July 2, 2015

I just can't

Keep up, that is.

Why is it that convenience products and improved efficiency hasn't resulted in more downtime?  It just seems to have paved the way for busier lives.  I am envious of my friends that have retired, or found a leisure-oriented balance to their lives.  I know that my time will, hopefully, come, but it sure is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now.

Last weekend we traveled to Kansas for a family reunion.  It seems silly to me to call it a reunion, as growing up the same group of people gathered for Christmas Eve each year, and then saw one another frequently at other holidays and summer gatherings.  Alas, since the death of my grandparents, there hasn't been a catalyst for routine gatherings these past twenty or so years.  My first cousins once removed (I had to look that up - my cousins' kids) are now getting married and having children of their own, and a gathering of the family was past due.

There were over 80 that gathered.  My mom being the youngest of eight, and, other than those that have just started their families, I was the sole only child, mom's brothers and sisters all having largish families, and their children following in their footsteps.  It was easier to count who was absent, and they were sorely missed, as, at my age (and theirs), there are those that I likely will never see again.

We had a blast, to say the least.  A large group started the morning with a golf scramble.  Mostly the men and some of the kids hit the links while the women folk got things set up.  We had tons of food - my husband has been such a good dieter, following his doctor's low carb plan for months, but when he decided to go off the wagon for the weekend, he went all in.  I think that is how potluck dinners should be, you have to try a little bit of everything, desserts included.

After lunch, a grand family tradition ensued - a softball game in my aunt's front yard.  Her house is along a state highway, but the front yard has always been the spot for the game.  First and second bases are uphill!  Some of the younger adult males managed to jack a shot or two over the highway (a ground rule double, by our rules - mostly to discourage that risky shot.  Though hitting a car is an automatic grand slam).  This was my husband's first time playing, and despite my warnings, he was not prepared for how competitive some of my cousins were.

As the softball game ended, one of my cousins cracked open a cooler that was filled with iced-down water balloons.  The kids had a riot soaking everyone with the cold water.

Some watched baseball on TV, some played volleyball and a new-to-me game, Polish horseshoes, some went fishing at the pond, kids played in the yard, and a group of us went down to a pasture to shoot clays for a few hours.  Boom has been wanting to give skeet shooting a try, and I guess she should, as she proved to be an excellent shot.  Little Crash shot a 410, not hitting any clay, but coming close enough and having so much fun that he is now begging for a shotgun.

As the planned festivities wore down, many of us set off to our parent's hometown - a little tiny farming community that has had a 4th of July celebration for over 150 years.  It is held on the weekend before the holiday, so we were able to go watch their fireworks show, something my granddad had once been in charge of, and they have carried on the tradition.

It was a great day all around, and, not one to go quietly into the dark night, I instead did my part to lower the mule deer population on the way back to our lodging.  It doesn't seem quite fair, my car damaged (but driveable) and no back strap or rack to show for it.


CenTexTim said...

My wife has you beat. In the last few years she's hit 2 deer and a buzzard...

Harper said...

My husband hit a turkey vulture a few weeks ago. Just knocked the emblem of the grill of his car. 20 years ago, the damage to my SUV wouldn't be an issue, probably just a bumper, but all this plastic and fancy sensors end up costing a fortune to replace.