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Down On The Farm

Gotta tell you a little bit more about Lilly’s farm –after all it was the first one I ever got to visit in the US. As you can see in the picture, it’s a very beautiful and quiet place. While in former times Lilly and Orin used to keep cows, pigs and chicken, now that they are in their seventies, they stick to growing corn and soy beans. Which allows some now obsolete structures on the otherwise very proper premises to decay in a very picturesque way.

I had been hoping I’d get a chance to help Lilly and Orin with some farm work, but it turned out that this time of year (early July) there wasn’t anything to do – the corn just grows by itself (or it doesn’t, with the draught that had already started back then and has probably had a terrible effect since then). Anyway, that situation gave me a lot of time for taking silly pictures and taking Tracey’s kids for a ride on the four-wheeler.

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We’re A Happy Family (8)

One of the stops on our trip that I had been looking forward to the most was visiting Tish’s sister Lilly and her husband Orin on their farm in Wakonda, South Dakota. Lilly is the youngest of Tish’s older siblings and one of the nicest persons on earth. Being twelve years older than Tish, she was the designated sister to take care of little Tish, whenever Cuquita (as everybody called Tish’s mom) wasn’t around. When Lilly left the family home in the mid-sixties, first to follow her older sisters to New Jersey, than to go to South Dakota to settle down with Orin on his parents’ farm, Tish was quite heartbroken. In 1970 Tish got to spend her 15th summer on the farm, which is still a very fond and lively memory to her (and the source for a bunch of great photos, like the one below).

By some lucky coincidence, Lilly’s daughter Tracey and her three children (whom you might remember from this post) were visiting the farm the same time that we were there, so we had a lot of fun hanging out with the extended Abild family (that’s Lilly’s and Orin’s last name). I’ll show you a few more pics of that and of the farm in my next post.

Tish, her sister Lilly and Lilly’s daughter Tracey in 1970 …

… and in 2012

The only persons missing were Tracey’s husband Larry and her brother Dean, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. And that’s where we met him a few weeks later:

Going Upstate

Tish’s niece Yvonne and her boyfriend Paul (who you have already seen in the family picture from New Jersey), live in Saratoga Springs, New York and also keep a cabin in the Adirondacks, a mountain range in the northeastern part of New York. Unfortunately, the day we spent with them up there, was one of the very few rainy days on the whole trip. We still enjoyed the beauty and quietness of that place, and certainly the excellent steaks that Paul and his brother-in-law Jack fixed for us. Before the rain started, Paul and I went on a little canoe tour on a nearby lake. We saw some loons (Seetaucher), but none of the beavers seemed to be at home when we passed by their dam.

(Written in Tigard, Oregon, July 15, 2012)

We’re A Happy Family (7)

Top row, from left: Andreas, Kevin, Matthew, Cole, Sheila, Frank Jr., Kevin Jr., Frank, Sean. Middle row: Ally, Mary, Yvonne, Elizabeth. Bottom row: Paul, Kayla, Tish, Alice, Betty.

Memorial Day Weekend in New Jersey. Since that Sunday also saw the First Communion of their youngest son Cole, Tish’s niece Sheila and her husband Kevin invited us to a party which turned into quite a family reunion. Almost the whole Northeastern section of the family was present, which gives me a chance to tell you a little more about them.

You have already met Tish’s sisters Alice and Betty. Now Alice has three daughters, of which Sheila is the youngest. Then there’s Mary and Yvonne. Betty has a son, Frank, and a daughter, Elizabeth. All five of them have families of their own, and I am very happy to say that by now I know each member of the New Jersey branch of the Hinojosas (save for one grandniece who lives in North Carolina) and that I remember all their names (see the picture above).

The party at Sheila’s house was a lot of fun, especially for me, since towards the end I got really drunk (for the first and so far only time on this trip, by the way). Here’s a picture with our lovely host Sheila:

The next day, which was one the hottest Memorial Days in New Jersey history, with temperatures near 90 degrees (32 Grad Celsius), we had a great time hanging out and relaxing with Sheila’s family. My personal highlight was getting to ride Kevin’s lawn mover (Rasenmäher) and eventually mowing the whole lawn on their huge property.

(Written in Tigard, Oregon, July 14, 2012)

We’re A Happy Family (6)

Having a great time in Hillsboro, New Jersey with my sisters-in-law Alice (left) and Betty

It is time to pay some attention to the New Jersey family. No, not the Sopranos (although driving through New Jersey made us think of the series a lot), we’re still talking about the Hinojosa clan, which interestingly has its second strongest bastion (after Texas, of course) in the tiny state of New Jersey (the fourth smallest in the Union, albeit the eleventh most populous). Back in the 50s/6os, two of Tish’s older sisters moved to the „Garden State“, and their children now mostly live in New Jersey as well. Overall there’s about 15 Hinojosas in the state (none of which bear that name).

Tish’s sisters are Isabel (also known as Betty) and Alicia (who, to her dismay, is called Alice by most of her family members, including me, in order to distinguish her from Alicia, the widow of her brother Phil). They are number three and five in the “ranking”. Alice lives in Hillsboro, New Jersey, and she was the most generous host for us during our time of zig-zaging the Northeast: We came to stay at her place three times. Poor Alice must have been quite relieved when we finally left for good. Here’s a beautiful picture of her, ca. 1952:

Betty and her husband Frank live in Watchung, New Jersey, about 30 minutes from Hillsboro. We stopped by their lovely house for a short visit, knowing that we were going to see them again soon at a New Jersey family party on Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of Betty from the 50s., so instead here’s one of her with seven of her siblings from around 1970:

From left: Stella, Gloria, Alice, Linda, Phil, Lilly, Betty, Hope

(Written in Rapid City, South Dakota, July 2, 2012)

We’re A Happy Family (5)

From left: Larry, Dalton, Tracy, Pruett and Harrison Wells.

North Carolina is home to a small fraction of the Hinojosa family: Tish’s niece Tracy, her husband Larry and their children Pruett, Dalton and Harrison. (There are actually more relatives in the state – Tish’s grandniece Julie and her family -, but unfortunately we didn’t get to visit them on this trip.) Tracy is the daughter of Tish’s sister Lilly, the youngest of the older sisters. Tracy and Larry are both teachers. We loved staying at their cosy home in Fayetteville and trying out a delicious selection of beers with them.

Tish and Tracy, ca. 1970, on Tracy’s parents’ farm in South Dakota (which we will visit at the end of June)

At the Crawfish Festival

Just another silly Adam & Tish picture …

Crawfish (Flusskrebs) is a big thing in the South. There’s crawfish festivals everywhere, and one of them took place in Spring, Texas (which is where Linda and Rudy live) the weekend of the wedding. I tried to eat a crwafish, but after peeling off all the parts that I found unedible, nothing was left in my hands, so I decided that it’s just not worth the effort. But people love the stuff and buy it in big buckets. With or without crawfish, our family gang had a lot of fun at the festival.

No, Tish’s sister Diana did not eat that whole bucket of crawfish by herself. I’ll wrote more about Diana when we get to visit her in her Colorado home in July