Monday, September 21, 2015

Family Matters

Jimmy, Tommy, Mitchell, Roberta, Linda, Mom, Terri
On a cold February night, just as we were going to bed, I casually mentioned to Harold that this was my year to host our family get-together. We used to gather on Thanksgiving at my mom and dad’s house.

After Dad died, and Mom sold the house to my brother Mitchell, we converged on them for several years until we made a change with tradition. We decided to pass the hosting around by going from oldest to youngest and decided to meet in September when the weather was better.

“When were you going to tell me this?” he asked.

“Oh, about August,” I replied. Harold is the planner. I, on the other hand, am a seat-of-the-pants type person.

Well, he wasn’t having any of that. After a barrage of questions about logistics, I finally suggested we have the event at the park so we wouldn’t have to find tables, chairs, etc. that he was worrying about seven months ahead of time.

By March, we had rented the shelter at the park and worked on a list of things to do. In addition to the place, the host family provides the meat, drinks, and table service.

The reunion was Sunday, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. We were up at 6:00 a.m., and Harold was in drill-sergeant mode. Before I could get a cup of coffee, he was slicing up the pork loin we’d cooked the day before, and one of the huge hams he had bought for the occasion.

By the time we got the first ham in the roaster oven it was full. Harold was still fretting that we weren’t going to have enough meat. “That’s plenty,” I said. After all, Stacey was bringing two turkey breasts.

“This isn’t like the Fisher reunion,” I said. The Fisher reunion is for anyone with the last name, but this reunion is for our immediate family, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. “We usually have about thirty people, not a hundred.”

He finally settled on cooking an additional three-pound ham, just in case. Then we fixed gallons and gallons of tea. Thank goodness, Rob came by with his pickup to help us load everything into his truck and our Tahoe.

On the way to town, I began to feel the excitement. Until then, I’d been too busy. I love spending time with my family, and don’t see them as often as I should.

Both my sons were there and my two youngest grandchildren. My two oldest grandkids work on weekends, but Whitney would be coming by on her lunch hour.

Rob set up a PC to play a CD made from a video of a Capps family Thanksgiving from the early 1990’s. Mom was taking a turkey out of the oven, and my husband Jim was running the video camera.

After everyone found the right shelter, we decided to go ahead and start eating. My brother Mitchell had not arrived, but was on his way.  Tommy asked a short blessing. “Wow, that must be the shortest blessing you’ve ever done,” I said.

“He’s still going on the videotape,” someone said. Sure enough, the CD was still rolling and Tommy was still asking the blessing. In all fairness, we used to update everyone on our family, and he had the largest family.

We visited and took photos of the brothers, sisters, and our mom. Marshall wasn’t able to come this year and our brother Donnie passed away Thanksgiving eve in 2012.

The time just flew by, and before it seemed possible, people were leaving. It had been a beautiful day to spend with people I love. Of all things in life, family matters the most.

Copyright © September 2015 by L.S. Fisher

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