It’s that time of year again. Everyone packs up their mini vans, SUV’s and any other family friendly vehicle and heads out to their annual family reunion. This will be the second year that we’ve missed the Shaw family (my mom’s mother’s side of the family) reunion since we are far away on an internship. But since I wasn’t a blogger last time we went, I thought I’d share some stories, pictures, and traditions from when we went in 2007.
First, the sign. Usually it is a small paper plate but that year someone decided to go all out. It reads "since 1954" which of course was the cause of much debate over the weekend. When the reunion really started, ah who knows.
The site of the reunion is located out in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. And when I say nowhere, it’s true. You have to travel some 10 miles on a dirt road to get to the primitive "campground." These days, most people show up in their travel trailers. This year the "forest service" decided to lock up and condemn the trusty old outhouse.
So we thought it would be best to stay in the actual "campground" located about a block or two’s length up the road. We stayed with my mom’s cousin Virginia and their branch of the family.
Here are a few traditions of the reunion.
My grandma and her aloe vera. She never leaves home without it. It’s her cure-all. Devin got a little sun burn and I knew who to go to. We couldn’t resist taking a picture.
Then there is the annual "fix the van" event. I swear, every year my great uncle has some sort of issues with his camper van. Which, oddly enough, they only use once a year at the family reunion. Huh. At least all the old men are entertained for a while.
In recent years, ATV’s have been the big thing. Back in the day it used to be horses. Certainly not anything I remember. Every year my grandpa tells us about a short cut to take up to a lookout, which we never find. Devin and I went on an excursion for a few hours. This is me with my "back of the ATV rider" gear drinking one of grandpa’s Mountain Dews and Devin sporting one of Grandpa’s hats. Sexy.
Another one of the traditions is hike up to (then down) to the falls. This is where the first emergency room need was established. Apparently, Samantha (Virginia’s daughter…so some sort of more distant cousin) decided she wanted to slice her leg open. The second one occurred to some little boy with some totally unrelated injury. So this was the year of the two hospital trips. Luckily neither one was too serious and they survived the long ride to their treatment.
Here is a picture of Sam with her two injuries. Yes, two. She had just gotten stitches a few days before the reunion on her finger. Something about a fight with a reclining chair.
So why am I missing the reunion so much this year? Well, for one, it’s a blast! Even though I don’t know or recognize half of the people there….it’s super dusty….outhouses….free roaming cattle….bears….etc., I totally wanted to go when I am pregnant. Here is why.
Last time we were there, Devin was talking to Virginia (remember, my mom’s cousin) about what we are doing with our lives. He talked about school and then said, "and Brittany’s going to be a mom." I hate it when he says that because then people think I’m pregnant. But what he really means is that I’m studying Family Life. Of course, Virginia assumed I was pregnant (of which I clarified things quickly) but then it became a running joke–"eating for two" etc. Then some older woman heard us joking about it but didn’t quite catch the joking part and said something to my grandma about the "young married couple who is pregnant." Grandma, probably offended that she wasn’t the first to find out, pulled me aside and asked if I was. Oh the confusion. This of course made joking about it even funnier which then caused my grandma to confirm that the rumor wasn’t true two or three times over. Then Virginia’s sister-in-law, Eva (funniest lady) caught on to the rumor like the last day and kept calling me "pregnant lady." I’m still not sure if she knew it was really a joke or not.
So here is a picture of Eva, Virginia, and me washing dishes the night that Eva started calling me "pregnant lady." And yes, that is a water pump. But it’s a fancy one with a drinking fountain.
And lastly, Virginia and her husband Alan decided to take advantage of the dust layer on our car. They wrote all over it things like, "I’m pregnant!" and "Devin knocked me up!"
PS–And for all of those who still don’t believe us, Devin and I did see bear when we were cruising on the ATV. No joke. It wasn’t a cow. They don’t move that fast.