Time Heals All Wounds, We Can Only Hope
Well, the invitations are now out; they look like a
hospital menu. Mark - X - for your preference of location,
food and games. Standard insurance waiver as always,
All families have traditions; gathering for holidays,
handing down family recipes, family heirlooms, agreeing
that it will not always be the first born that becomes heir
to the aging pets of their aging parents (my son insisted
Our family tradition has always been to hold onto
grudges and preserve our territorial rights.
Our Great, Great, Great Grandparents left England
because they were unable to find sufficient lands beyond
one common postal/zip code.
The family has evolved, gaining experience and
knowledge from previous reunions. We will never
collectively travel on an airline together. You only did
this once and learnt that it is truly not worth the
discount on bulk purchase. Having recovered from the nine
hour flight, your next destination is the beach for sand,
sun and fun. Waikiki proved inadequate in size for our
family. No matter how early you descended onto the beach,
to pace off your section of sand, it was always too
We then decide to spend the afternoon at a market,
where the local merchants recognize me from pictures they
saw earlier from my Aunt Grace, a few commenting that she
was right. I do need a holiday.
Camping at National Parks became a favorite for our
family. The layout of the campground was large enough to
activate various postal/zip codes, if identification became
necessary. But the almighty skies told us different. Each
and every time we descended on the camp grounds, unpacked,
set up the tents, sleeping bags and set up the camp
kitchen, it started to rain; not shower, but open bowling
alley lanes of water. Noah called asking for directions.
The rain would not stop until we posted the white flag of
defeat and packed up all the 10 lb soaking wet sleeping
bags and 200 pound canvas tents and departed. In hindsight
the rain kept us isolated so the most we could complain
about was the weather and our campsite neighbors, who
seemed to be too tired to join us and were always turning
off their kerosene lamps when they heard our footsteps.
Grizzly and black bears; cougars and raccoons; leeches and
water snakes. All natural to the landscape never ventured
into our campground. They knew better. I'm sure like us,
they sent out an information bulletin warning of the
dangers. Now campers have it easy, they travel in
camouflaged Hamlets, with collapsible bay-windows, and
satellite dishes. I have always wanted to ask if their
camouflaged rigs actually confuse the wildlife.
The Elders Circle at any reunion is sacred ground. It
comes in many forms and only a chosen few are told of its
location. It can be found in the cook kitchens of the
campsite, in the restaurant of a hotel, or folding chairs
surrounding a campfire. The rule of the circle is that
children are not allowed. Our family has never supported
the theory that children are to be seen and not heard; the
elders want to hear them so they know where they're hiding.
Our DNA has gifted us with bat-like sonar hearing, allowing
Grandma to carry on the rumor that unlike Doberman
Pinchers, they have never had to tape the children's ears.
They flock to the circle in disguise, forgetting that the
elders have heard all the tricks and excuses before and
then leave on the promise that ice cream cones are coming.
The elders, being the apostles of grudges have kept track
of who is speaking to whom and why. They believe reunions
are a chance to sort out the grudge book and of course
assign the appropriate sentence to its newest members. You
are wise to find out in advance, what table you should be
sitting at or you will probably be written up.
At the end of the last reunion there were write-ups
ranging from an innocent pot of chili, that was presented
as prepared from an ancestral family recipe, to later being
found out to have come from a restaurant; to an out of
province family arriving early and parking their truck and
trailer underneath the oak tree, taking the designated area
for the elders circle. Of course they volunteered to
move, but the Elders wouldn't hear of it.
Looking at my invitation I see that the family is
calling for signed releases this year, after all you can
never be sure what will happen. Last reunion Aunt Ruth was
walking to the kitchen when she was hit in the head with a
rogue horseshoe. Poor thing still suffers from migraines
and will always blame her late husband Harley for
intentionally throwing it at her. So, in the future all
horseshoes will not be thrown above the knees. They are
also confirming that field chalk is mandatory. This is so
that your 200 foot territory can be identified and no one
can cross over.
We will love and cherish each other to the ends of
the earth and defend each other's right to be a little
As grandmother always said, you can't pick