July 17, 2011

Thankful for family

As you read this, Kaye and I will have spent our first night in the camper at Cole's Creek on the St. Lawrence. There are bound to be interesting, if not hilarious, experiences during our two-week stay, and you will no doubt share them with us vicariously in this newspaper space. It's always fun to vacation with family and friends. If I hear a loon this morning, you know I'll be in heaven.

Speaking of family and friends, we had a gathering here at our house along the Saranac River a week or so ago that was little short of legendary. Our daughter Barbie from Long Island and her family arrived, and shortly thereafter, our son Kirk and his family rolled in from Ohio. Friday night, we invited the rest of our clan from this area to gather by the river for a giant cookout. I think we counted 26 all told. There were little ones crawling, toddlers toddling, teenagers talking, senior citizens comparing family memories and the happy sounds of laughter far into the evening.

We were into the old photo albums, and Kaye dragged out kindergarten report cards from more than 50 years ago. What great fun. We have a diverse family group with many interests and passions, but we all get along famously. Because we have every shade of political and religious persuasion, those topics are generally avoided for reasons you can easily understand.

I fired up the grill and, with everyone bringing their own culinary specialties, there were goodies galore from taco salads to tantalizing torts. I mostly sat back and watched with gratitude at having such a loving group around me in our humble home. Kaye was busy flitting from room to room making sure folks were stuffing their faces and stopped only briefly from time to time to join in the happy palaver. It was fascinating for me to watch several generations interact in a gleeful way. I'm not sure Kaye and I are ready to be designated matriarch and patriarch, but we had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around us in a marvelous mesh that made us proud and happy.

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