I enjoy Father’s Day very much. It’s always a day when family – sometimes many, sometimes just a few – gather to grill out, play games, and have fun. We remember our fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, and the many men in our lives who have inspired and loved us. It’s a great day.
This year, we are hosting two family reunions in June. One weekend is for “my” side of the family and two weekends later, my husband’s relatives are coming. This is the third annual reunion for my family and gosh, we’ve hosted Matt’s family at least a couple dozen times during our marriage. Since we live in the home that his grandparents purchased in 1933, it’s natural for folks to want to come back to the “homestead.”
Each weekend is a lot of fun and it’s surely wonderful to get together and see so many of us in one spot. I could also say it adds some stress and extra work to host a weekend of reunion activities, but I don’t want to exaggerate too much. Yes, we try extra hard to prepare the place, but we don’t typically do more than we would any spring and summer. It’s just that there’s a deadline of sorts to have the house and grounds ready.
In addition, it’s not unusual for some catastrophe hits around the time of one of our family reunions. One year it was the septic system backing up. Actually, this has happened a number of times, but often after the event. Some folks don’t know or forget about the uniqueness of a country septic system, especially one that has century old plumbing in parts. I’ve yet to find a sophisticated or classy way to communicate to people what they can, and cannot, put into a toilet!
Another year, some family tension that erupted, thank goodness with no ill effects. When you get 30 or more people (and we’ve hit over 90 some years) all together in one place, sometimes disagreements surface. We provide activities and games to avoid any confrontation about who was the favorite child, who got granddad’s watch, or who missed someone’s kid’s graduation. NOT that these are real arguments for us — just typical of things family members squabble about.
This year, the gas line to our pool heater sprung a leak, so the pool is beautiful and usable, if a little chilly. Actually, most of the younger set prefers the cooler water. My arthritis loves it, but if it’s under about 84 degrees, I stiffen up the next day.
No matter the tensions, extra work, or challenges, I confess every year I am more appreciative of the people in my life. These are family members who share a common background and heritage. We share common jokes, told so often, that just the punch line will make the group crack up. For better worse, we understand each other in a way that goes beyond words.
This June I’m celebrating the fathers in our family, as well as every other member!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.