These three quotes were rattling around in my head during our family reunion last week. (I'd been searching for good quotes for a craft project I submitted for our auction.) Together, they sum up an extended family: a bunch of people you might not otherwise have befriended and yet whose existence informs your perceptions of yourself, your ancestors, your progeny. I studied quietly those cousins of my mom who were all raised together and were obvious influences on each other, wondering how a whole generation can love reading and pass books back and forth to each other by the sackful. My grandfather's siblings still have identical hand gestures and expressions after decades of living in different states.
Grandma (in white) and her three living sistersGrandpa and Zora
And now for some pics, although oddly enough, I didn't take many. Or, I didn't take many that were of people other than Zoralee. Fine. I am smitten.
the auction mid-week, featuring homemade and regional itemsgames
And now, some of my favorite Zoralee-centered moments:
Playing music is just about as important to this family as eating. We ain't professionals, but we do love to play together. If somebody is sitting still for more than a few minutes, they are sure to pick up an instrument and commence, and passersbys will likely join in. It's great having the cousins come over, because we introduce each other to new songs and bands. And then we get to hear Grandpa Gene's old timey classics like "Deep Ellum Blues" and "Mama Don't Allow No Guitar Playin' Around Here." The best is when the non-musician audience isn't particularly paying attention and you can jam and experiment with no pressure to perform.
Zoralee and Aunt Melody dancing to the music
A group that was still around after the reunion played softball on July 4th. We had a real hoot, bad-mouthing each other and combining and twisting softball and baseball rules from around the country. It stank that two of our youngest players got injured within 10 minutes, but they recovered well. Softball was a big part of my growing up years, and it's weird how common of a sport it is in my extended family too, kids and adults alike.
If you must see more, my sister, Rachel, posted a bunch of totally different pics from our reunion on her blog at this link.