37 – Participants
3 – Days on task
Back for almost a week from a family reunion, I’m almost back to normal.
76 – Age range of participants, in years
3 – Age of youngest participant, in months
Within spitting distance of the upper end of the participant range as I am, I find that the hoo-ha associated with packing clothes and provisions (even for just a few days), driving (even for just a few hours), repositioning said provisions to a cabin in the woods (even with the aid of a wagon), connecting with other participants by walking repeatedly (even for objectively short distances), extricating self and aforementioned provisions at the end of the weekend (even with staged loading), and driving home is all somehow more work than it used to be.
5 – Provinces heard from
4 – Countries with delegations
And yet, with family thriving from Vancouver to Berlin, from Cleve-Land to Ire-Land, how else are the older members to maintain connections than by reunioning? How else are the younger members to establish them?
And so, amid the semi-organized adult activities–potluck suppers, coffees, hikes, town visits, and campfires–there are the more-impromptu kid activities. Running from cabin to cabin. Lifting littler ones up onto and down from porches. Blowing bubbles. Running from cabin to cabin. Standing in line to ride a pony. Swimming and generally splashing around. Running from cabin to cabin. Squealing. Learning how to roast a marshmallow for a s’more. Running from cabin to cabin. All with remarkably few stumbles of any kind.
37 – Participants
0 – Fistfights
In quiet moments on the edge of the swirl, the geezers reflect on other ways of being in the world. There are whispers of families where siblings (even cousins!) live within drop-in distance of each other. What we have for a weekend, they have every week. None of us chose this dispersion: Like Topsy, it just grew through individual choices. After 50 years of moving for work, school, and love, the single-community model is not available to us.
Looking around the campfire the last night, I wonder whether we will all ever be together again. Today’s young teenagers may have summer jobs the next time our every-few-years schedule prompts a get-together. Today’s portable infant will be a harder-&-costlier-to-transport toddler. And as our leading edge creeps up on 80, we can’t take our own mobility–or our continuing viability–for granted.
It is what it is. What it will be, no one can say. What it was, was great.