If I I’ve learned anything from coming home it’s that the people in my family are some of the most fascinating, entertaining, hilarious, trustworthy, giving and talented people in my life.
This last weekend we celebrated family and community with Watford City’s annual Homefest celebration, an event that features street dances, street fairs, kids games, art and music in the park, golf and a road race, all ways for reunioners to get together and reconnect.
I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months because it meant that our family got to have a little reunion of our own. My cousin from Texas had made plans to swing through the ranch with her two adorable kids and her mom and spend some time before all of my relatives load up and hit the trail to celebrate my baby cousin’s wedding on Saturday.
So that’s why this Sunday post is coming to you on a Monday. Because yesterday I was making breakfast and squeezing sweet baby cheeks and picking wildflowers and climbing the hill my cousins fondly refer to as Pots and Pans with the next generation of Veeders in tow.
I want to tell you how it made me feel to stand on that hill with my aunt who reminds me more and more every day of my grandmother, and my Pops and uncle and Little Man and my cousin and best friend who used to wear trails with me on this place showing her young daughter what her great grandparents worked so hard to keep for her.
I want to tell you all about it and I will when I sort through all of the photos I snapped of those sweet babies exploring this place. It was the first trip my cousin has taken to the ranch since our wedding almost 7 years ago, so to say it was special would be an understatement.
To say I’m excited to spend next weekend celebrating my baby cousin’s wedding with some of my favorite people in the world who used to lead me up those hills, pick wildflowers for our grandmother’s table and cactus out of our baby cousins’ butts is one of those understatements as well.
But I’ll tell you all about it later. Today, I want to talk about another special gathering of relatives and friends that took place last weekend on top of the badlands on a beautiful summer day where my great uncle Lynn, my grandmother’s baby brother, was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
As I say in the column, when it comes to family, we all want to feel like a little part of us is legendary. To watch Lynn be recognized for the work he’s accomplished as a rodeo cowboy and rancher made me proud of our lifestyle, but after the summer days we’ve spent catching up with people connected by roots and stories and blood, I believe the real legacy we leave is in the love, time and memories kept.
Coming Home: Remembering the Legends in our Family
by Jessie Veeder
To have this landscape serve as the backdrop is just another beautiful link in that connection to one another.