The Tie That Binds…

by Curt Kovener

Now that summer has officially arrived—as indicated by the calendar not the early June 90° temperatures—family reunions will traditionally gather, eat, chat, eat, kids will play, eat, remember patriarchs and matriarchs who have departed and maybe laugh and cry, and eat.
For three weekends in a row it looks like I get to have family reunion overload.
This past Sunday we gathered for my mother’s side of the family. Around 90 of the clan gathered under a tent to enjoy some of the best food around. (You are free to think your family reunions food is best, but I know better.)
There was laughter and quizzical looks as family members without name tags were tried to be identified. Some were youngsters who had grown up suddenly some were “Shirt Tail Cousins” as a good friend of mine calls them. There were recollections and remembrances of our times of our youth spent with grandparents. We talked about some of the mischief we got away with and the times we got caught.
The older folks sat around and talked and laughed. The young kids ran and explored the woods and the barn and laughed…pretty much what we 50-somethings did when we were pre-teens.
This weekend, my Dad’s side of the family will meet up at the wilderness retreat—assuming additional storms don’t blow or wash it all away.
And it’ll be more time to sit and laugh and remember those who used to fill the now empty places at the family reunion table. The young kids (and not so young kids) will explore the wooded trails and take Gator rides around the property. And eat.
And the following weekend, I have been invited to a branch of my mother’s clan of which I was not aware. But I guess I impressed them enough to be asked to attend their reunion on July 11. But I think what really got me an invitation was our mutual interest in making homemade wine.
So as I wrap up the wilderness retreat reunion I will bottle some of last year’s apple and blackberry wines to take for all to sample.
Seeing familiar faces, meeting new ones and learning of how our families’ lives over the years have intermingled…sometimes unknowingly…makes for some heart binding times.