Family Reunions

I remember when I was a little girl, we were always traveling to some family reunion or another. Even as I grew older, I still attended family reunions where aunts and uncles and cousins and in-laws and grandchildren and grandparents and great-grandparents and moms and dads and scores and skads (I have no idea what a skad is, but I like the word) gathered to reconnect.

When I first got married, Mike and I attended two family reunions in one year. One for his side of the family and one for mine. It was awkward on both occasions, with people making introductions like, "This is Carol. She's JL's boy, Mike's, wife." Or, "This is Mike. He's married to Annie Dee's baby boy, Gordon's daughter, Carol (I don't actually know how to punctuate that sentence.)

But my generation doesn't have family reunions. I don't think they do anyway. Most of the ones I went to when I was younger involved driving for hours, with a potluck dish in tow, to sit with the people that we drove with because we didn't actually know anyone else there very well. So over time, I think we just decided it didn't make sense to go anymore, and instead we just started mailing out Christmas letters. :) (Those stupid letters had to start for some reason!)

HOWEVER, this past weekend, we celebrated the 75th birthday of my husband's mother, my mother-in-law. We drove for 6 hours, all for the opportunity to say, "Surprise" and wish her well. But it was time well spent. And for a moment, it felt a little like a family reunion. All my husband's family was there totaling 34 people with just his brother and sisters and their kids and grandkids. Over 30 distant relatives were there, some whom I knew and some whom I did not know at all, even though they seemed to know me.

All that to say, I guess there is something good about looking around and knowing that you are somehow connected to all these people who are virtual strangers. It some how makes the world feel a little smaller.

What Is So Attractive?

My friend, Becky, said I should blog about what attracts women to quilting retreats? She said that mostly in answer to another post, but also a little bit to make fun of me. I like that about her. Her rapier wit.

But since I just returned from a quilting retreat, I will tell you what is attractive about it. I spent 3 nights and 4 days in the presence of women who are at many different stages of life, and whom have had many different life experiences. Of eleven women, I was the youngest, at age 47 (yes, that is my real age.) Two other women there were close to my age, in their early 50's. (ugh, "close to my age" and "in their early 50's" should not be synonymous). But the other 8 women were anywhere from 68 to 75 years old. Some were widows, who shared stories about the loves of their lives. Some are still very happily married to the husbands they married in their youth (and still having quite active sex lives . . . yes, we talked about that a little . . . I had questions, they had answers.) Some are having troubles in their marriages, but still content to make those marriages last a lifetime.

We talked of love, and loss, and joy, and pain. We shared favorite movies, and who we all thought were good looking actors, and what our favorite vacation spot was, and what we loved about our husbands and what drove us crazy about them.

We laughed so hard we cried, many many times (and for some of the really old ones, until they pee'd their pants.) We quite simply just enjoyed sharing our lives together. On the last morning, we all sat around in our pajamas, unencumbered by responsibility or bras, :) not wanting our time together to be over. And finally, we hugged, promised to see each other next year, prayed for one another, and amidst a great amount of tears, said goodbye.

All that to say, what ISN'T attractive about that?

Last Day of Civilization

I thought I was just going to go on a quilting retreat with 10 VERY SENIOR adult women. But apparently, my agenda looks a little different. Today (when I thought we were leaving for the retreat) I found out that this morning I would be helping to TEACH (HA!) a quilting class at the local library (in a town of like 1000 people total). And this evening, I will be going to the Widows Valentine Banquet as my mother-in-law's date. :) fun.

So the library was interesting. One old lady, I'll call her "Suzie" was so grouchy, and she talked in these sentences that were like 100 words long each. Here is one example (we were discussing what the room we were in was called) "Well, back in Little Hills Mississippi, at the library there where I used to always go with my sister, Sally, and her little girls, well . . . I guess they ain't little girls anymore on account a theys all growed up and live up in New York City, but at our library we called that room the communty (no I didn't misspell it) gathering room but some people called it the club house which makes no sense cause clubs wernt allowed to meet there, but I still called it the community room.

Oh, my, it's going to be a long day . . .

All that to say, I am sure I will be in culture shock very shortly. And today is my last day of civilization for four days!

Punch Bug or Slug Bug

Okay, I have this long running argument with my friend, Becky, about whether you say "punch bug" or "slug bug" when you see a VW beetle. We need your help in settling this argument.

For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, this is how it works. Anytime you see an old school Volkswagen Beetle (not the new ones, the old school ones) you say "punch bug" and you punch the person you are with in the arm. There are a few variations of this game, but basically it's a car game, designed to keep long boring drives from being long and boring. (Sarah, did your family play THIS game?)

I have another friend, Lori, who says you have to yell out the color of the car when you are playing. (IE: "Punch Bug Yellow" if you see a yellow one.) I used to think this was a stupid variation until I took my first trip with her to do mission work in Mexico. There are like 10 VW Beetles per city block there, so yelling out the color is helpful for everyone to know which beetle in particular you are getting punched for! (That was a terribly grammatically incorrect sentence!)

Anyway, Becky makes fun of me and has for years over the fact that I say punch bug. I, however, have never made fun of her over this, which I do believe tells us all a little something about Becky, right? :) I will also say in my defense that I have never ever said Punch Buggy, and if I had, then I would be totally okay with her making fun of me.

All that to say, which is it, Punch Bug or Slug Bug? Weigh In.

Brain Enema

I have heard a lot of people say they have writer's block before. It's never happened to me though. I've never had it. I can always think of something to say. Sad, but true. But lately I find that I can't think of a single thing to write about.

Usually, at least one funny something happens during a week. Or something that makes me go, "I'll bet other people think that too" or something sweet, or poignant, or spiritually relevant happens. But lately, not so much. Really, I've got nothing. So I guess, technically, I have writer's block.

So, I'm going to need you to help me out here, oh blog followers . . . if I actually have any blog readers anymore . . . . Give me a topic. I'm gonna check back and see if you guys gave me some help. If not, then I'm going to have to start making stuff up!

All that to say, I need a brain enema. I'm all plugged up!