Last weekend we drove to Lafayette Hill, near Conshohocken, for an old-fashioned family reunion. I come from a small family, so this large annual gathering of clan is a new experience for me. I've stopped trying to sort out how everyone is related -- even some family members aren't sure -- so I just slip into default mode and chat cordially with whoever is sitting next to me.
The schedule never varies. First there was time for socializing, reminiscing, swimming and looking through old family photos and newspaper clippings. Then the host decided it was time for lunch, gathered everyone's attention (a challenge) and offered a brief prayer of welcome and thanks. Our hosts supplied platters of various sandwiches from their favorite deli, and everyone brought side dishes. I heard a few of the older guests reminiscing about the pots of home-made apple butter that used to be set out at every table as a garnish.
After lunch we had a "business meeting," punctuated by the clanging of horseshoes, where everyone shared his or her significant news or lack thereof. The 94-year-old matriarch reported drily, "Same old, same old." We heard about graduations, vacations, and new jobs. To much laughter, one man said that RD4 was still for sale (I had to ask what that meant; it's a piece of family property that got its nickname from the old Rural Delivery days).
After the election of officers (to no one's surprise, not contested), a discussion of the plans for the next summer's reunion (pretty much a formality), and a vote of thanks for the hosts, dessert was served. I can only say that this family likes its lemon squares, and I far exceeded my suggested daily sugar grams.
The host then offered a closing prayer that everyone would get home safely.