Last weekend, we had a family reunion of sorts for my mom's side of the family. Haven't had one since 1997, though we tried to put one together in 2001, but it just ended up as family get together. In 2001, my cousin had offered her house, but wasn't up to doing any of the organizing, so it was a sort of organize by committee, and it didn't gel.
So, we had the reunion at Karen's - and about 50-60 people showed up. Wasn't sure what the turn out would be, especially with the past month's losses. One of my cousins said that she wasn't sure she was ready for something "happy" this soon. A couple of others who had intended to come weren't able to because they had taken the time off last month. It wasn't until a week ago Wednesday that Uncle Mits & Auntie Hey decided to come. I'm so happy they came. It wouldn't be the same without all the aunts & uncles here.
Since 1997, we've lost Auntie Mako, Uncle Tosh, Uncle Lou, Gen, Lynn, Baby Max, Irene & Joanne. We have added some too - Steve married Gayle in 1998 and now there's Kyle & Alani. There's also Brendan, Joey and as of April, another Scotty. (we now have 3) Have one more on the way, so hopefully we will have yet another person to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.
Karen, Gayle & I had planned for a sort of luau for Saturday. Lots of rice, teriyaki chicken, grilled salmon, kalua pork, sushi, macaroni, potato & green salads. Hamburgers & hot dogs, corn & fresh fruit, chili & cake. Well, that's what we planned. What we got was all that, plus more food than we knew what to do with. Nobody showed up empty handed. Ham, flank steak with string beans, tofu fritters, ham, fried won ton, nishime, more pies & cakes... Oy. By the evening's end, Karen had managed to get everything out of the house (doggie bags r us). Alex ending up taking a lot of stuff to his friends house for their late night get together in the city. (Alex left at 1am - t'was an all nighter, I think)
Day was spent chatting. More family stories. Found out that elder sister Marcia had managed to traumatize her younger siblings re: Monopoly. Heidi & Jesse said that they could no longer play the game after the defeats of their childhood. Karen & Gayle seemed to agree with them. Did I really always buy Park Place & Boardwalk and put hotels on them? Nyahhh... *weg*
Took all the kids to the park. Byron, with an impish gleam in his eye, had changed into tank top & shorts and his favorite basketball shoes, for a game of basketball with his cousins. They didn't stand a chance. Brendan & Kyle chased each other all over the play structure. Little Joey tried to tag along, but they were a bit too fast. Just give him a few years. He ended up on the swing with his daddy. I managed to outlast Patty (hey grandma!) - she was pushing Brendan on the swing while I pushed Kyle. Kyle has no fear, and wanted to go higher and faster. Oy.
Tried to get Alani to sleep by walking her outside, away from the crowd. She just pointed up at the sky and said "ju" at the stars and the moon. She cooed at the breeze blowing by. Nope, this kid was not going to sleep.
Sunday morning, people were back by 10am. Mickey Mouse Waffle brunch. Waffles, fresh strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, maple, blueberry & strawberry syrups. Scrambled eggs. Artichoke and sun dried tomato quiche. Cottage potatoes. Coffee cake. Fried rice. Fried shoyu wieners. Fried bologna. Orange & apple juices. Comfort food. Lots of coffee and tea.
Lots more chatting. Ended up bbq'ing the rest of the hamburgers. (Had bought 2 boxes - 40 per box - they had been frozen so they had to be used). House was empty by 7pm. We were all very very tired.
Had the house pretty much cleaned up by 8. Ended up driving over to Gayle's to pick up her car keys while Karen & Gayle scrubbed the kitchen floor. She had put it in the diaper bag and when Steve took the kids home earlier.
Home by 9. Zonk.