Greetings from Lake Chautauqua, where I’ve been with about 25 family and friends for a mid-week reunion. Aunts, uncles, a niece, four nephews and another 25 or so second cousins, cousins removed several times and family friends who’ve been in my life since day one were all here in western New York for the gathering.
It’s fun hearing everyone’s news and even more fun re-hearing the old stories. Yes, it is true that I was “baptized” with gin by a drunken lobbyist while in my baby carrier atop a night club piano.
If you saw the movie Dan in Real Life, you have a picture of what it is like here—right down to the used book store in the center of town. Dozens of relatives, complete with their successes and worries and baggage and history, under a roof a wee bit too small for the crowd, loudly living the joys and bumps of real life.
The fact that I write a blog has come up periodically, and people have asked if I’d be writing any stories from the week. I simply said, only if they are blogworthy. That was all it took for one aunt who set out actively to achieve blogworthiness.
Wednesday alone, we fished off the dock for hours, undertook a hopelessly disastrous group craft project, which I orchestrated after temporarily forgetting my deficit in this area. We divided into teams for a putt-putt tournament, swam, ran, played basketball, attended my father’s brilliant performance before an audience of 5,000 at the Chautauqua Institution’s amphitheater and had a loud dinner with 50 spirited guests.
Was it blogworthy? You decide. I must report though that my 76-year-old aunt succeeded in achieving blogworthiness in her own right, on the mini golf course. On the 12th hole, she stepped back from a rolling ball, into a row of raised bricks, and fell backwards, landing simultaneously on her tail bone and her head. She got up and finished the remaining six holes.
It takes a lot to stand out in this crowd, but everyone tries.