Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Family reunions ...

Marlene Terry

Summer being traditionally the time for family reunions, got me thinking about our last one. … Just so happens it was also our first family reunion, taking place just a few years ago.

Thanks to a determined daughter who absolutely wouldn’t listen to the creative excuses of her siblings … and I’m ashamed to say her parents as well … about  how  busy we were and WHY we just couldn’t be there, she just pooh-poohed it all away, made beautiful invitations naming the date, time and the place, and arranged every detail. Then she just smiled when all but one immediate family member (who really did have a valid excuse) showed up ready to party!
And party we did. All together up and down the gorgeous autumn colored hills of a favorite destination, Pine Creek in eastern Idaho.
It was the place that sealed the deal. Because when everyone saw the location of the reunion, we just HAD to be there.

When the kids were still living at home, Pine Creek was where we’d head to each year immediately following our Thanksgiving feast.
There, suited up for snow, and with cameras, sleds and snowshoes in hand, we’d brave the early winter cold in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Even back then, we knew it wasn’t really finding a Christmas tree that was most important. It was the fun we were going to have on those hills and most of all THE SLIDE.

There are many slippery-slide memories in my life. Those I enjoyed during my elementary years and others with friends when I was older. But none of them rival the happenings in the winter on the slide at Pine Creek. 
That's why when we arrived, the sight of it had me smiling even before we walked through the door of the lodge.

I have to say looking at it from the top down to the bottom that day was ominous. For whatever reason it seemed even longer and more scary than I remembered.

Took three full days for every single one of us to, suck it up, so to speak and gather enough courage to do the slide at least ONCE before the reunion was over.
... We had to. Because by the end of the first day the decree had been posted: Those who didn’t do “The Slide,” it stated, would no longer be official members of the family!

Of course we were all going to do it. And we watched as each one made the effort, including Jim who sneaked out early one morning before the frost had melted off the slide for some "extra fun," he said. ... He jettisoned off the end at the speed of light.
Luckily he sustained only minor injuries, but it was enough to keep the more chicken of our bunch … me for sure, my cute Brazilian daughter-in-law and a friend of another daughter ... waiting on the experience ‘til the last possible moment.

… There were many strange sounds coming from Pine Creek during those days, like blood-curdling screams followed by laughter. … And for me personally? … Moaning, as my legs, like jelly at the end of MY ride, refused to work properly for hours.

...  Guess what they say is true. Time ... and people... really do fly when they're having fun!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.