Monday, August 11, 2008

A Family Reunion

This past January our beloved aunt Betty died in Utica, New York. After the funeral we gathered at Cavallo's in New Hartford for pizza and beer and as it started to snow outside we hatched a plan for a summer family reunion at Oneida Lake. Last weekend, we went! A good thing to come out of a funeral; a last gift from Betty.

Sherry Boehlert really organized it for the last six months, and many thanks to her. When we were young my father's family often got together in the summer. We gathered with the family of my father's brother Bob who live outside of Rochester and sister Eleanor who has a camp at Oneida Lake. I have many fond memories of summer barbecues, catching fire flies, night time swims with my cousins. We had a lot of fun together but as we got older we never really saw each other. My cousins now have children who I don't know so it was great to get gather and spend time with them at the reunion on Saturday. My second cousin Louisa and her husband John came with their twin sons, born just four weeks earlier. On Sunday we celebrated my father's birthday with a brunch.

Favorite moment: a swim in the lake on inner tubes. My cousin Peter who I was very close to growing up brought a bunch of inner tubes and inflated them on the beach. A group of cousins waded into the lake and we floated on our backs in the inner tubes, our feet interlaced so we moved as one big group. Then Peter came out with a floatable cooler filled with beers -- brilliant! My aunt Molly, Peter's mother, swam nearby, her white Irish head above the dark lake water; she didn't want a tube. Molly often took us when we were little for night time swims to friends' pools. It was so refreshing and cooling to swim at night. Then we went home and climbed into cotton sheets and watched Get Smart on tv. All kinds of memories come back as you float in the water on your back, no? It was like we were kids again.

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