Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reunions, part one

So I just got home from back-to-back family reunions in Idaho. Who is from Idaho? My dad's family. Which family was reuniting? My mom's. No one at the reunion actually lives in Idaho, except for the people who own the place. That was done on purpose because we've learned that if you live too close to the venue you tend to just pick and choose when you will be there. We were at the May Family Ranch. It was beautiful and a great place to host the reunions for both my grandfather and grandmother's sides of the family. I loved it. Keep that in mind while you read the rest.

The ranch is located in Clayton, Idaho. Population: 26. Twenty-six. 2...6. Can you say, "small town"? I was initially told the drive would take 3 hours. Not too bad, even with the baby. Three hours slowly became five. Then six. Then eight. Were it not for my cousin, Mary, who rode up with me as reinforcements for the baby (Eric had to work and couldn't come) I don't think I would have made it. The screams were piercing. The baby's cries weren't very nice, either. ;) Once we got there the relief was palpable. The baby and I slept in the Loft (upper half of the building in the picture below), while my parents roughed it in a tent. My brothers didn't come because of work for one and the imminent birth of a baby for the other.One of my favorite memories of the ranch was the fridge in mess hall. The first morning there I went to the fridge to get some milk for the baby. My brow furrowed deeply when, upon opening the door, a rooster crowed at me. I looked around in the fridge, half of me searching for the prank device that played when anyone opens the door and the other half wondering what kind of sadist puts a live chicken in the fridge. There was neither. It was the fan for the freezer. It does a really convincing chicken impersonation.

One of the favorite activities was the slide. It looks fairly gentle in the picture below, but when you...uh...weigh as much as I do you tend to go pretty fast. The picture I posted is from the website, as I am not sure the general public is ready for the cornea-searing atrocity abstract art that is me in a swimsuit with bleach white legs. We'll see if I post a picture of myself or not once I get the shots back from my dad. I wanted to take the baby on the slide, but it was a little too fast. I had to settle for starting part way up if it was going to be any kind of safe. My thrill-loving baby (no, really, she loves it) did not take to it as I had hoped. Too bad. I think it was the splash of water in the face at the end. I went several times, though.

I actually spent most of my time watching the baby run around and play or knitting. She was the darling there who everyone loved. The blue eyes, dark lashes, and curly hair had everyone enchanted. I really don't remember much of what I did. I know it involved talking to people and watching the baby crawl up and down the playhouse steps or chase the poor dogs that live on the ranch. She tries to pet animals, but it ends up as more of a slap.

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