Just Thinking

Family Reunions

by Chris Kennard

Have I ever told you about my sister Elisse? She’s a can-do type of gal. If she wants something – watch out, she’ll get it. If she wants to do something, it’s as good as done. All she has to do is make up her mind – once she’s certain, hide and watch.

That was why we had a Nancy Valleau fashion show at our last family reunion. Elisse and I were going through her stuff in a storage shed when we ran across some classy clothes of Nancy’s, Elisse’s mom (Elisse is technically my sister-in-law). Most of these clothes were from Nancy’s teenage years, and almost all of them were made by Nancy. We pulled them out and laughed and pretended to model them when Elisse got the brilliant idea of taking them to the family reunion. She cleared it with Dad, enlisted the help of her very slender sisters (Nancy was about a size three), and we were off! We had the most fun fashion show ever. Getting to know Nancy through her clothes was amazing. Better yet was the fun I had with my sisters.

If you’re responsible for a family reunion activity this year, try to find some vintage clothing. Even if it isn’t theirs, see if you can match the style they would have worn. Kids love to play act – come up with some stories and appropriate clothing and let them act out your ancestors voyage to America, how Grandma and Grandpa met, treks in covered wagons, or other fun stories.

Elisse did a killer job modeling Nancy’s red-plaid bellbottom maternity fashions. Her can-do attitude is only surpassed by her moxy – I’m not sure anyone else would have gone that far!

Hats off to family reunions! Or would that be hats on?

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