Every Spring, my cousins' from my Dad's side of the family, get together on our "ancestral" land in rural Alabama! My grandparents were farmers decades ago and the land has stayed in the family. The property has been in the family ever since it was deeded from the government back in the 1800's. In the 1960's, my dad and his siblings built a dam and a pond was formed from two natural springs on the property.
The reunion is on a Saturday, but a few of us arrive earlier in the week. My cousin, Kenny, and I are "gun nuts" and we enjoy target shooting before the crowd arrives on Saturday.
We walk the land, some of us like to fish, we enjoy catching up with everyone, and yes, the stories get bigger every year! We pull out the grills and cook hamburgers and hot dogs and enjoy the dishes to pass.
It's a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, but just as importantly, it is a time to get away from the rat race of everyday life, miles from civilization.
I suppose we are no different from any other family in that we have our share of colorful characters. There is Aunt Ilene. She is 94 this year. When we had our first reunion in 2009, she said, "I'm just glad to get here one more time to the property."
I replied, "Well, I'm coming back next year so you may as well come back too."
"Oh, I'm sure I won't be able to make the trip next year." She did and has ever since!
Two years ago, she said that would be her last time there. "I will either be dead or out partying." I wonder what her line will be this year!
I just have to get through another New York winter and then it will be time to pack up for the trip South!
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