Let it be known that I have attended what I believe to be my first ever family reunion. It was exciting. Not crazy southern style with hundreds of people (thank goodness — I get overwhelmed in a room with six people…sometimes…), but family who I actually know, all of whom managed to meet up in the same place at the same time and hang out and play funny games and eat birthday cake.
My aunt put together this incredible family tree with something like nine generations on it — it was massive and mind-boggling (and I have a feeling it was a lot of work). I, of course, smart child that I am, joined my cousins looking at the tree and immediately looked at a picture of my uncle and said — “wow! that guy really looks like your dad!” to one of them. Then I paused, while they laughed, and I realized aloud, “Oh, that is your dad.” Duh.
So there were thirty of us, and we spent two and a little days together. I will list highlights for the purpose of expediting the writing process and to avoid subjecting you to endless ordinary sentences.
1. For reunion attendees, this is obvious: the family fun run! J and C were expected to make an appearance, given their newfound expertise in the half marathon arena, as was another cousin that I would call Six-Pack, but can’t because it’s actually my card-playing alter-ego. Maybe Six-Pack#2. But apparently they were out doing more exciting things. (As if that were possible). The POINT is that three super second cousins (or however that calculation works — three cousins) joined my Dad, my brother-in-law and me on what may have been a 3-mile run along the beach. This was awesome because the Oregon coast is slightly cold and it warmed me up enough that these three cousins were then able to convince the rest of us to get into the icy water and wave jump. Which was basically the most exciting thing I’ve ever done.
1. A. Pegs also ventured ankle-deep into the deep freeze to capture and appropriately ironic beach profile picture for me. My hero.
1. B. That was really long, but seriously… go wave jumping in July off the Oregon coast. You will be frozen, but not at all disappointed.
2. Rowdy rounds of Apples to Apples. Mark has some questions about my qualifications as a judge, but I will just take this opportunity to remind him that his daughter and I seemed fairly clear on the logic of judging — sometimes the most interesting card is the winner, regardless of an obvious relationship between the red and the green cards. And our agreement must make it reasonable.
3. Picking the brain of a person who holds the precise combination of degrees (JD/PhD) that I think I would like to hold. This may not be exciting for blog-readers, but it was oh-so-exciting for me. Some day I will have a profession!
4. Playing some drinking game with my cousins, including our 12-year-old cousin who was required to hold a soda can because part of the difficulty was apparently throwing the frisbee one-handed. The game, which we cunningly set up in the parking lot amongst the negligently parked cars, involved throwing a frisbee at five empty beer bottles in an attempt to knock one over. I succeeded exactly once at this. On my second try. And it may sound straightforward. But there are more rules. Like, if the frisbee touches the ground before reaching the bottles, your opponents can stomp on it and throw from the point at which they stopped it. Also, if you knock over one of your own bottles, it is knocked down and you have to take a drink — or bite of ice cream (when my Dad was playing — he likes ice cream more than beer or soda). Me and Six-Pack#2 struggled particularly at this game and occasionally hit the negligently parked cars. Which, I will just say, was funny. And if we didn’t get a lot of bottles knocked over, we did bring joy into the lives of our teammates and opponents.
4. A. I am really failing to write short highlights.
5. The twins. They’re always a highlight, I know, but they were especially funny at the reunion. DD and I did some finger painting which devolved into body paint relatively quickly, but only to the dismay of my sister — I’m the fun aunt, what can I say?? And MarMar and I discovered the thrill of the iPad train and the iPad glitter paint. Fortunately this was a less messy game. And not to leave out important tidbits: the twins turned two! With a purple cake and a blue cake. Yum yum
6. Talking to Momma L about being a working momma and an assertive woman and just generally chatting about everything from that soft porn book (what’s it called? Fifty pages of gray or something? I think that’s not quite it…) to whatever else occurred to us.
7. I managed to make scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese (for the breakfast prepared by my Dad and me) with an ice scraper. It was in the utensils drawer. And it worked really well. Then I read the inscription on the side that said “Use to Remove Ice” and I felt vaguely embarrassed.
8. My grandfather beat me at gin. Like 124 in the first hand to 0. And then I won a hand and got 4 points. This is a future highlight because I will someday improve enough to compete with his expertise and then he will be impressed. At present it’s a highlight because my grandfather really likes to win. So he laughed really hard at first. Then I think he got worried that maybe something is wrong with me. But I got a little better toward the end and he seemed less worried.
9. My brother-in-law could only come for a day, but he flew across the whole country to do it. He’s a good dad and a good husband. So that is a good last highlight.
You should all be very jealous because my family is awesome. As a side note, I would like to mention that I think I smell like patchouli and I don’t like patchouli and I don’t know how this happened.