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Pears are a healthy snack.

The kids and I spent Labor Day weekend in Mt. Vernon on the farm.  Between the family reunion at Aunt Becky’s and the fish fry at Uncle Wayne’s, I think I came home about 10 pounds heavier.  If there’s one thing my family knows how to do, it’s make a covered dish.  Any vegetable can be made into a casserole by adding a stick of butter and a tub of sour cream and baking at 350 for an hour (of course there are a few variations, but that’s the general idea).  For the next few weeks, I’ll be eating nothing but pears for my snack… just like Torin’s cow.


My mother took these pictures at the Draege reunion.  I was too busy sampling all of the casseroles to bother with my camera.


The two boys in this picture are my two first cousins.  The one on the right (with the beard) is Ryan.  I was seven years old when he was born, and I can vividly remember carrying him around like a rag doll.  He is an architectural engineer now, and I don’t think I could pick him up if I tried.  The one on the left is Todd.  I was nine years old when he was born, and I had desperately prayed for him to be a girl (sorry, Todd).  I used to strap him in the baby seat on the back of my bike and ride up and down the blacktop road with him on the back.  (And that was back in the early ’80′s when nobody wore helmets.)  Todd is a police officer now, and I’m pretty sure he would give me a hefty ticket if he saw me riding a baby around on my bike like that today.  The beautiful blond next to me is Todd’s fiancee.  They’re getting married next summer in Destin.


I think my mother also took a few pictures of the kids with Baby Emery at the fish fry, but I don’t have those on my computer.  (If you think it’s hard to tear me away from a casserole, it’s next to impossible to tear me away from fried fish and hushpuppies, so I didn’t even have time to turn on my camera at that party.)