For years, my mother's family has had a family reunion, usually on the Saturday before Labor Day. Sometimes we go, sometimes we don't. Since the reunion is held yearly, and since folks only stay around for a couple of hours, we haven't always taken the time to travel several hours on the PA Turnpike to eat a lunch, catch up on bits of family news, and see who is ageing faster than we are.
But this year, we did attend the reunion. In fact, we arranged a double-header. The schedules of my brother and my sister made it possible for them to come to Pennsylvania for this annual reunion. This is not the norm--usually schedules keep them away, in Indiana, or in Manitoba. But this year, the stars aligned, and people returned to central PA.
So in anticipatory recognition of another event, my husband and I held a family dinner at our house the night before the family reunion. The other event is my father's 90th birthday. Next June, he will turn 90. Since it is not certain that everyone would be able to gather then, we celebrated that birthday now. The photo at the top is one taken at that gathering.
Of course, photos allow us to mark the moment that something singular occurred. This photo above was brought to my mother's family reunion, and I bought it in an auction we had. Pictured are my mother (far right) and her entire birth family--her five brothers, and her two sisters. And of course her father and mother. The photo is over 50 years old, and all the people pictured are no longer living. The photo keeps our memories clear. Families--they are our bedrock foundation, if we are lucky.