My dad’s side of the family just had a reunion. Most of those who came were my dad’s cousins and their kids, some whom I vaguely remember from when I was young, and some whom I’ve never even met. It was interesting—all of these near-strangers, all somehow related to one another, gathering to meet or get reacquainted.
I chuckled to hear my 11-year-old nephew look around at the crowd and ask, “Am I actually related to all of these people?” He had the critical duty of helping carry in the crock pots, platters, trays, and bowls of food from the cars pulling in the driveway. He gleefully said to me, “Look at all of this food! And half of it’s dessert!”
Other than the pontoon rides around the lake and jet skiing and tubing for the more adventurous, the food was the big hit at the reunion. People sat in chairs in the shade and heard about each other’s lives over fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon slices, and cherry cobbler. They reminisced about their childhood years while savoring barbecued pork sandwiches, pasta, and (for the brave) my sister’s curried quinoa salad with beets (one of the healthier dishes on the table. I admit that I only ate it so that I could justify having a second pecan bar).
Maybe you’re heading off to a reunion this summer. Maybe you’re not sure what it will be like to meet all of these strangers to whom you’re vaguely related, either by marriage or by blood. But take it from me. Bring a favorite dish, go in with an open mind, and you’ll have fun reconnecting with people you know and those you wouldn’t recognize if you passed on the street. Have fun eating food, telling stories, recalling favorite memories, and sharing where your life is at and where you hope it’s going next.