together. My Papa Rossman, a German Jew descendent, went on to heaven in 1997 but two of his sisters, Betty and Jane were able to join us.
Papa was the youngest with four older sisters. He was a tease and cut up so it obviously didn't affect him too bad! My favorite memories of Papa were eating ice cream with him (I used to love the stuff with a passion) and his prayers. They always started out with "Our most kind and gracious Heavenly Father...." and then he would proceed with his request or thanksgiving. That prayer has had a profound impact on how I view my Heavenly Father - "Kind" and "Gracious". Papa retired from the Quaker State Oil Refinery in Emlenton where he worked as Night Watchman as long as I knew him. Grandma and I used to go see him and he would occasionally take me to a bubble gum machine there. I loved to run and meet him when he got home from work and carry his steel Thermos lunch bucket in for him. I was big stuff and usually got rewarded with a bowl of Schwan's ice cream from the big deep freeze on the back porch. I wish we could find that lunch bucket!
Great Aunt Betty and her husband, Russell, came and spent six weeks with us in Africa. Uncle Russell helped Daddy get a huge water tank up on a scaffolding they built so that we could have running water. It was so nice to have an indoor commode; especially after Daddy stoned a Cobra to death in our outhouse. I have a lot of memories of their visit with us. Their dear friend, "Aunt" Bernie that came with them is the one that taught us how to make "Eggs in the Window" by cutting a hole in a piece of bread, placing it in a skillet and frying an egg in the hole. She was a sweetie.
Great Aunt Jane is quite the decorator and I've finally achieved a childhood dream of having a pink living room just like her! I learned Saturday that her living room is now a pale plum. She's quite a Miss Priss - a real lady. I loved going to her house because it was SOOOOOOO beautiful and she didn't mind me looking at the "pretties".
My Grandma Rossman is the most WONDERFUL Grandma in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! I have soooooo many pleasant memories with her. My earliest is probably at the little old white Church of the Nazarene in St. Petersburg, Pennsylvania. She was the Sunday School Superintendent there for many years and always very involved. My best Christmas memories always involve Grandma. She sent us the best Christmas boxes when we were in Africa and I still have my talking Holly Hobbie and Drowsy dolls she bought me. Grandma always made lots of candy at Christmas and she's the one who came and helped me make candy the year Benji had a surgery on December 17.
The older I get, the more I appreciate my family and the more I realize what an impact we have on each other. I hope and pray I can make the kind of impacts my Grandma and Papa Rossman made on me.
"Only one life! Twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."