Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

The Catfish Place

Ed, Uncle Bill, Aunt Betty

John teasing Lauren

Jennifer and Lauren

Betty, Bev, John, Jana

Jana, Kameron, (Dan, Courtney, Kraig facing backwards)

Bev, Betty, Jana, Bill, Betty




Marilyn and Lauren

Jennifer and Marilyn

I was so very fortunate, to grow up as part of a large, loving, family.

Nearly every Sunday would find us at my Grandparents home, along with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and a houseful of conversation, laughter, and the aroma of an awesome chicken dinner.

I’ve heard it said that your cousins were your first friends in life, and I suspect that is true in many cases.

In my own case, my cousins are still good friends and I always enjoy their company.

Thus, it was a pleasure today for us to drive to the tiny town of Arbela, Missouri, to meet my cousins, along with an Uncle and Aunt, for lunch at a family favorite called simply “The Catfish Place”.

Our daughter, Jennifer, and granddaughter, Lauren, rode with us.

As we pulled in, we were right behind my cousin, Bev and her husband, Dan, who had picked up and brought with them, my Uncle Bill & Aunt Betty.

My Uncle Bill was taken prisoner by the Germans south of Rome, Italy, during WWII. He escaped after 13 days in captivity, with the help of Italian partisans. He is part of the few remaining members of the “Greatest Generation”, but refuses to speak of the war or his role in it.

Other family members pulled in beside us as we parked. It was my cousin, Jana, and her family. Husband, Kraig, son, Kameron and daughter Kourtney.

At the same time, my cousin John Fry and his wife, Betty, arrived and parked right behind us.

At the request of my cousin, Bev, The Catfish Place had saved a room just for our family and we were quickly seated and served drinks.

Many Hugs were exchanged as we all sat together, and soon we had plates piled high with Fried Catfish, Ham Steaks, Fried Chicken, Chicken & Noodles, Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans, Corn, and about 100 other items just too numerous to mention.

The lively conversation quieted a bit as we ate our meal, but soon resumed in volume, often punctuated by laughter. We see each other only once or twice a year, but we always seem to pick up right where we left off.

A couple of hours passed too quickly and it was soon time to leave.

Once again, Hugs were exchanged as we said our “So Long’s”.

It certainly was one fine day spent in the company of people we love.

Who knows if or when we might see one another again?

So, we appreciate this opportunity and know, that it is the love of good people, family & friends, who make it all worth while.

Life is Good!

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