Sunday, July 19, 2009


Summer is frequently the time for reunions whether they are high school or family. defines the word “reunion” as “a gathering of relatives, friends, or associates at regular intervals or after separation.” Obviously these people know neither my family nor my graduating class since we do not reunite at regular intervals. What were the odds that either one would plan a reunion for the same decade little own the same day?

My high school class—Sammamish class of 1969—has been abysmal at having reunions. There hasn’t been one in 20 years. This year it has been—gulp—40 years for my husband and me. And wouldn’t you know when they finally decided to have one it landed on the same day as a reunion my family, also abysmal at reunions, is having!

It only took me a “New York minute” to decide which reunion I’d go to. Last summer I had my father’s home movies put on CD. My favorite scene is of a family reunion circa 1953 with my grandfather pushing his five grandchildren in a wheelbarrow. It is perfect snapshot of post-WWII Americana worthy of Norman Rockwell. I love it. It fulfills my fantasy of our family.

So I am forgoing the high school picnic in favor of a family barbecue. I never like to pass up an opportunity to show off my children, daughters-in-law, and my amazing and beautiful grandchildren. I want to see if my family can see the faces of those we’ve all loved in the faces of my grandchildren. I can.

I would like to think that we all have many more years to get everyone together, but the reality is that we are neither young nor well organized. This will probably be it. I’m making my grandmother’s pineapple cookies and getting my camera fixed so that I can document this reunion for the babies the way my father documented ours so many years ago. The baby babies won’t remember, but the five-year-olds may. Hey, I was only two in 1953 and I have memories of that day.

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