A family reunion — particularly your spouse’s — can be an intimidating event.

Faces are unfamiliar. Names are hard to keep straight and smiles are sometimes forced.

Groups tend to keep to their branch of the family tree simply because that is most comfortable.

Saturday, though, seemed different at Greenleaf State Park.

The people were as pleasant as the breeze off the water. Young’uns frolicked on the playground, getting dirtier than they should. Updates were shared and pictures taken.

And the Oreo cake, my wife’s, was to die for.

The most poignant part of the day came at the start.

As everyone held hands for the blessing, Uncle Carroll, closing in on his 82nd birthday, spoke of mortality.

“I’m not going to be around much longer,” said Carroll, the sixth child of George Hanna and Grace Rankin.

Eyes as blue as his denim overalls, he then told the crowd that he had never missed a family reunion, urging the group to ‘keep it going.”

Carroll said he loved us all.

It was a good day to be alive.





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