Murch Mania 2017

Last week family members traveled from the ends of the earth to converge, once again, at the big red house in upstate New York. Not everyone could make it this year (we were down one sibling, two sibs-in-law, and five cousins), but still, when there are 46 potential attendees, a 38-person attendance rate (plus the beloved childhood babysitter) isn’t anything to sneeze at.

We were there only two full days and three nights, but the time was packed full of all sorts of activities: a birthday celebration for one of the brothers at a lakeside restaurant, window shopping in downtown Corning, the first ever 5K (ish) at which both my husband and my older daughter got stung on their right ankles. There were fire circles and swimming, s’mores and pizza, beer and wine. People played cards and braided hair and ate candy and jumped on the trampoline.

The cousins slept in the big room above the garage. They dubbed themselves “Teen Club,” which we all got a big kick out of because these kids are so not like regular teens. And then they decided to get Teen Club t-shirts made.

The tag line reads, “We’re, like, sooo responsible.”

The first evening we were there, the sibs decided on whim (because Murches do everything on a whim) to go on a sunset cruise on Seneca Lake.

I was kind of hoping a big storm would blow up, just for entertainment’s sake, but no such luck. Instead, it was completely placid, which was probably just as well. We had plenty of time to visit and take photos and eat the the complimentary grapes and sundried tomato cheese curds and bread.

The next day was the big event: the 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner. We met at a lakeside hotel to feast on steak and cheesecake and celebrate the two people who gave so many of us our DNA.

At our table, the bread basket cloth caught on fire (I put it out). The long waits between courses about put the hungry kids over the edge (my younger son was beyond excited for his shrimp scampi), but they survived.

In between dinner and dessert, the kids ran outside for a quick photo shoot under a rapidly darkening sky. The fat raindrops forced us back inside just minutes later, but not before we got a bunch of photos!

Then there was a little talent show, of sorts—ukulele, piano, singing—and a recorded story by the children’s (our children’s) great grandfather.

Sunday morning, most everyone headed out. The Hong Kong contingency left first so they got the biggest send-off. We left next.

And the Tennessee cousins were last. My sister-in-law later said that, so they could have a proper send off, she and her husband drove off by themselves so their kids could run alongside their car and wave goodbye. Then they stopped the car at the edge of the property, picked them up, and drove off.

This same time, years previous: knife in the eye, glazed lemon zucchini cake, cheesy herb pizza, kiss the moon, kiss the sun, babies, boob, boo-boos, and bye-byes, the end, a birthday present for my brother, gingerbread.


  • Pauline in Upstate NY

    I am seriously late to this party (that’s because, about a year ago, I decided to go back and read your blog from the beginning, and I just got to this point). I saw the pictures and thought, “What the heck? They’re on the True Love in Watkins Glen!” My husband and I took a cruise on it later that month to celebrate our 45th anniversary. During the cruise, the Captain, who knew it was our anniverary, played the song “True Love” for us, and my husband sang to me. He’s a keeper… (And let me just say, if I saw you & your sweet husband walking down the sidewalk in Watkins, I would *so* recognize you!) I’m glad you had such a fun family reunion!

  • Susan

    This made me so happy, both because of the reunion, but also to see that area! I grew up in Corning and LOVED seeing glimpses of familiar spots (Pudgie's Pizza!!). My parents left Corning 10 years ago, so there's little reason to go back, but I'm still so drawn to the place where I was born and raised.
    p.s. the BEST pizza and calzone in Corning is Anniello's on Market Street.

  • Kathy Gardner

    I can't tell you how much I enjoy your posts. I am not sitting here feeling sorry for myself but I am going through chemo the past 26 months for stage IV pancreatic cancer and your posts uplift me more than I can tell you. I feel like I am a small part of your life because I get to see a small part of your life. You and your family are in my prayers. Your children have grown so much just in the time I have been getting your posts. I love the recipes although I don't get to cook much anymore. I just really appreciate you sharing your life in words and pictures.

    • Susan

      Dear Kathy, I agree about being uplifted by these glimpses into a full and authentic life. I'm really sorry about your cancer. You sound like an awesome person.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Kathy, I'm so sorry about your cancer—it sounds terribly hard. And I'm glad my little corner of the world gives you a little smile. All my love… xoxo!

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