This was the twelfth year we've hosted the family reunion at our house. Some relatives are no longer with us, little children are now teenagers, and for the most part we only see each other once a year. But that's a good thing. I say that because I really believe in traditions, even if they are just once a year. The older we get we all realize how quickly a year passes, and if we didn't have these traditions I'm sure that much more than a year would pass before we carved out the time to see each other again. In my immediate family we still celebrate everyone's birthday. Of course, it's not the presents and the cake and ice cream that is important anymore - it's a reason to set aside time in our lives to see each other.
This year we had 40 family members from 8 states! They all are so appreciative of us having the reunion at our house, but I am appreciative that so many of my cousins travel across the states to get here! It's an effort for all of us. The day goes SO fast! In all of these 12 years we've never had a rainy day. Yesterday was a beautiful day, about 75 degrees. At around 8:00 we had a fire going, marshmallows, Hershey bars and graham crackers out for S'Mores and suddenly the wind kicked up - plates, napkins and tablecloths went flying across the yard and the heavens opened! Everyone grabbed as much stuff as they could carry and ran into every door of the house. Luckily, no one left and we continued the party indoors for another two hours.
Today, an August day in the midwest - it is cold and rainy! So we were lucky! But we weren't just blessed by the weather, but by being a family - and being together.