Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jackson Reunion

My family does reunions in a big way. It goes back to my grandparents, who had seven kids. My mother is one of the two girls, and is 2nd oldest. Her big brother had nine kids. One brother died before having kids. One brother had two kids, and there are three of my mother's kids (including me). That leaves one aunt and three other uncles, who each had five kids. Many of them have had kids. Four seems to be a popular number. I'm in the minority with just two.

If you sit down and do the math you get a large number in the hundreds, many of whom came to the reunion last week.
For many people, family reunion means a potluck in the park, two hours.

For my family, it means five to six days once every three years. We've hit some great locations; Chicago, Washington DC, Oceanside CA, Park City, Chicago, and then this year in Jackson Hole. Events are planned out by the hosting family, and it's a great time.

My mom figured there were over 80 people, we stayed in condos in downtown Jackson for five nights, six days. We spent a day canoeing on String Lake, went on several hikes, ran the river, hung out at the pool, and stayed up late playing games.

My mom helped my uncle who was in charge this year, which means my brother and sister and I helped out quite a bit. My uncle is the one with only two kids, one who didn't attend, and one who got married a month before, so he was kind of on his own. My mom (volunteered) us to step up, and of course we did, and of course after a little grumbling everything worked out fine.

A friend of my mother was telling her how for their family reunion they dressed the kids up as an ancestor and had them read from a script. It went over really well. My mom decided we would have our own, but I would be writing it. I spent several days, weeks before the reunion, with my mother by my side to give me the historical details, and we wrote a script for our family. Of course, when we did it, we didn't just have the kids come up one by one and read their page, we had to turn it into a full-blown play. My brother was the King of England, and heckled the kids, there was lots of back and forth, we had props and property managers... some pretty cool costumes we cobbled together... it was a pretty good show all in all.

Hubby filmed it and did a great job. I edited his filming of the show, and some interview footage he did of the cast, into a movie that my mother wants to distribute to all the actors, along with a copy of the whole play. None of them ever saw any more than their own parts of the script, so it might be nice to see the whole thing. Or, they'll just shelve it. You never know.

We ran the snake river, went Canoeing on String Lake, hiked around Phelps Lake, hiked up to Hidden Falls (my kids did the whole thing without being carried!) and had a family olympics at a park.
This is the group that hiked to Phelps Lake - only a small group from the larger reunion.

My generation also had a night out without the kids at the Bar J Wranglers. Most of the community food was at my mom's and uncle's condos, one above the other, where my brother, sister, I an our families stayed. The upside was that people came over a lot to eat, and we could see them. The downside was that we always seemed to be cooking and cleaning up, but my mom believes people are more likely to consider themselves entertained if they're well fed.

At the park, we all wore our official tee-shirts. It must have looked weird to any passersby to see so many people dressed the same. This is some knot tying activty.

The kids got to play with 2nd cousins, I got to meet some new spouses of my cousins, and everyone had a great time.

After the reunion, I came back with a cold which settled in for two weeks. I thought I had it licked, but just as I was feeling better, it came back, and has been hanging around for another week and a half. I think I'm finally getting over it. But Dang, it's been a real downer to be sick an entire month of summer. I've completely given up on TV/Gamecube/DS/Wii control. The girls can do/watch/play whatever the heck they want, so long as they let me sleep. I HATE that! I love the nap, but HATE them that plugged in!

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