Family memories mixing away… #auvelais #lefevre #grandmère # grandpère

rominet_mix

My grandparents’ house in Auvelais, rue du Rominet

 

Mixing an old photo of my grandparents’ house with today googlemaps street view has been a weird experience, almost touching…

Seeing my grandfather, for the first time, in front of his house, with his kids, is so precious. He died when my mum was 11 years old leaving an ever present emptiness… not only for my mum, her sisters, her brothers and obviously for my grandmother, a young widow left alone with nine kids to bring up, but also for us grandchildren. All of his 60 grandchildren never had the chance to meet him.

I guess he would have loved our “gigantic” family reunions. Once a year, after all the newyears festivities, my belgian family meets in some special place to eat and pass all the afternoon and evening together… all generations are mixed, all ages come together to get all the family news. They all dress well but not too formally as a way to show the importance of the family reunion. The latests news are often pure joy: new babies, new weddings… but also sad news such as sickness and death are also part of the reunion. However, the air is always filled with cheers and songs we all sing together. There’s also a big dance mixing old songs to brand new songs. That’s how old aunts dance with young cousins, old uncles with granddaughters, fathers and mothers get to dance once a while together… cousins with cousins, brothers and sisters…

As the evening passes away, everybody gets tipsy, as there’s a neverending flow of beer/wine giving the chace for someone to start telling jokes. (plain funny or bawdy)

Old funny memories starts to flow. That’s how I got to know that my mother’s brother entered the city of Auvelais on a US tank during the liberation from Nazi occupation in WWII. He was just a kid of 5 years old, but the GI were so happy to see someone still alive that they put him on the tank with them. He was so proud to be part of the parade. I also learn that the same guy some years after put a bra on the statue of freedom in the center on the town… risking to be jailed for outrage. He was definitely a funny lad! Or when they all went robbing the priest’s apples in his orchard, and that he used to shoot at them with a gun loaded with salt, which hurt their butt like hell…

Ho yes I think my grandfather would have love to come at the party…

 

 

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