I have this image in my head of family reunions that involves a whole bunch of 3rd and 4th cousins that you only see every reunion all putting together a casserole and meeting at a local park for 3 hours on a hot summer day and sitting around sharing stories of times gone by involving relatives I have never met. Not my idea of a good time, especially if we had to drive 11 hours with the "chatter box" and the "screamer" to get there.
Then there was the other unpleasant thought I had about staying in the Great Aunt's basement. The immediate image is of some dark damp fortress with cobwebs and an old fold out sofa is what came to mind I am pleased to say that my perceptions could not have been more wrong. First of all the "dark dank basement" was actually a fully finished "apartment" on the bottom floor with it's own kitchen bathroom, bedroom, patio and more. In theory I could have hidden down there the whole weekend and been comfortable. I am glad I did not chose to do this, I would have missed a good time and some beautiful scenery.
On our aunt's property are two lakes with fountains in the middle as well as some wonderful wooded areas, it was while I was running down her driveway that the deer leaped in front of me. After getting in a great run I met a cousin and he invited Molly, myself, and our two teenage cousins who came with us to his farmm to ride dirt bikes. This is not something I would normally do, but what the heck....
This where the weekend got interesting, I am going to list some of the things we did
- Drove a gator
- Shot an AR-15 and an AK-47and i did pretty good for a first timer...
- Swam with Molly and Allyson
- Played horseshoes and tug of war
- Kayaked along Floyd's Fork (well what is left of it with the drought they are experiencing)
- Played an intense game of Kickball
- helped Molly with a Scavenger
- Participated in an auction
- and enjoyed a Talent Show.
- Plus a lot more
This doesn't even include all the food we ate, and ate and ate. We had a blast, and even though we had a late start getting on the road Sunday (we were having Morning church service with the whole family before we had a family lunch), and even though we did not get home until almost midnight, and even though I had to be at work first thing Monday morning, it was still an amazing weekend. In addition to all the activities, I had a great time meeting all of my wife's family. Her Grandmother had something like 12 bothers and sisters and most of them are no longer alive; but it is still great to see the family get together and celebrate their heritage. I was especially glad that Molly got to experience the event. She too got to do everything listed above, plus got to meet so many new members of her family and form some great bonds. she even won a prize for the talent show and for the "Casting Contest."
I am glad we got to celebrate Family, Faith, Fun, and Food. I thank the entire Chambers clan for welcoming me into your homes and your hearts.
This trip makes me long for a similar time with my side of the family...