We flew down to Douglas, Georgia last Thursday for a family reunion. Although, I should really call it a family celebration as we reflected on where we had come from, celebrated who we are now, and looked forward to who we will be as the next generation takes form.
What a blast! Many people don't think of family reunions as fun-- but I had been looking forward to this for several months now. The cool thing-- it even surpassed my expectations! My mother's entire family gathered in Douglas for the holiday, and we had the official reunion on Saturday afternoon, with close to 50 people in attendance.
We had all kinds of things to keep us busy while we were there. Lots of stories to tell and hear, food to prepare and eat, kids to play with, and fireworks to watch. Saturday, Husband and I made 8 flights, and took a total of 17 people up in the plane to fly over the farm, many of whom had never flown before in a small plane. I think I can safely say everyone had fun! I know I did!
As we flew home on Sunday, Husband asked me what my favorite part of the weekend had been. I had a hard time picking just one... Instead, it's almost like I see the weekend through snapshots of memories. Some of the highlights:
1) Hearing my Aunt L exclaim in delight as we flew over the family farm.
2) Taking off with my two great aunts (86 and 87 years old).
3) Laughing as my Aunt M broke open the pinata after all the great-grandchildren had tried.
4) Listening to (and telling) stories about my grandparents after a family dinner.
5) Walking back across the road to the farmhouse, seeing (and hearing) the kids playing softball, groups of family sitting under the carport talking, and the shadows of others in the house talking, and knowing that I belong to all of these people, and that they belong to me.
The whole weekend made me remember what it was like to be a kid and go to the farm to visit Granny and Grandpa. There was nothing like that feeling of contentment and safety to tromp around the farm with my cousins, building forts in the hay, eating ice-cold watermelon on a hot afternoon, and gathering around the table for a blessing with the whole family for a meal. I'm glad that my niece, nephews, and all of my cousins will know this feeling, too. That's what summer should be.