For the last week I’ve been out in Utah for a family reunion. The Flanders Family is small – my mom and her sister, my five cousins and our families. We gathered in Park City (where none of us live but which is a lovely place with lots to do) and just enjoyed each other’s company, meeting the ones we didn’t already know and refreshing our friendship with those we last saw almost 20 years ago at the last big family gathering.
We rode the Town Lift up the mountain and explored, wandered and shopped Main Street, ate ice cream, sat by the pool, played cats cradle, stayed up late and visited the nightlife. Some of us (not me) rode the zip-line down the mountain at Olympic Park which was exhilarating, wild and FAST. And we ate a lot.
We also took billions of pictures. It’s always a pain to do that, the posing and smiling and stuff, but when it’s over and we look at the finished pictures, it’s wonderful to have the images frozen in pixels to record the memory.
My mom had scanned in dozens of old pictures from our past, divided into generations dating back to the late 1800’s, and made copies for all of us on CD. Looking back at that and recognizing how much we valued having those frozen images of people who went before us (some of them wearing very interesting clothes and not smiling much), made our contemporary photo ops much more comfortable and gave them perspective.
Through the miracle of email, IM, and cell phones with long distance plans, it will be easy for us to stay in touch. I don’t want to have another 20 years go by before we see each other again. My family is small and I cherish all of them.