Thursday, 09 August 2012
My extended and questionable family has a mega reunion every few years. It’s reminiscent of the cycles that swarming locust follow minus the potato salad. The current swarm was held last Saturday at a nice beach park not far from here so I was enticed by Wifey to get off my retired butt and take her to it.
Wifey concocted a squash and pecan casserole and then put the recipe on her Facebook page incase anyone at the gathering needed the antidote later that night. When we showed up at the park, I carried the ten pound vat of steaming squash over to the sheltered pavilion where all the other trademark dishes of other families were being displayed. There was fried chicken, BBQ, fried chicken, chunks of ham, fried chicken, ribs, fried chicken and a tray of dark colored meat that deflected most stares. There were veggies of all kinds, (potato salad making up half of the entries) and in the middle of it all was the large steel bowl of Wifey’s squash creation with a scooping spoon the size of a grave digger’s shovel. Bon appetit cousins.
As an honest disclaimer, I do have many fond memories of past reunions. I remember as a kid jumping out of the car at a run to go meet up with cousins I had not seen in ages, (months) and then spend the rest of the day running with the herd. If there was a lake near by….well then, we were all in nirvana! We made a lot of noise, got in everyone’s way and just loved poking fun at all the old fogies’ sitting under the shade trees swapping war stories and complaining about arthritis and politics.
As a teen, I used to look forward to seeing all my female cousins and appraising their breast growth and then talking sports with the guys. The impact of seeing a gorgeous blond cousin that used to pick boogers with you, now walking by in a bikini that challenged every law of nature, played massive turbulence with my brain.
When I became a family man, the reunions were more for our kids and the fried chicken. It was now that I was able to study and analyze the cousins I’d known, off and on, for over 30 years and the conclusion I reached, was that our family tree most definitely had a case of root rot. My God, what happens to people? There were dopers’, burnouts, sluts, preachers and insurance salesmen. Most of my female cousins were now in their mid thirties and currently members in good standing in the “Cheese Cake of the Month Club.” The men just gathered in small groups and consoled each other on their current divorces. The current generation of old fogies continued to gum their debates under the shade trees.
Anyway….there were not as many clan members at Saturday’s event. I’m sure it was due to the expense of getting here and staying a day or two that was out of budget range for many. Most of those there seemed to be foreign to me anyway, in more ways than one. All the alpha women were in charge while the kids mostly sat around in a Ritalin daze and the teens stared down with bloodshot eyes as they text messaged for someone to come rescue them. It was all different now. So, I just sat back under a shade tree and debated politics with my retired cousins.