Yesterday I drove southeast about 2 hours to a family get-together in Van Vleck. The Frankums have started an annual singfest with family and friends getting together for a few hours of pickin' and grinnin' and singing the old hymns that are no longer in fashion. This year there were fewer attendees, thanks to soccer play-offs and having to hold the singing later on than usual, but those that were there were enthusiastic. We ate, we sang, we laughed, we visited. We had a good time.
This part of the world is where my grandparents lived for many years before moving to Gladewater. It is where their parents are buried. It is also where my grandmother and her sisters and brother are buried. I decided to stop in Wharton and pick up some flowers and go visiting the shut-ins, as my father would call it.
Across the main cemetery road from the Wilcoxens are the Frankums. My grandmother and her sisters all purchased lots in the same general area, while their brother is buried a short walk away in the same plot as their parents and their grandmother.
Grandparents Arthur & Ivy Wilcoxen graves
Great-grandparents William and Amanda Frankum graves
I have a lot of kinfolks buried here, including other Frankums and a Mason who married into the Frankums. Most of my Wilcoxen kin are buried in the neighboring town of El Campo. I usually visit both cemeteries when I'm in the area, but today I was running short of time and only had time to stop by Wharton.
As I drove back home, I let the navigation system direct my route and ended up in a bit of a snarl in Eagle Lake, where they were busily tearing up all the railroad crossings. It took me a little effort to figure out where the one that still existed was located and get across to the road I needed. I had indicated I wanted no freeways on my route, so I meandered through the country on a pleasant drive to connect with Highway 71. I watched the cows graze, the birds perch on telephone wires and the sun slowly set.
It was a nice break in routine. I was tired when I got in, but rested mentally. Nothing like the fellowship of family, old gospel music and a drive through the country to reduce the normal, everyday stress of life.