The Travel Weary Writer


“Noooooo,” the travel weary writer moaned as she covered her face with her pillow the first day home from the Yearly Family Frolic.


“Stooooop, don’t pull so hard, that hurts; don’t make me get up, pleeeease.” So the weary writer’s husband started pushing from behind…nothing, she didn’t budge. Not to be accused of cruelty, he left her there, in a fetal position, and went to turn on the coffee pot. Shortly after she emerged from the room looking like a very weary writer and complaining because he was drinking coffee and hadn’t fixed her first cup.

The short Labor Day weekend trip had been all the things a family reunion should be: family, food, kids that had grown at least another foot since the year before. And trust me when I say they looked really odd with that third foot, but their hugs were a little sweeter. Some family came from as far away as Texas…that’s further than Oregon, right? It must be because cousin Bet looked so fresh and energetic. Maybe it’s the cooler and fresher air up there in the north. We’re always happy to hear she’s making the long train ride again, for another year. Even our oldest attendee managed to make it from New Mexico with his jokes and smiles. I think he was moving just a little faster than said Writer.

We Southeast Texas folks were there, too, full of spirit and excitement to see everyone, but seemed to be in all sorts of disarray. Some had body parts that didn’t work well and still don’t. Others had gimpy parts that didn’t work at all. I promise, Bro, I tried, with all my hand motions, to keep folks from slapping that shoulder.

Did I mention the food? A buffet table full of brisket, grilled chicken, all the usual side dishes, and… lots of desserts! Pies, cakes, cobblers, even homemade ice cream. But I didn’t mention those who faithfully see that we have a beautiful place to meet and enjoy this food, did I? It was wonderfully cooked and served, nothing lacking. To those who live in Central Texas, I say a huge Thank You!! And to the cousins there who make us feel special and welcome, Thank You, too! We have the best family!

I’m not sure how many readers have reunions, but ours would earn an award for the best. We had family history tables set up with information about our ancestors, on just about any subject you could have an interest in. And to hear the tales….

One of our traditions is a family auction. Anyone with even a shred of craftiness (and this family has plenty of that) can bring their items to share in the auction. Many prepare for a whole year to get ready. There’s always an abundant display of talent. Handmade quilts, homemade jellies and jams, crocheted items that can be passed down to later generations, and a special table for “Uncle Vernon’s Boxes.” That table is always popular. Your favorite writer has an “in” with this guy and has many of those “boxes.” Another area we try to keep fresh each year is family photos, preserving them in different ways each year.

I know this short and incomplete telling of our yearly Family Frolic can’t tell you how much we love and appreciate each moment we spend together over the weekend. Words never convey the essence of feeling and pleasure we take away with us along with the memories. We can only wait until next year when we extend them and make new ones.

I know we aren’t unique, as families go. Well, we really are. But I would love to hear how you all preserve and make memories together as a family. As always, please leave your memories here for all of us to enjoy and then share this with your friends. I love readers, they become friends… Sometimes even family.

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