Thursday, January 05, 2006

Inside the Hukilau Tribe

First, you need a context, so here we go:

My parents (both deceased) had 8 kids. Dad had 2 siblings, one of which is still alive in Virgina at age 95. Mom was a single child. So only Auntie Sue is alive from the upper generation but we rarely see her. My only cousin died young. Of the 8 kids (I'm #3), 4 boys and 4 girls, Bennett is the only one who passed away (10 years ago at age 47, without spouse or children). So that leaves 7 of us (called THE SIBS), and with our spouses, 13.

Our children are called THE COUSINS, 18 plus spouses = 26. Their children are THE GRANDKIDS, affectionately referred to as THE POOP DECK: 17.

So if my math is right, that totals 56 potential family members at the cottage during the 2 annual reunions on July 4th and New Year's Day. The July 4th shindig is the larger of the two but you can see why I call us THE TRIBE. This past week, there were only half of us to be seen (28).

And yes, the cottage happily accommodates us all, especially in the summertime when the porch is opened up and the outside deck is cozy for eating and gabbing.

Dad had the foresight to add a two-story addition to the cottage shortly after acquiring it in 1963. It has beds for 30 people, plus couches. And tents outside if needed in July. The above shot is of the big dormitory room upstairs this past July.

In the wintertime, eating is more of a challenge because we can't split up and go outside on the porch or deck. But with a smaller group, it was quite cozy as we gathered around in the living area. This particular photo is a mix of Sibs and Cousins. Where are the Poop-Deckers???

The Cousin level above doing their thing! Pastor Nate, reading to his Poop-Deck nephew, is the one who writes the Spera In Deo blog from my sidebar. Lesley, the knitter, actually can make her own fabrics (among other things) and after graduating from design school this spring aspires to do set designs for the Sydney Opera in Australia. And she has the talent and personality to do it!

Cousin Todd, whose in-laws are Danish, made abelskivers for us on New Years Day. These special cast-iron skillets are made just for them. I'll have to make sure Gustav from Denmark sees them (another sidebar blog)

Eli is an all-boy Poop-Decker. The row of cars he lined up was 35 cars long!

More Poop-Deckers who, as you see, need to be separated out now into the Grandkid category so as not to be offended. Ian is in high school, reading to 3-year-old Audrey.

So these are the snippets I chose to give a feel to inside Hukilau, the family cottage in Michigan. While most of the family live in Michigan, some us us are from IL, GA, FL and AK and can't make the trip as often as we'd like. But when we do, the memories are well worth every mile!


  1. Wonderful! So colorful and interesting!

    Cute of Lesley. :)


  2. she reminded me of you the whole time she was knitting, Ruth.

  3. mmmmm æbleskiver (translated: apple slices), I just love them :-) That certainly is a good christmas tradition here in Denmark. In the southern part of Denmark we eat rotten æbleskiver, they are called that because they contain a prune inside and therefore looks rotten :-)
    The taste of æbleskiver is something similar to donuts and pancakes.
    Did you like them?

  4. Yes, Ruth, wonderful!

    And Nate, does that mean you've seen Ruth knitting?? Where was I when that happened?!

    I loved the abelskivers, Gustav. I don't think ours had any apple slices in them, however. They were like pancake balls, which we ate with butter and syrup, just like regular pancakes. What a great tradition!

  5. wonderful!!
    thank you for your kind words.
    and now i have your blog address, yay!

    yes. i had a wonderful time with you and Donica at the cottage. it's always so good to see you. hope your trip back was safe, and have a glorious time in europe!

  6. ps. i'm also going to use that photo as my new myspace photo! if that's ok with you, of course. =)

    love you!

  7. Of course, Lesley! I've actually got lots of photos of you :) If I find any that are better, I'll send them to you. How nice to hear from you. We make a good fan club :) Love you, too.

  8. I Love that story of yours. Such a great family!
    Love to you all! =0)

  9. i'm not sure that i've seen her knitting, but Les' overall milieu was Ruthesque. or something.

  10. Must be great when all the family members are together! Thanks for these wonderful personal insights.