Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Matters

Last summer we started a tradition. To celebrate my parents' 60th wedding anniversary, as many of my family members who could gathered at a lovely inn at Branson, MO.

We didn't go for the shows or to cruise the strip in bumper to bumper traffic. Instead we settled along Lake Taneycomo, choosing the more sedate old downtown and the new Landing to spend our time.

This year we repeated the experience, staying in the same inn and sitting in wicker chairs and rockers on the wrap-around porch. It was very hot, very humid.....but that didn't deter us from the long talks that are the staple of our family.

It was definitely a time for togetherness, but there were also moments devoted to solitude. In the coolness of the mornings, I walked along the boardwalk that ran beside the lake. The mist rose from the water like a silent genie, hovering just above its surface as ducks glided smoothly along its glassy top. Only a handful of people shared my space: joggers and fellow wanderers also seeking the refuge of the quiet morning. It was so nice to be out before both the heat of the day and the throngs of people who inevitably come to share such a beautiful place. Leaning over the railing and watching the day begin was captivating: the definition of peace.....the porthole for contentment.

And the days were filled with their charm, too. My sister drummed up a group of us and brought in so much business to the local dollar store that the clerk rewarded us with free hats!
We perused the local shops, bought trinkets to take back home and ate a LOT of food!

One afternoon we loaded up and headed to Table Rock Lake to spend a few hours at my cousin's house. He took us on a grand tour of the lake with my brother-in-law as co-pilot, my brother and I at the stern and my parents tucked comfortably behind the driver's seat.

Twenty of us took seats on the boat dock, in lounge chairs on the back deck or inside the house to talk about the days of the past and what lies ahead. One niece brought a friend while another inducted her fiancee to our extended family vacation. That's one of the many things I love about us: everyone is welcome.....everyone belongs.

Many people don't understand how our family gets along and why we so enjoy being together.

To me it's simple. We truly love each other.

We are individuals, part of one whole; intertwined with history and a genuine like for one another. I would pick them to be with even if we weren't related. We are connected, not just through blood but through ideas and thoughts, likes and friendship. They are the thread of my very existence, woven into who I am and where I come from.
It's a lovely tradition, this getting together. And no matter where we are, whether home or on the road, we are family. I wouldn't change that for the world.


~Brenda said...

Love the porch setting and the duck on the pond! The family photos are great and so is the fact that everyone gets along well. Do you scrapbook? You are most fortunate; we have gone on family vacations with my side of the family and said,
‘never again’.

srp said...

There aren't enough left on my mom's side to get together and we have had most of the 50th anniversaries on my dad's side already. We are so far apart that we have to get together in bits and pieces... but the love is still there. So wonderful that you have this tradition.

Martie said...

Wow Lori, it's been going on a year since you wrote here. I think the social networks are taking the place of blogging. I miss reading the blogs and will check back and see if you have restarted writing here. I miss you and hope all is well with you! Hugs my dear friend!

Martie said...

I can see a lot of love on the faces of these people! Consider yorself a lucky lady, Lori! Miss reading your thoughts.