Family Reunions – Chill or Thrill?

Soon I willing be heading off to Ocean Shores, WA., where my sister, Penny has a place.  She has plotted and created a family reunion of no small sort.  We have family from Alaska, Phoenix, Virginia, Florida and Montana (I am certain I have missed a few places as well)– all making their way to Ocean Shores – where apparently there is also a major motorcycle event happening as well .  Sounds a bit wild to me.  Family!

I believe I may have been to one other family reunion when I was much younger, my mother’s family.  At that time my grandparents were still alive and we went to someone’s cabin or house up in the mountains of Virginia.  There were probably 30 or 40 folks there including cousins and everyone.  I think it was fun, though I was little and mostly running around playing outside.

 Now close to fifty years later, I am going to another family reunion of my mother’s side, this time her siblings and my cousins and their kids.  I find myself a touch nervous.  One, because some of the folks I haven’t ever met.  Though that doesn’t bother me too much, I like meeting new folks.  No, I think I am nervous because some of these folks I haven’t seen since childhood.  Our lives went in very different directions.  I believe there was at least one other reunion a while back – but I wasn’t there.  So some of these folks I have some vague story of mine own making about who they are and what they are like and it’s all from the past and not much else. 

Actually one of my cousins I have been following on Facebook.  Now that has been kind of cool.  She lives in Alaska and seems to have a great family.  So I am excited to meet her in person.  I am equally curious about others.  It was so long ago and I know I am very different than I was back then.  Or am I?

Back then I was the family jock. Played tennis, basketball field hockey – pretty much any sport that let girls play.  Today I bike, hike, play golf and still enjoy any sport this older body can play.  May be I am not as competitive, though I imagine my sister might disagree.  I still consider myself a bit of an odd duck and I was back then as well.

Part of me wants to be closer to normal this weekend.  I find myself trying to find cute clothes and wonder what I could bring along that would let people see a window into this life I love.  CrisMarie isn’t able to make it, so one of my best assets and some might even say, a calming, stabilizing factor, won’t be by my side.  No wonder I’m nervous. 

Our family has had it’s differences over the years.  We see the past very differently.  As long as we don’t talk too much about that, we get along quite well.  We all seem to have found partners, jobs and hobbies that have inspired and called each of us towards lives that we love.  I guess I assume most families are like that. 

Still sometimes something comes up and we get ourselves into trouble trying to sort through the various stories and land on some type of truth.  I guess that is my biggest fear.  Basically a family reunion sort of invites looking back.  Myself, I am more interested in now.  Not so much how we got from there to here, but who we each are now.  I am hoping others will agree and we can enjoy the similarities and the differences – without having to settle on any truths.

 Now that is the type of reunion that sounds quite cool.  I will let you know how it goes!  I guess if the family reunion isn’t quite to my liking, I have always had a desire to be a biker – so who knows, I could maybe join a different crowd as break. 

 I sort see the weekend as a chance to see how I’ve grown – if I’ve grown.  Interestingly, the weekend after this reunion, my other family of sorts, The Haven Institute up on Gabriola, is having their 30th anniversary.  I am hoping to make that as well.  Ah Family – Reunions – Anniversaries  – such a rich, fertile opportunity for growth – be it a chill or a thrill!


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