Happy Fourth of July!

Well, for the second year in a row, Mark and I will not be at my family picnic. This year will mark 35 years of this tradition, held at my aunt (my dad’s sister) and uncle’s home. We’re probably missing out on the matching t-shirts that have been printed up every five years! It is the biggest holiday in my family, practically a mini family reunion where, for some family members, this is the only time during the year that we see each other.

It is an all day affair, it always involves obscene amounts of grilled and prepared foods and desserts. There are always fierce volleyball games, rain or shine, some years everyone is covered in mud from head to toe. There is always a large bonfire in the evening, everyone crowds around chatting, roasting marshmallows and being pyromaniacs. There is always a new crop of children fascinated with collecting lightening bugs and setting off fireworks. Collages of photos are every where from previous years, those who have passed still grace our presence with their smiles all over the walls. There is always hours of catching up and reminiscing, sharing of photos and joys and sorrows, meeting new friends and greeting the newest additions to the extended family. Most years there are well over 50 people there.

I can say this is my favorite family holiday. I love the tradition of it. Today, Mark and I are taking a holiday for ourselves, we will be there in spirit and will be thinking of everyone today. We will cook out, I plan to make my Asian Pasta Salad with the innovation of adding soy beans, and we have plenty of beer and cider to occupy ourselves with. We need to go find some fireworks somewhere. If we had been more organized or knew the weather would be so nice, we would have planned to invite some folks over. But this way, we can stay in our pajamas all day, and that’s a fantastic way to spend the day :)