There are some gnarled limbs on this family tree

My grandmother turned 84 over the weekend, and we had a party at my aunt and uncle's house. My mom is the oldest of five children, all of whom have at least two children of their own, so there's a pretty decent number of relatives. When I was growing up, we had a family party every month or two to celebrate the various children's birthdays or gather when an out of town relative was in town. As time went on, and the grandchildren grew up and started families of our own, the parties became less frequent, and many of the cousins need crib notes to identify each other ("OK, I know that one is one of Jeff's daughters, but I always forget which one is which...") Memories were dredged up, sometimes with background added for people who joined the family after the stories had originally taken place. Some of these events were things I had only heard about, others were part of my memory as well (although seen through a very different filter). The story of the renovation of my parents' basement, including the installation of a powder room, came up. My uncle Ned was the unlucky main character in that scene, complete with cut pipe and a child who had not been told not to flush the upstairs toilet. "Karen stuck up for me, though," Ned told the group. "She was sitting on the stairs saying to her dad, 'I don't think that's very funny at all' while the rest of these idiots were falling over in hysterics." "I didn't think it was very funny," I replied. As the family began to rib me about not having a sense of humor, I clarified. "I was six years old and he's my godfather! At the time, I didn't think it was funny. Now, on the other hand, I think it's a riot."


Anonymous nic said...

Speaking of family, I need the rest of the pizza for breakfast story (for my blog, of course.)

11/06/2006 8:41 PM  

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