The highlight is the Family Follies, traditionally held on the last night of the reunion. This is ham-bone performance at its finest, and it provides this extroverted, party-hearty family an outlet for their creativity - with an audience, no less. All four generations participate wholeheartedly, some in multiple numbers. My favorite performances are usually the non-lip-synched songs with altered lyrics to pay tribute to or even spoof some family member or "famous event" that colors the family memories. The comedy routines, including AuntS's spot-on stand-up are often hilarious. Sometime during the evening at least one routine will reference growing up in the Fifties with seven people in a two-bedroom house that had one bathroom and a wonky septic system. Those whose childhood that describes laugh uproariously. That they can laugh and joke about it probably explains why they're all still so close.
My camera shutter failed on the very first picture I tried to take, so I can't show you the kayak races, the beach volleyball tournament, the morning 5K's on hilly terrain around the lake, the pinochle and smear games, the huge dinners (including the Mexican Fiesta hosted by the cousins who will no doubt carry on the reunion tradition long after the matriarch and original siblings are gone). But thanks to UncleL, I can show you this:
You see, the minute he wears out a good shirt, he cuts off the sleeves and makes himself a work shirt. He has so many that he didn't even miss these when I took them off his rack the previous week. I guess you had to be there to get the humor in this.
The Family Follies four-day extravaganza was fun, but it was a terrible time to have to leave Le Rustique to the mercy of Mother Nature. We're getting ready to head out there this afternoon, and I'm so afraid that everything that was alive when we left there ten days ago will be burned up from lack of rain. I know my basil and coriander will have bolted, and if the deer left us any tomatoes and beans, they are probably suffering, too. Maybe by next year we'll have some sort of gravity drip irrigation from a rain barrel - if there is such a thing. Wish me luck.