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.