A FAMILY REUNION

A few weeks ago, my sister and I hosted a get-together for my cousins, the children of my Aunt who died recently. It was a big deal to us, because we had never spent quality time with them as adults. I know this may sound strange, but my cousin Jimmy lives in the Midwest, and has for most of his adult life. Although he would come back East to visit, we never saw him except for the occasional funeral. It is really sad when you think about it, but I think the same thing is probably true of many families. We said we would all keep in touch at her funeral, and now was the time to make good on our word.

Cathy had spoken with Jimmy and he mentioned he was coming back East to pick up some belongings from Auntie’s condo. The suggestion was made that we try to get together for dinner, and when she was telling me, we decided to host it at my house. My cousins had said not to fuss, and of course we didn’t listen to them. I hung up the phone that morning, and proceeded to clean the house from top to bottom, including washing the floors. Yes, the preparations do sound like when Marti and her family came to visit. Thank God I had purchased new towels when she visited. We decided upon the menu, divided up the dishes on it and the tasks associated with the preparations, and set to work. A few days later we realized there was a bit of a glitch with scheduling, but we managed to find a time that worked for everyone.

The day of the party, Cathy came over to my house in the afternoon to bring the dishes she had prepared and help me with any last minute details. Everything was going according to schedule, until I got the bright idea to set out Peppermint Patties in a candy dish that had belonged to Auntie. This in itself would have been fine, if I had realized the table that the dish sat on was low enough for Harley (my 18 lb Cocker Spaniel) to help herself to a treat! She was very ladylike in the respect that she took them one at a time, and left some for others (not like anyone would want them)! This actually was a good thing, because I thought I heard her in the cat bowl, and realized what was up when I went to check on her.

At this point, Cathy had already left to meet my cousins at her house. I called the vet, and she said it was a large enough amount (of course) that I should induce vomiting. Just what everyone wants to do prior to hosting a party! I found the hydrogen peroxide and headed outside to give Harley the prescribed dose. She wasn’t too pleased, but quickly found a stick and wanted to play fetch. It was the funniest thing; you see her running, she pauses as it surprised (probably about how her stomach suddenly doesn’t feel so good), and then the next thing I know there is a stick at my feet, with a pile of something else next to it! I cleaned it up and waited for my guests to arrive.

We were fortunate to have a beautiful evening, and we ate our meal on the deck overlooking our pond. There were about a dozen of us, and everyone had a good time. My nieces had to leave early, but my cousins stayed until after midnight. We were having such a good time talking and sharing stories that we lost track of the time. All in all, we felt the party was a huge success, and we promised we would stay in touch and do this again. Hopefully over time we will create some shared memories. If the success of that gathering was any indication, we are off to a great start.

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