Our oldest daughter came home yesterday.  It’s been three years since I’ve laid eyes on her.  My heart has seen her twenty-four/seven but my eyes have hungered for her non-stop.  Going long periods of time between physically seeing her is normal.  She is a natural born gypsy.  She comes by that honestly. 

I never seem to be prepared for just how overwhelmingly happy I am to see her.  I kept poking her on the arm.  She kept looking at me.  Finally, the last time I did it she said, “Believe I’m really here yet?”  There seems to be a Birdie shaped hole in my being when she isn’t with me that immediately fills up when she comes home. 

It’s like that with all my family and to a lesser degree with my friends.  I’m like a puzzle.  I’m this huge picture.  I know what it is, I know what it looks like.  But I’m only really complete and the whole big picture when everyone is together.  I almost had it this Labor Day. 

Labor Day marked the one year anniversary since the house burned down.  All in all things have progressed fairly splendidly since then.  We moved into what seems to us to be the perfect house in which to finish raising the kids, finish growing old, hobble around awhile, become a burden to said kids, make them change our diapers just like we did theirs, and eventually be remanded to an old folks home, there to linger and molder away, forgotten and neglected while the aforementioned kids are happily enjoying the life of Riley back at the old homestead.  So we decided it was time to conduct a good ol fashioned throw-down. 

The icing on the cake was that my mom (you remember her, I am now the proud owner of her hands) and my brothers and my sister(in law) and my niece(my GOD I love that kid) all came up from good ol FLA to attend! AND My Dearest Husband’s Grandma came from 250 miles away along with his mom.  Most of our closest friends were able to attend.  The few that weren’t were in our thoughts.  Our new neighbors were here.  We had just the best time ever!  The best count we could get was approximately 47 people.  Not bad. 

The kids all played and didn’t fuss and fight.  The grownups all played and didn’t fuss and fight.  Even I was nice! (I think) It lasted from around noon until way, way late.  Actually it lasted until way early the next day.  We had two chefs that cooked on the grill for us.  OMG  They ruled!  My Dearest Husband’s Aunt and Cousin brought some kick ass goodies.  We cooked.  I say “we” as if I actually helped any!  LOL  I didn’t!  Don’t let me fool you.  I was absolutely NO help of any kind at all.  My help consisted of staying out of the way and trying not to talk too much.  Because by the day of the party I had been off my meds for a fair amount of days ( another story for another time) and I was having major difficulties even saying words.  Mostly I just wandered around aimlessly.  But at least I wasn’t destructive.  That in itself was helpful.

The bros and the hubbie knocked out a couple horse shoe pits and everyone threw some shoes.  Down here in Carolina you ain’t had a party if you haven’t threw the shoes.  After everyone left, my little brother, Pony, got out my guitar and he and my older brother, Pork Chop, and I sat out on the front porch and sang all the old songs while the dogs lay around under our feet.  Pork Chop said it was like being in Mayberry. 

The puzzle was mostly put together that day.  Only a few missing pieces.  It was good to have everyone here.  It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to do that. 

Big party, lots of people, food, beer, family, friends, no bloodshed = success. 

*sigh* (insert big sappy grin) I love reunions.


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