The last weekend of summer is over. Actually, it's the last "unofficial" weekend of summer since officially it continues until later this month. But everyone who is in school or who has been in school knows that summer is over now. So does the weather, though the good stuff may linger a bit longer. The sun it starting to sleep later and later in the mornings and the trees are thinking of disrobing. As nice as fall weather can be, it's no summer in my book. Bittersweet is the best I can give it.
Not wanting the summer to slip away without one last family gathering, seventeen of us gathered on Sunday for a gourmet meal of encased meats, corn on the cob and other summer delights. There is always a certain bedlam that arrives with such a gathering. It is my kind of chaos.
It starts with our dogs who announce the arrival of each person - for several minutes per entry, until the assembled turn to them in unison and say "shut up," which is absolutely ineffective but makes us feel better. When enough have gathered the dogs will stop. Maybe they have gone hoarse, or maybe they are just drown out by the rest of the cacophony. They spend the rest of the night hoping the wee ones among us will drop something edible. They are never disappointed.
Snippets of conversations fill the house, along with running and laughter, and the inevitable tears that follow running and laughter. Eventually we settle at the table (or two) to eat. At this specific meal, Tyler discovered he likes corn on the cob (would Granma steer a kid wrong on that!), and Bryce confirmed how much he dislikes it (silly child). Round one of the dishes cleared, dishwasher filled and started, a board game breaks out. This occupies several adults and one child (the corn distaining one), which is perhaps not a good use of authority figures. Then again, to watch the game being played, you occasionally have to wonder about the authority being represented. Rules are challenged, and much (conflicting) advice is given to the youngest player. There is also much laughter, and rarely does an actual winner get crowned. A shorter game might be in order, but Bryce favors Monopoly and the such, so the game usually ends with a consensus of who would have won.
Eventually, we disburse, but not until the house is searched several times for a missing blanket or sippy cup or keys or something. We then move the party outside for hugs and kisses while the more diminutive crawl into the back seats of mini vans. Multiple waves and many blown kisses later, quiet returns to Forest Ridge Road.
I know the pictures above look pretty tame. Truth is that neither of them were taken this past weekend. It never even occurred to me to take a picture. Nor would I have know where to find my phone. Sometime you will just have to join us - or not - depending on your relative preference for noise and sloppy kisses. I love my family. Any reason to gather is good enough for me. The last celebration of summer was a perfect opportunity. Now, let's start celebrating the autumn...