Friday, June 07, 2013
Last Day Together
It's a lazy Sunday with a lot of sitting around. That's what this family does best--sit and talk. We decide to meet at Oconaluftee Islands Park and then think about what to do. Arielle said she hoped we would come here before we leave. Every town should have a park like this. In the middle of town, in the middle of the river, is an island with plenty of space to take a walk, wade in the river, skip rocks, fish, feed ducks or just have a picnic. It is beautiful and relaxing. There is also a towering bamboo tunnel. Here they call it "river cane" but it looks just like what we have in our backyard, only ours is not so tall. My niece Monica doesn't live in the area, but she comes down for the day. I haven't seen her since she was a little girl. Even though she's grown up now, she is still my sweet niece and it is so good to be together with her. My girls have a wonderful time playing with little Kaneya and Kaneya now knows what the word "cousin" means. Cousins are fun people to have in your life! And she's got lots of them.
Finally everyone arrives and we spend a lot of time deciding what to do. One time years ago the whole family spent a whole day trying to figure out what to do, and we ended up not having time to do anything! So this is typical for my family. Always trying to please the kids, we say let's just go back to the hotel and swim. Perfect! We stake out tables and my sister and mom and I sit and talk while others dip in and out of the pool. The adults (not the kids) decide to have a water fight with water guns and some kind of floaty blocks that they throw at each other. Good thing we're the only ones here. My brother Jim says he loves when Fred makes his transformation in the water. Fred becomes a kid! Jim does too. They are both so silly--grown men in their fifties! My sister goes out to get pizza and even gets a gluten-free one for me. Delicious food, dear and precious family, each one of them. We eat and laugh and talk some more.
Kelly invites us back to her house for sherbet. We just want to be together as long as we can. How nice it is to spend time with my little sister! We go out on her deck at dusk to feed her 18 wild cats and watch them cautiously creep up the steps to eat. I've never seen so many cats at one time. The girls are delighted. My niece Alex brings out a Family Feud TV game and we break up into two teams to play. Everyone gets more goofy the later it gets. Now it's nearly midnight and time for tears and hugs and good-byes. It will be a long drive home tomorrow.