I'm going to a family reunion this weekend.
Big deal;right? Well, it is if it isn't your family, biologically speaking. And it's a big deal in our household because we'll be bringing along Fellow Traveler's sister, a former wild child of the 60's and 70's who has been estranged from the rest of the clan, and whom FT herself hasn't seen in 20 years; her sister and her nephew are flying in this weekend and staying with us.
I don't have a lot of experience with family reunions; my extended families, for various reasons, weren't too keen on rendevouzing. I do remember one reunion, when I was a tween, of my paternal grandmother's side of the family; these folks were all avid hunters,fur trappers and fisherpeople, so the reunion potluck was rather...eclectic. (Barbecued beaver on a bun, anyone? And, no, I didn't make that up.) When I was in college the paternal grandfather's side of the family got together; but at that point my interest in familial bonding was at low ebb, so I stayed away.
In some respects I find it something of a relief to go to a reunion where I'm an "other" biologically, if not relationally, and don't have any family baggage to tote along. And I like the members of Fellow Traveler's family I've met so far, and they seem to like me in return; they keep asking FT, "You're bringing LutheranChik, aren't you?" But in a way this actually makes me feel more protective of FT's sister; I want people to be as kind and welcoming to her as they've been to me.
So...we are bringing Amish pies from our friend Lydia and my famous Chinese cabbage salad, and some tschotshkes for the family secondhand auction. I'm hoping we have a great time, and that FT's sister's family-baggage load lightens up a bit.