Thursday, April 10, 2008

big family

this summer, there was a family reunion of epic proportions. think charter bus-sized. the italian cousins on my mom's side of the family gathered for the biggest reunion yet. fifty or so of us, many of whom we barely knew, but apparently had a lot in common with. i can count on one hand the number of times i remember all of my grandmother's brood being in one place at the same time. all the grandkids, aunts and uncles, and that only makes 15 of us...

back to the reunion at hand. it felt like rush week more or less. meet and greet the cousins i'd either never met, or seen so rarely that they seemed more like strangers than family. by the end of the weekend, renewed vows, especially from the 30ish and under crowd, to reunite more often. the after dark bonding over flying solo cups and early morning headaches proved how alike we all were!

to our defense, i think we've done a better job this year than many past. i'm not so sure the big family gathering that came together this weekend for shila's performance would have happened if it weren't for the reunion this summer. her immediate family, sure. her aunt and cousin, sure. the new york contingent? doubtful. the philly contingent? doubtful. me? doubly doubtful.

a lot has changed in the last year. the family is closer. i understand my italian family tree better. my extended family is nearer, though my parents are considerably further away. it's much harder to visit home on a whim. that four hour drive now results in family that may well have been strangers to me twelve months ago. i'd like to blame it wholly on the reunion in ebensburg, but something else is at play here. the new adventurous attitude i struck out to nurture in myself at the beginning of '07 has taken root.

i thought i was leaving home when i left gainesville. turns out going big results in carving out a new home. i'm still working on it, slowly but surely...

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