I’ve decided to tell the story of the reunion mostly in pictures. You can see/read it here.
As you’ll discover, a lot of attention was directed toward a big birthday bash for George’s dad (also named George) who turned 75 on July 13, and for Uncle John who turned 80 earlier this year. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to include any pictures of one especially delightful activity at this party. George’s cousin hired a “Texas Swing Band” to play live music, including a few called square dances and a Virginia reel in addition to the waltzes and two-steps. In other words, it was one great big hootenanny. If you think for a minute I would kick off my dancing shoes long enough to take pictures, well, you just don’t know me very well.
I also didn’t take pictures of the many wonderful conversations I enjoyed with family members. I only see most of these people every other summer, and it was great hearing their stories, singing and laughing and breaking bread together. There’s something about connecting eye-to-eye. Touching. Hugging. We’ve been gathering like this for twenty years now, making this our tenth reunion. At one of the meetings George’s dad showed video footage of the first reunion. Luke as a two year old, clinging to my leg. Grace, four, and Jacob, six, running from the spray of the water hose. Memories shared by a group of people who also share ancestry, not to mention joys and sorrows. Some of the faces in the video we’ll never see in person again this side of eternity.
I’d be lying if I said our family is perfect, but I do love them. And we enjoy each other. As we parted ways, cousins made comments like, “Come see us in Connecticut–we have plenty of room,” or “We have a guest apartment. Come to Long Beach for a visit!”
Two years till the next reunion. Maybe a trip to a coast or two before then wouldn’t be a bad idea.