Friday, July 5, 2013
Life Happens While You Are Making Plans
Plans we make can turn out well or fall apart at the seams. I decided that a family reunion would be just the ticket to introduce our new-found cousin Abby whom my brother and I reconnected with last year to my other two sisters. We aren't a huge family, there are five siblings but trying to juggle a date that everyone can attend proved difficult as usual.
My husband and I could hold a reunion almost any weekend all summer but it wasn't that easy for the rest of the family. My youngest sister Jane showing off her nice leg in the above photo is a teacher and once school is over heads to her vacation home in Prince Edward Island. So that meant having a reunion in June. That shouldn't be too difficult except my brother Gord and his wife Pat said the only weekend they had free in June, was the 22nd. Add to that my cousin's son was getting married June 30th it was iffy if she would want to come the weekend before his wedding. My other brother Kim emailed me that he was flying to Ireland for a month (lucky duck) and wasn't returning until.....you guessed it....June 22nd. So he certainly would not be able to attend.
Kim usually makes every other reunion, so hopefully if we hold a big reunion and birthday bash next year for some really special birthdays he will be able to attend. I hurriedly emailed everyone involved and cousin Abby said let's go for it! Knowing Gord could attend on the 22nd of June with his wife, I waited on Jane to say yes..all was well with her but a week later she said her partner could not attend as he had to head out to P.E.I. early for a job. Well that was disappointing but we'll forge ahead.
The next spoke in the wheel was several days later when my brother's wife had an upset with her elderly mother who ended up in the hospital. Now I really was in a tizzy, did I email everyone and cancel the get-together until the fall or keep on with it and a smaller group. I knew in the fall the weather would still be nice but cooler but also Jane who teaches would be extra busy getting herself and her class-room ready. Plus what guarantee did I have that everyone could juggle their schedules to come all at the same time.
Hubby and I decided to go ahead as we had laid in extra food, the freezer was full and I had spent many days (weeks) doing a huge spring cleaning even rearranged furniture etc., to make my guests as comfortable as possible. Abby would have the spare room, Jane would use the couch downstairs and my other sister Dale would put up my brother. Now if the weather co-operates all would be well..
I was so hoping we could eat outside in the gazebo and my husband brought home an extra awning from work in case of rain. Hubby spent a lot of time sanding wooden lawn chairs, repainting them, repainting my metal patio set bright red, along with painting my window boxes matching red. I planted them with bright, cheerful flowers and they didn't disappoint. My large flowering hanging baskets out front full of pansies smiled away, even the peonies were at their best.
I find when having company now that I'm older, I need to be very prepared ahead of time. All the food that will fit into the refrig. I like to have ready before people step through the door..how nice to be able to visit along with everyone else instead of being tied to the kitchen. Being a bit of a fearful cook, not good at "flying by the seat of my pants' where preparing meals are concerned, I had it all in order when the first guests started arriving Friday. Reunions usually start Friday and people leave Sunday. The weather did co-operate, hubby and brother Gord did go in the pool, we ladies like it a bit warmer so we did a little shopping instead.
All in all the weekend was a great success even though we were small in numbers. We missed our sister-in-law very much, also our brother Kim and Jane's partner. Next year there are several "big" birthdays, one being mine..I want a huge celebration and my hubby warned me already he doesn't want me lifting a finger. Perhaps it will mean traveling down to where my two brothers and sister live but I have a feeling it will end up being here again so perhaps we can eat out for a few meals. This just seems like the best place for celebrations, a big yard, large deck, gazebo and small blue pool that we put up each May.
We can make all the plans we can think of, cross the t's, dot the i's and hope for the best. But life happens while we are making plans, it just keeps moving on. People plan trips, people get sick, or our children or grandchildren might need us suddenly. So we must tread lightly, whisper softly as we make our plans, keeping our fingers crossed that one day out of 365 might work for five siblings and their families to all come together and celebrate US...
In the above picture cousin Abby is in a dress, then we three sisters, Jane, myself and Dale. We laughed, we ate, we shopped, we looked at photo albums, we talked of the past and best of all we reconnected with one another, looking forward eagerly to our next shared family get-together. Perhaps we will be a small group again but I'm secretly hoping for a huge, big bang-up affair because soon two of us are moving out of province. Now that will really take some planning!!