Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Surviving the Family Reunion

That's a misleading title, because except for the fact that I was worn out, it was a great reunion. Two granddaughters planned it and they did a super job. It was held in the middle of the desert in Barstow, CA which was about halfway for the Vegas clan and the those of us scattered around California. About thirty-two relations attended, mine and my sister's many offspring. The youngest was seven-months-old and my husband had the title of the eldest at 78--and he also was the best bowler over all. That's how the weekend began, with a bowling tournament.

My sis and I realized that had our dad lived, his 101st birthday would be the day this appears. He and mom would have so loved this event--they were crazy about family and always amazed at how many we were since they'd only had two daughters. (Amazing to us too.)

The first evening, besides a lot of yakking, we were given cards to write down the information of how we came about our first name, something no one else has done, and our most embarrassing moment. We chowed down on Nachos with cheese, carrots, celery and dip, fruit and homemade cookies. Then we settled down to play our family's favorite game of Estimation. (It's not everyone's favorite, some of the men sneaked off to watch the debate.) The thing about this game that's so much fun is anyone can play and thought there is some strategy, you don't have to be particularly smart.

One of my great-grandson's who is a Sophomore in high school would consult with me on his hand--saying he had to find out what the "wise one" thought he should do. That tickled me.

We were at a Holiday Inn Express with a great breakfast which everyone enjoyed. Some of us were ready to eat and gab at 7 a.m. despite staying up way later than what I'm used to.

My job was making the chili beans which I got started fairly early. The wonderful smell of it cooking permeated the hotel. The kids had relay races beside the pool and swam. Lunch was hamburgers and hot dogs. Some went to State Line to Gamble, a son-in-law and grandson-in-law went four-bying, others went shopping at an outlet mall (I found some great bargains for Christmas). Of course you know there was lots and lots of gabbing going on. When we got back to the hotel, it was time for a Triathalon for the kids, jumping rope, swimming two laps, and a race around the outside of the hotel. Then everyone paticipated in a sponge relay which meant we all got wet. We were great entertainment for other hotel guests who were relaxing around the pool.

The chili beans were the best I've every made. What was left we shared with the hotel staff who were very appreciative. We had a talent show, and we learned everyone's secrets from the cards filled out earlier. The youngest kids crashed, the next age worked on craft projects while the rest of us went back to playing Estimation. And I was just as wise as the night before--though I didn't win. We had a great time.

It was great seeing the newest addition to the family and getting better acquainted with one of my grandson's girlfriend--and best of all, just spending time with relatives I don't see often.

Oh, and I sold four books! Better than some book events I've gone to.

Now I need to play catch-up again--the one drawback to going off and having a good time.

Marilyn

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