Saturday, August 20, 2011


A WEEK! IT'S BEEN A WHOLE entire week since I went with The Yard Man to a family reunion of about sixty of his aunts, uncles and cousins, even a few uh...cousins removed once, and some removed twice. (Surely there is a better term, Reader Dear, for the children and grandchildren of one's first cousins, but I don't know it. At any rate, there was nothing removed about those little twice-removed ones last weekend; they were very much there, and very much the epitome of cuteness!)

From the beginning--driving in the long, tree-lined driveway to the retreat center, which sits in a beautiful valley in a place aptly know as Belleville--to the very end of the weekend and the reunion, I had a most enjoyable time with this family. Because here's the thing--they like to laugh! Oh, what could be more delicious than laughter?! (Well, there's chocolate. But there was plenty of that, too!)

Another feature, fascinating enough to put me into movie-making mode, was the hummingbird buffet that must be well known to every fast-winged creature in a three-county area! It hung in a corner of the expansive deck where the family sat to relax and chat and play a game (it really wasn't a game in the competitive sense, but was made up of instructions such as "Tell about your most embarrassing experience" and "Tell us something funny about your childhood"....[see, Reader Dear, how we might have been holding our sides with laughter?])

Who's to know? Perhaps the big attraction for the hummingbirds was not so much the sugar-water as the sweet tales on which they got to eavesdrop!

As The Yard Man and I drove back out the long driveway on Sunday afternoon, I was reluctant to be leaving. I had no way of knowing how quickly we'd be back!

Ten miles down the road, I glanced into the back seat of the car. "Do you have that pair of hanging pants you brought along?!" I asked The Yard Man.

"Son-of-a-gun!" he said. And turned the car around. Back we drove through the beautiful valley and back in the long tree-lined driveway to the retreat center. A small group of cousins and an aunt were gathered outside, preparing to leave. One of them was holding the hangered pair of pants. "These must be yours," she said. "And are these yours?" She held up a pair of women's underwear, size XXL-Jumbo. There was rousing laughter. The underwear had mysteriously shown up in someone's bed the night before. (We all knew it was a prank. No one knew exactly who to blame). It was a final bit of humor as we drove away for the final time.


It wasn't until we were all the way home that The Yard Man opened the trunk and asked, "Where is my bag?!"*

*Didn't I say it's a great family? It was no prank; he'd forgotten his bag! The very next day one of The Yard Man's cousins UPS'd us a box. Inside was The Yard Man's overnight bag.


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