My uncle Matt claims that "a family reunion is a weekend in which you attempt to relate to the people you're related to." However humorous this description is, I believe that for my family it is inaccurate. It has a negative connotation that would not at all match up with the incredible weekend I've just experienced.
This weekend was the first time in about ten years that nearly every member of my extended family on my mother's side was able to be in the same place at the same time. That means that I spent the last two and a half days in the company of 40 some odd incredibly awesome people in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been---Fish Lake, a location that has a lot of history for my mother and her family.
We all arrived at different times throughout Friday afternoon and evening. There were very few planned events besides dinner, but we all had a wonderful time just greeting the people we loved---some we'd seen recently, some we hadn't seen in years, and some (spouses and young children) we'd never met. My sister immediately attached herself to Manning, the youngest member of the clan, and throughout the entire reunion she was rarely seen without him. :) We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and caught each other up on the latest news. A great start to a great weekend!
For my brothers and father and a couple other people, Saturday started out with an early morning trout fishing trip. We caught a bunch of perch and one splake trout before calling it a morning, but we decided to troll in to the dock to give ourselves one more chance to catch something. That didn't yield any luck either, so we started reeling in our lines so we could go the rest of the way into shore. Just as I started reeling my pole, I got a strike! A few minutes later, I landed the biggest rainbow trout we caught that trip---talk about a last-minute fish!
The majority of the day was spent playing games and going on perch fishing trips (unfortunately, the fishing wasn't great, so we didn't get to have quite the fun time with the kids that we'd hoped, but I guess that's life). Somewhere along the line, my cousin's two-year-old daughter decided that she liked me and totally attached herself to me. She even chose me over her own mother! That was a little surprising, though I wasn't complaining! :) Then we played survivor games which were totally hysterical. Picture a line of adults attempting to relay an orange through the line by holding it under their chin and passing it from neck to neck. :) After dinner, we had family pictures (quite the adventure with twelve little kids to attempt to keep still!), Christmas in July (courtesy of my grandmother), and a viewing of some excerpts of my mother's family's family videos (so cute!) to finish off the day.
Today was a simple and perfect end to the reunion. We all packed up our stuff before attending church at the Fish Lake lodge. Then we stopped by my mother's cousin's cabin to have lunch before saying our goodbyes. My sister and I already miss the kids who were joined at our hips. :) I sure hope that we can have more opportunities to see our extended relatives soon, but whether we do or not, I will cherish the memories of this trip forever.