We met lots of people whose names were familiar, but didn't know the person and met lots of people I had never known existed.
The first night was a more formal type dinner at the hotel convention center. As we were getting ready to leave the room, I remembered to slide my pocket knife out of my pocket and leave it behind. Chris gave me a funny look and asked me why that would be an issue. Well honey, because in this family, you either come unarmed or fully armed-and you never want to be caught with a knife at a gunfight. Megan's eyes got huge.
And No...I wasn't kidding!
But all went well and we all sat and laughed and laughed at stories until they kicked us out of the convention room...and then we went to the bar and laughed some more.
Saturday afternoon was the casual picnic at my uncle's house and everyone came loaded for bear....
My mom hadn't planned on coming up, she didn't get a "formal" invitation, but I called her and told her to get her butt up there. This was too good to miss out on! We got a good group photo...
LOL-The blue shirt theme was completely unplanned! But it looked good in the photo-hehehe. This is Chris, me, my mom and Megan. Chris definitely fits in in this family! It took him all of two seconds to hook up and start visiting with the retired-Marine husband of one of the cousins and they were quickly joined by the family "pet coon". Now before you think the wrong thing...there is a story behind that and no it's not a deragatory reference to his color.
These are my uncles...
No-Uncle David is not a shrimp-LMAO. Uncle Ed is 6 foot, 6 inches tall. By far and away the tallest family member. David(with the camera), is the spitting image of my dad. Those two could have been twins...in more ways than one;-) Looking at old photos, I had a hard time telling which one was David and which one was my dad. I had to give him a ration of crap for that ponytail. Although it had been nearly 30 years since I had seen him, we all immediately fell right back into family mode. Well, once he recognized me. Poor guy, I made him guess who I was. Not very nice since I was just a kid the last time he saw me. I started calling him "Bahama boy", but he was pretty quick to correct me. He lives in St. Croix, on the Virgin Islands...NOT the Bahamas.
While time leaves some people remarkably unchanged, it certainly does change others. I always remember my Uncle Ed as a very stiff and fairly unfriendly guy. I've seen him a few times over the years, but sort of kept my distance. Honestly, I was terrified of him. My most vivid memory of him was from my grandparent's house and I made a joke about the reason he was bald at a young age was because he grew above the timber line. He chased me under the kitchen table and made me cry. I remember grandma getting after him for scaring me. After that, I didn't want anything to do with my Uncle Ed. Odd, but no one remembers that story except me. My mom said that it was the military that made him so stiff and abrupt as a young man.
Apparently a decade or so of retirement from the miliary and Uncle Ed has found his humor again...either that, or I've grown up and can actually recognize it... He had the family brand painted on his head for the picnic. While he ran the reunion similar to a tactical drill, he didn't over-due it and EVERYONE had a really great time. Well, someone has to be in charge and keep everyone on track, right?
Originally, we had only planned on staying at the picnic for a couple of hours or so. I had shopping to do and Megan and I wanted to get home to get horses ready for the horse show on Sunday...yeeaaaaaaaa...that so did not happen. We were some of the first to arrive and the last to leave....
It was just too much fun! Cousin Lynn and I were still telling horse stories as we got into our vehicles to leave. Cousin Lynn...now there is a family member after my own heart. He and I kept everyone in stitches telling stories. Darn! Now I am going to be "that person" everyone remembers from the reunion. Lynn's favorite line...I got just one more story! My favorite line...But that's another story!
Yea right! There were tons more stories...we just ran out of time. But I promise, I will share some of those stories...they are too darn good not too!
I did get some family history cleared up. Well, as clear as they are going to be after a century or so.
We ended up spending another night and then got up early to haul butt home to load horses and head to the horse show. We were running late...as usual...and I told Megan we would probably miss out on the halter classes. Not a huge deal, but darn Moon looks good. I just want to show him in halter a few more times to see if his winning a halter class last year was fluke or not. As we got closer to Valentine, Ne(only 50 miles south of us), I started noticing standing water along the road.
Yep, you guessed it! Valentine got dumped on the night before and the horse show was cancelled.
But that's another story!;-)