Monday, September 27, 2010

Reunion Recap

The 2010 Family Reunion has come and gone. It looked like rain, but held off until well after everyone left. The most eventful thing about the reunion was the fact that it was relatively non-eventful.

There was plenty of food. I won’t have to eat again until next reunion, and if I do it will definitely not be chicken. Lisa’s steak fingers went quickly, including the ones I hoarded. Diane bought a sinful amount of candy at the annual Mast General Store trek. There is still enough in candy bowls and containers all over the house to make us puke all over each other this Christmas.

Why is it when people leave a reunion they always leave food behind? Next year I’m going to request they leave stocks and cash behind. That way I could at least afford the dental work and maybe some liposuction.

All the families were well represented. My grandparents had eight children; seven of the eight still living were present. All but two procreated in ways to make the Amish blush. The baby, Mike didn’t marry until he was in his late forties and my Mom just had me. I have multiple personalities so I was probably enough. I used to like to tell people that I had a twin, but I’m the one who learned how to swim.

In fact of the second generation all but two were there. I was the youngest of the Maryland gang of grandchildren, and the oldest of the TN/NC gang. I spent most of the day being regaled with stories of the tortures my older cousins put me through.

You know, normal childhood stuff: being tied to things (trees, railroad tracks, anything stationary they could get a rope around) and forgotten for the rest of the day; being locked in the grading shed while the other cousins pawed on the door and played a recording of bears from episodes of “Daniel Boone”, constantly being thrown in the creek whenever anyone saw a snake, etc. etc.

Then the younger cousins whined about tortures I put them through. ?????????? I was too busy getting over psychological trauma to torture my younger cousins. Besides, they were the mean ones. I wasn’t messing with them.

Well, okay, Jeff and I used to turn the grading shed into a haunted house and lock his little sister in it. In our defense she was a screamer and a chicken. If we didn’t lock her in she wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our hard work and we’d have just wasted an entire Saturday. If she didn’t want to go through our haunted house, Mary Sue and Cleve should have had more children.

In years past, reunions have always brought about some memorable moment. Once my Uncle Mike rode a pig, then fell off and broke his arm. That was fun. Oh, and my cousin Bobby fell out of a tree one year and broke his arm. I’ve broken lots of bones, but never at a reunion, sharpening a pencil once, but never at a family event.

The third generation was also in full force. Although loud, they are a rather tame little bunch. They played Frisbee, ate candy they were told they’d had enough of and petted the neighbor’s potbelly pig. I think the problem is they stick too close to the house and have way too much parental supervision. None of them fell in the creek, got bitten by anything (not even another cousins) or broke anything. Today’s kids are just dull.

Usually the matriarchs are a pretty good source of entertainment, but this year they were all just kind of old. Neither Aunt Dessie or Aunt Ida were able to make it. They’re my late grandfather's sisters, both in their mid to late nineties. Dessie’s the one who’ll shoot through the screen if you ring her doorbell after dark and Ida’s the mean one. Maybe next year.

Last year there was kind of a pall over the whole event. We had just lost Aunt Irene, so there was an excuse for nothing really happening. I think maybe the family is in a rut. Eathen, now 4, is still the youngest family member. For a big group of procreator’s, don’t you think four years is a long time to not be popping out a kid?

Five members of the third generation are now married. I think it’s time they got off the pill and on the stick. They’re married now; let’s see some rug rats. Not that not being married ever stopped anyone from having kids before.

Note to Ryan in Oklahoma: you’re the musician stud in the family, how about knocking up some groupies, dude? I’m tired of being the black sheep in the family. I’m officially handing the mantle over to you. Let's see some descusting, shameful behavior young man!

And while I’m pointing fingers…Denmark? Excuse me? Where were you? You got a formal invitation. We had chocolate and my cousin Jeff’s daughter had pigtails. I have to say I’m a teensy bit disappointed.

Next year there had better be a little more Danish representation, other than the one’s from Hostess we ate for breakfast on Sunday, or a big group of rednecks hopped up on fried chicken and chocolate will be coming over there and dragging your sorry butts to Tennessee. It won’t be pretty!

Overall, it was a really nice time. The annual bike ride in Damascus went well. Personally, I always skip that. I grew up in Tennessee. Riding a bicycle down the side of a mountain with no brakes has lost its thrill.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to skip the annual “Let’s take group pictures until you want to kill your self” portion of the event. I hate having my picture taken. Kristin Chenoweth naked covered in chocolate and holding a freshly fried Taylor’s Pork Roll couldn’t entice me to enjoy having my picture taken.

Somehow my cousin Randy’s wife and two kids managed to get out of the picture thing. Next year, I’m gonna discreetly tell a few people I’m taking a walk and conveniently not show back up until I know all camera lenses have melted, all batteries in the county have been exhausted and I see children running into each other in the front yard blinded by multiple flashes.

The only thing we really needed at the reunion this year were potatoes. There weren’t any potatoes, just potato salad and I’m allergic to mayonnaise. Next year we need French Fries or a Potato casserole of some kind and more cheesecake. All the cheesecakes this year had pecans and caramel, which in my opinion is just a waste of a good cheesecake. (Are you taking notes, Denmark?)

Regardless, despite it being ordinary with loud but well behaved children it was a good reunion. I hope next year is pretty much the same. Just in case someone from the family is reading this (like people in my family can read) next year somebody needs to break a bone or have a baby or at least have a kid bite another kid to make it a little more memorable. And SOMEBODY from Denmark needs to show up!