Monday, July 18, 2011


All ages, all sizes and shapes. Most of us all have the same name, or are with someone with that name. Some of us have been around here for ages, some a lot more than others. One guy is in a wheelchair and one little guy is only a month old.

Being an in-law, I get a different perspective. I don’t have the genes, but I do have my thirty year pin, and I know most of the faces and most of the stories.

It is the cycle of life here, in all of its glory, in all its wrinkles, and challenges, and all its stories. The ancestors are here, too, their old black and white photos reminding us of the the power of genetics, and the hard work they did that led to us all being here today.

Some of the cousins and a great aunt take off their shoes, comparing their feet, all with the same tiny little tucked in fifth toe. It makes a good picture. We’re all related, the feet say.

We visit, we eat, we sing, and we laugh. We do the things that families have done forever, when they get together and have a good time. The little babies of yesterday are the parents today, and those of us who’ve been the parents now get to see the grandkids and even the great grandkids coming along. And, the folks who were the work horses, who did the heavy lifting in family life, they’re easing back now, with maybe a cane in their gnarled hand and a lot more wrinkles and gray hair.

We pose and take the usual photos, just like the black and white photos in the albums on the tables. Fifty years from now, what we did today will be in the books, and only a few of the family will actually remember knowing us first hand. But, the folks then will say what we said today, about how so and so looks so much like that guy on the left, or that woman on her wedding day.

And, one or two us us probably won’t be here the next time, and we’ll have a few new ones to be in the pictures. That’s probably all right, as time does move on. It always has. Some folks get born, some get married, some change their jobs or move into a different house. Some folks get divorced, or have a good friend die. Life has that way about it, of being a bit of a tumble.

My own family doesn’t do reunions anymore. I guess we’ve had too many deaths, and I know there are some hard feelings. But, after some time passes, those differences don’t seem very important to me. We didn’t get together too much when I was a kid, either, and I miss the stories that I never did get to hear, and to really get to know a lot of the people who have the same ears and the same feet as me.

So, I like this reunion. After all, these folks are my family now, and I have my share of stories to contribute. We all need a family to belong to. This group even puts up with my attempts at carrying a tune during the karaoke fest. To be in this family, you have to let out your musical self, and, above all, have a good time.

Its what we do right here and now that really matters. Getting together and having some fun. And making some pictures for all the old photo albums at the reunions yet to come.
Nothing ever is the same, but then again, the change is good for us, keeps us moving along in the cycle of life.

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