I was the youngest of my parents’ eight children and I am the only one still alive. Over time I had lost touch with my brother Jack’s sons and daughter, who all live here in Florida. When I got into genealogical research a few years ago, I managed to reconnect with them, and the next time we visited Florida we had a family reunion. They are all a close knit group and it was wonderful to get to know everybody. We stay in touch with Facebook and e-mails and every year when we come to Florida, we all get together.
This year my nephew Lou and his wife Calleen hosted the event at their home in St. Petersburg yesterday, and what a great time we had! We left the campground and drove 90 miles south to Lou and Calleen’s house. Traffic was light most of the way, until we got into Tampa, where it always seems to be hectic.
There were at least thirty people, between my nephews, niece, their kids, grandkids, and assorted spouses. I haven’t convinced my family members that they all need to wear nametags like RVers do, so the first half hour was mostly me saying, “I’m sorry, what’s your name? And whose (son, daughter, husband, wife, etc.) are you? I still don’t know if I got them all right. Here I am, asking myself, “What was that girl’s name, again?”
This is my nephew Lou, our host for the reunion. Lou’s a really nice guy and I’d like to have the time to get to know him better.
This handsome fellow is Lou’s brother Steve, another great guy I always have a good time visiting with.
The lady in the purple blouse is my niece Cheryl. She’s the glue that holds the rest of the family together, and she stays busy keeping her brothers in line. Once a big sister, always a big sister. The young lady in the blue top next to her is Steve’s daughter, Taylor. Taylor is a neat kid and an overachiever; she’s in her senior year of high school and will also receive her associate’s degree in a couple of months. Taylor told me she will be completing her four year degree and then wants to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Behind them is another of Steve’s daughters, yours truly, and Steve. The fellow sitting in the rear by the tiki torch is Steve’s brother Harold, and the handsome young man in the black shirt is Lou’s son, also named Lou. Actually they call him Little Lou, but since he stands head and shoulders over me, I just can’t do that.
We had a wonderful time at the reunion, and if we ever do get off the road and settle down here in Florida, I’m sure we’ll all spend a lot of time together.
The food was good, the company was even better, and there were a dozen conversations going on at the same time that we tried to keep track of. And the predicted rain held off so we didn’t get rained out!
We left about 6 PM, and since it was getting dark, Terry drove back to Wildwood. Traffic was as busy as always going through Tampa, though we were lucky we were heading out of town, since the inbound lanes on Interstate 275 were almost at a standstill.
We made good time going home, and after a quick stop at the grocery store, we got back to the motorhome where I spent the rest of the evening going though a huge backlog of e-mail.
Before I close, we’re sending out lots of prayers and positive thoughts for our buddy Dennis Hill, former owner of the RV Driving School. The other day Dennis was in a serious accident while riding his ATV in Arizona and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix. He’s back home now, but pretty banged up. You can read about it in his blog post about the accident.
Thought For The Day – If two people agree on everything, then one of them is unnecessary.