Yesterday I placed several miniature pumpkins – each about five inches across – atop plastic-covered tables in preparation for the annual Grandma’s Side of the Family Reunion.
Now that I’m a Hoosier, I can actually attend these gatherings…. even with just a week’s notice. So much for advance planning, eh?
Just about everyone who came was my aunt’s age or older. Mostly retired folks, it looked like, with the exception of one man who said he worked at Target; a son-in-law to one of my dad’s cousins… or something like that. I’m not entirely sure how he was connected to the family tree. I had one sibling and two cousins there to keep me company, but otherwise, all the cousins a generation older than me started gabbing about the Indianapolis Colts game or various and sundry family happenings that even my aunt (who is a bona fide member of that generation of cousins) couldn’t follow.
The dirt pudding (an Oreo/vanilla dessert, for the uninitiated) was delicioso, though, and the Waldorf salad I mixed together early this afternoon was nothing to be ashamed of, thank goodness.
I spoke with at least three relatives I didn’t know from Adam. One is apparently my grandmother’s older sister (and seemed far saner than my 81-year-old grandmother). The other two were the aforementioned Target guy and his wheelchair-bound wife. They are thinking of moving to Chicago because the public transportation there is very accessible for those in wheelchairs.
That’s the most substantive conversation I had; then Target man returned to fiddling with his smartphone, seated at a plastic-covered table opposite a young cousin of mine – who was also engrossed by the workings of some tiny electronic device. (He was not included in the tally of cousins who kept me company, as he remained in said position the entirety of the evening.)
One of my cousins – I shall call her Happy Face – had some homework to do, so I kept her company up in a computer lab type place, a hallway and a staircase away from where I had no doubt five longsuffering relatives were still chatting away about the various members of the family and their comings, goings and general doings. Who knows how accurate the information is, or how many long-forgotten relatives were left off of the two whiteboards where we started drawing a family tree (with its roots beginning at my great-grandparents, who must have died way before I was born).
So, Happy Face was sitting there working on research for a rhetorical analysis (five to six pages, double spaced, please, draft due Wednesday) of a short passage from one of G. K. Chesterton’s works. She suggested I write about the family reunion while I kept her company (and made sure she stayed on task), so I did. Notwithstanding the fact that the wireless Internet, which had cooperated with Happy Face’s computer, was throwing a fit when my computer asked politely to join. Sounds like middle school, doesn’t it?
Or so I would imagine. I never actually went to middle school.