Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Reunions

Our family has a reunion that was celebrated for the 79th time this past weekend. Before the Mr. and I left for the lake cabin, we attended the reunion. There were over a hundred people in attendance. We definitely needed the name tags.

I have vivid memories of this reunion when I was a kid. I remember being "sick" one year. (It must not have been too bad, or they wouldn't have taken me.) I remember sleeping on a blanket in a corner and when I woke up, the only things I could see were legs. And none that I recognized! I probably cried until someone rescued me and returned me to the parents.

The highlight of the reunion, as a kid, was when the parents would finally agree to let us put on our swimsuits and swim at the swimming area just down the hill from the lake house. That got us out of the "business" meeting of the reunion. Some adult, who was as eager to escape as we were, would oversee the swimmers.

That really hasn't changed much. This year the kids were all clamoring to put on their swimsuits after lunch, and the parents were taking them down to the beach/swimming area.
I had a chance to get a picture of the LBB and our great nephew--who looks an awful lot like the pictures of LBB when he was a little guy. Little G might be the grandson of my big brother, but you can tell that he and his great uncle are related!
This little one's hairstyle caught my attention. She is such a pretty little girl and had been to a festival where someone had done her hair. I only see her and her mama once a year, and she is growing up so fast. It takes me awhile to figure out our relationship. Her grandma and my dad are first cousins. You'll have to figure out what that makes us! All I know is that her mama, the nurse, helped deliver one of my nieces when my little sister lived in Colorado Springs. In a big family, it is easy to lose track of each other. We really do have ties that bind, and it is good to celebrate those ties.
Speaking of ties that bind--these shoes could use some. (Well, there are a lot of things these shoes need. Mainly, tossed!) These "lovely" shoes were worn by the WP nephew. I'm pretty sure that he is out of uniform for West Point. Since there isn't a dress code for the reunion, he probably only had to face his mother's disapproval! And these days-- he is home so rarely that I bet she didn't say much.
A couple of the funniest moments of the day were provided by these two, K and my dear Aunt C. Both of them got locked in the ladies room at different times during the reunion and couldn't get out. (Peas in a pod!) There was a lot of pounding and hollering trying to get someone to realize they were stuck. Each was finally sprung, but they got more laughs than sympathy and only had each other to commiserate.
Truly, the highlight of the reunion was this attendee who celebrated his 100th birthday last fall. (We should all look so great at his age!) He lives several states away, so this was not an easy trip for him. As the oldest living member of the family, he sets an example that puts the rest of us to shame. My dad lined up his grandkids and introduced each of them. This guy won't be just a name on the family tree, but a face and a voice. They'll remember that Grandpa's eyes were "leaking" as he introduced them to a relative from four generations back. Someday, one of these grandkids will be the oldest member of the family, and maybe they'll think back to this day and remember how important it is to be there, to be part of celebrating our family history. And maybe someone will line their grandkids up to meet them, and the circle will remain unbroken.


Chris said...

Very cool!

Christina said...

What a beautiful, beautiful reunion. Bliss! So much to celebrate, so many years. I love that.

Cousin Amy said...

Beautifully said. When you post about the family, you serve as the one-woman Kansas recruitment board -- I want to move back home. What's more: every time you write about your dad, MY eyes leak.