Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Passing the torch . . . it's a family affair

Our English word, tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio, the noun from the verb traderere or tradere which means to transmit, to hand over, to give for safe keeping. I can't remember where I found this in my travels through google, but I really liked this:

"There seem to be many definitions of traditions but the unifying one refers to beliefs, objects or customs performed or believed in the past, originating in it, transmitted through time by being taught by one generation to the next, and are performed or believed in the present."

The tradition I want to share with you is one that comes from my husband's side of the family and is one that literally involves the passing of a torch even if it does come from the barbeque pit.

. . . and an opening ceremony involving the walking of the American flag, the family Lithuanian flag and the State flags of all attending family members around the block.

To say it is/was an undertaking would be an absolute understatement requiring the following committee's; housing, t-shirt and headband, food, website, ceremonies, awards and finance. And maybe the most important committee being the events, which included but definitely not limited to:

{ Fencing, aka roshambo, aka rock-paper-scissors }

{Bobsled, aka pass the sponge over and under to see who can transfer the most water from front to back}

{ Synchronized Swimming, aka boggle in the pool with 5 pre-chosen letters, who can make the most words. I was team leader on this one, and yes, we took GOLD!  }

Of course in between all the events, one needs to have little sustenance . . .

{ One of the most important events of the day . . . meal time }

{ 4 X 1 relay, aka keep two balloons in the air for a determined amount of time, then get an oreo cookie from your forehead into your mouth, catch a gummy worm in your mouth while it dangles from a string on a stick, and throw the hula hoop over a cup }

{Clockwise; Decathlon aka match pictures to respective cities this event has previously been held, Beach Volleyball aka who can gather the most gumballs in the sand with your toes (hands if you are a small child), Marathon aka once around the block, Biathlon aka 2 person relay around the block and Discus aka precision Frisbee throwing. }

I'm sure you've guessed by now that the tradition I'm talking about is the Olympics, and as you can see quite creatively planned to include participation of all ages. During a recent visit from my in-laws I was able to ask them some questions about just how this tradition was started.

My father-in-law told me that while visiting his mom's house one day, he and his brothers were reminiscing about how they would challenge their father when they were were in high school/college, with foot races around the block. That's when they came up with the idea to have an impromptu planned Olympic games that weekend, which has now become a tradition combined with a family reunion. We just held the fifth one last summer, with 65 people coming from all over the country to Illinois from as far away as Arizona, California and Texas. All five brothers and their families, some including 4 generations all in one place at one time with planning that started almost one year before. What started out as 22 people has grown to 65 and the half-dozen events to over 20. And their competitive nature, friendly of course, drives the desire for each consecutive generation to continue the tradition.

And of course, last but not least, the family Olympic games would not be complete without the medals, all 65 of them handcrafted by my talented father-in-law the glass artist and distributed at the closing ceremonies. It was a busy two days, filled with fun, food and family, fueled by some friendly competition and lots of love. Oh yeah, and I was on the winning Gold team . . . go green!! XO

Don't forget to add photos of your traditions or tell us about it on our flickr page!

Happy Tuesday!


Carol said...

Wow Kim! And I thought we were competitive because we play Scrabble! I feel
Like I'm reading about the Kennedy clan at Hyannis!! But seriously, this sounds like major FUN! I come from a tiny family (we have 2 cousins) and this is what I always picture a big family to be like. Just great !
Be sure and tell us what team you're on next year so we can root you on!

heyjudephotography said...

Wow, what an undertaking to put this all together, but it looks like so much fun! This has got to be one of the most fun family traditions I have heard about it! Great photos too! Good job winning first place!

Elisa said...

How fun! What a wonderful tradition to pass on. And the photos are simply fabulous, all of them!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia@DipityRoad said...

My fingers are NOT working this morning!

BUT wow...what a fun FUN family tradition. I loved your images that told such a GREAT story.


Dotti said...

Wowzer! What a fun, fabulous, fantastic family tradition! If there were more families who did this ... there would be more family reunions. Wonderful photos, wonderful story.

Thanks, Kim!


Kim Stevens said...

Yes, they are quite competitive, but it was oh sooo fun! It will be awhile before we have the next one though I'm sure.

Kim Stevens said...

It definitely fell into the definition of team work! Thanks Judy!

Kim Stevens said...

And I feel like I missed so many other photo ops, while I was participating in my events! Thanks Claudia!

Kim Stevens said...

It was so hard to believe that we were all able to make it to one place at the same time!! Thanks!

Deanna said...

Oh my goodness you have captured the perfect Family Reunion...games galore, food aplenty, smiles & laughes....what a grand tradition...thanks so much for sharing this fun time!!

Deanna said...

Oh, can I join your family for the next one....please??!!

Kim Stevens said...

Deanna, yes absolutely you will come as my guest next time!! xo

Janet Bocciardi said...

Now that's what I call family rivalry! It looks like it was a total blast and lots of organization. I wish my family lived closer as I'd love to set something up like this. We're a competitive bunch, too. : )

Leigh said...

What a fun family you have! Adopt me, please?

Linda said...

Wow! What a fun event! But I'm going to need a nap now after reading all about it! But not till after I snag some of those cookies!


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