At the beginning of July, Troy and I were able to attend a bit of a family reunion for the members of his mom's side of the family. Troy's aunt, Judy, and her husband own a bit of property in southern Indiana and have made it quite the place to visit. Judy has three daughters and a small army of grandchildren who are spread half-way across the country. A few years ago Dan and Judy decided to build a house which would allow them all to come home to visit at the same time.
It was a grand plan and the execution was flawless (thanks to Dan's meticulousness!). The house itself is quite large and the entire upper level is set up as one (VERY LARGE) bedroom where I think there are least 3 queen beds. However, it's so large that they look tiny in the space. The beds, combined with loads of sleeping bags are the sleeping quarters for all of the adults and children when they come to visit. It's a GREAT layout!
Outdoors, there is also plenty of room to spread out. They have an area set up with lines of picnic tables for dining al fresco, teeter-totters and swings for the kids, two horseshoe pits and a cozy little outhouse complete with two toilet spaces (with toilet seats!). I'm not sure why two people would ever go in at the same time to relieve themselves, but I'm not one to rock the boat on these issues. ;-) There is even a little stream that runs through the area and a brand new bridge over it installed by Dan in the last year or so. It's all very homey.
At the family reunion, all of these spaces were filled to the brim with people. The smaller kids enjoyed the teeter-totter or searched for creepy crawly things in the moist ground near the water. The older kids enjoyed a game of basketball or horseshoes. Most of the adults brought their own lawn chairs and gathered in a big circle to discuss the events of their lives. The soccer games and school projects, job promotions and plans for the future were all brought out and chewed on for a while.
This conversational appetizer was just the beginning as Dan was busy standing over the line of grills preparing the hamburgers and hot dogs. Three entire picnic tables were also filled with hoards of other goodies from pasta salads and potato chips to the prized dessert, a microwave cake! (Thanks to a Pampered Chef pan, you, too, can enjoy a microwave cake! YUM!!!)
While I'm not actually a member of the family, it was so nice to be invited. (Troy's invitation said, "Bring Heather along!") It was also quite touching to feel so included. Troy's aunt Judy even made a special effort to tell me how much they enjoyed me being around. Well, the feeling is definitely mutual. As the number of members of my family continue to dwindle and we spend less and less time gathering together to enjoy one another, I hope that Troy and his family realize how fortunate they are. May we all be so blessed.