Sunday, June 22, 2014
The group was camping up in So. Lake Tahoe, about two hours from here. Our arrival in early afternoon was a complete surprise to all but one cousin, Misti, who had sent me directions the night before and promised to keep quiet. Tears and hugs, tears and hugs all around. I'd meant to take a lot of pictures, but with dear faces coming in waves as word got out, the only photo I took was of Steve's cousin Scott and Steve's twin brother Stan. I don't need to point out the family resemblance. The only one goofier than these two might be Cousin Mark. While it was lovely to meet the babies, it was simply amazing to see the college graduates, those who hadn't even been born when I joined the family. Many are married now. Nine or ten years is a long time to be away from people you love and the few hours we had were not long enough, but they were hours well spent. Goodbye hugs were bittersweet.
Driving back down the mountain, Dolly, Jodi and I commented on how great it is to be with a group of Family (capital F family) who sincerely love and enjoy each other, young and old. The children show respect. The grownups never lose the ability to play and have fun. (The themed Dress-up Night is always a hoot.)
Celeste came out of hiding as soon as the ladies were gone, Bessie Anne reassured herself that I wasn't leaving again, and Ralph rocketed through the house like a thing gone mad. At sundown, I put the girls in the barn and tucked the chickens in for the night. Memories came flooding back. Steve would have agreed; it was a good day.