Monday, August 04, 2008
Armstrong Family 2008
"So what does everyone think? Same time, same place next year?"
Our Sunday devotional always ends with these questions, presented by the same wonderful, Aunt Bonnie. And just this year, as we ended the 2008 Wesley Woods weekend, we did not break tradition. Part of the tradition is not answering the question. Of course we're going to come same time (the first weekend in August) and the same place (Camp Wesley Woods in Winchester, Kentucky). Where else would we go? Next year we will have been going to Wesley Woods for 20 years, we think. We've been going for all of my remembered life!
We go. Despite the lack of air conditioning, the money (that I didn't realize we forked out every year...it's way more than I ever imagined, even with help from the grandparents - which they may or may not know they are contributing), the BUGS, the discomfort of the beds, the dirty bathrooms, the wasp stings, etc. etc. etc. Did I mention the bugs?
Things I can't complain about, though, are the food. My mom and Aunt Elouise absolutely spoil us. And the company.
Where else could we go for 3 nights and 4 days and sit and enjoy each other's company the way we do at Wesley Woods? There's a pond for fishing and, apparently, paddle boating (I haven't been down there for some years due to the green film and other gross things that I can't handle). The craft shack, that we've used maybe once. (I have some really good uses for said shack, but have yet to put them to use.) A pool... thank goodness for the pool. The humidity is a killer, almost every year, and the pool provides awesome relief. There are basketball courts (if you know my family, you know how important this is) and plenty of room for card games. The playground and swings keep the kids entertained. We've managed to keep injuries to a minimum - a broken finger, one splinted arm, various bumps and bruises, and a wasp sting...but nothing major.
I suppose it doesn't matter where we ended up going if we decided to change tradition. The thing about my family is...we're awesome. And no matter how long it's been since we last saw each other, we fall into the same loving relationships we've always been in. My little sister, Mackenzie, is the fourth out of four girls that were born in 1996. Brooke, Macy, Nicole, and Mackenzie all born in the fall... and bonding immediately. Brooke's attendance at the reunions has been sporadic, but just as every year she is able to make it, the four girls get together and click instantly. It is the same for all of us.
The reunion started as the Armstrong/Hatton reunion. Reuniting my Grandma's kids, and some of her nieces and nephews. My aunts and uncles have been the perfect example of how a family runs. We are dysfunctional...it's true. There are those of us who have made lifestyle choices that the rest of us don't understand. But no matter what we've decided, we still love each other unconditionally. More than unconditional love, my family would do anything for one another. They quite literally would give their shirts off their backs or drive an hour back to pick you up and cram your family into their already full car and push the dead car to the local maintenance place while figuring out how to fit 3 families of 5+ kids. We may be a little nosy, but the truth is, we just want to know what is going on so we can figure out how to help.
The original "4 girls"
Hunter, enjoying the BEST corn Fulton Farms has to offer (they don't make this in Utah...)