Friday, July 27, 2012

Family Reunions

We just returned from our Gardner family reunion in Idaho. We always parlay that into a fun time on the road there. We stopped in St. George, met our former mission president and his wife and saw Aladdin at Tuacahn. What a production! Even a flying carpet out over the audience and projection onto a giant spray of water and 3-D glasses, not to mention the great music and story. Fun! I was surprised they'd never been there when they only live two hours away. The next day they followed us to Mountain Meadow Massacre site - again - they live in Utah so they'd never seen it. :) Then on to Cedar City to wander through Betty's Antiques on the south end of town. Great stuff! Bought my son some old books for Christmas - one was published in 1893. We took in Les Miz at the Shakespeare Festival - love that show and the whole festival. We try to go every year and take in a couple of shows, but since we had to be in Idaho Friday morning, we only had time for the matinee this trip. (I'm still singing the songs from that play a week later!) We got on the road immediately after the performance and drove as far as Lehi. Our granddaughter is staying near that exit and met us the next morning for breakfast. Her family ws just transferred from Las Vegas to South Dakota (Ellsworth AFB at Rapid City) so she was feeling a little lonely. Our destination was Lava Hot Spring outside of Pocatello, Idaho and we made it from California before any of the Idaho family arrived except Glenn's oldest sister who was hosting the reunion this year. Two of our kids were able to come and we floated down the river in tubes with the little ones. The three-year-old liked it while we were floating - didn't like it much when we were dumped at the waterfalls, but Violet - seven this week - loved every minute! She wanted to go back again and again. "That was the mostest fun I've every had in my life!" Violet and I were in a double tube and got dumped at the first waterfall. I'm underwater, under the tube trying to get to the surface and worrying that she is underwater and not able to get up. But I don't think she even got her hair wet - that time. The next time we all went under again and I lost my tube. Just not agile enough to jump and grasp it before it floated out of reach in the fast water. (I hated for my son to see how uncoordinated I am. I'd like to perpetuate the myth that I'm still able to do all the things I could do at 40, but I think the truth is coming out.) After a fun day in the sun and water, we stayed with my sister in Pocatello for the night so it actually was a double reunion - both sides of the family. Saturday we met at the Gardner family homestead on the Snake River in Blackfoot for brunch and business. It was great to see all grand-nieces and nephews that I try to keep up with on facebook. (side note here: I'm actually glad Covenant asked us to join facebook - otherwise I'd never know what half the family is doing!) It's really wonderful to see the growth of the family, to watch the generations as they mature and expand their families. It is so important to stay connected, even if we had to drive a thousand miles and back to do it. More activities that afternoon, then we stayed with my sister in Idaho Falls. Not enough time! We left Sunday morning for California and the long trip back. Thank heaven for audio books. The next Gardner reunion will be our responsibility so I was happy to see Jennie's report on May Ranch. Definitely going to look into that for our group. I feel sad that some don't want to stay connected. Family is truly the most important thing in the world. We need to stay in touch. After all, who else should we love as much as family?

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