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Reuniting

Getting together with family, friends shows we are part of something bigger

Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 10:27 a.m. CDT

Sunday, I attended the 65th family reunion on my mother’s side. Last month was the Porter family gathering, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll head east to my 30th class reunion. That’s a lot of catching up in a two-month period.

I like reunions, partly because I like to eat and eating is a big part of them.

We played a little softball on Sunday. My team was soundly defeated by a team heavily populated with fourth-generation descendants of my mother’s oldest brother. We only had two bats and one glove among all the players, so a lack of equipment might have played a part. That sounds like a good excuse.

The ages on the teams averaged about the same, but were fairly lopsided in actuality. The winning team consisted mostly of guys in their early 20s. My team was made up of two old guys and a bunch of kids.

The kids were pretty good runners, though. Midway through the game, I called for a DR, as in designated runner. By the third and final inning, I was calling for a DR, as in medical doctor.

We had to resort to trickery just to have a chance. My nephew, Andrew, pretended to lose the ball in the outfield, which gave the runner the confidence to hightail it toward home plate. Andy then picked up the ball, which was right in front of him, and threw it toward home.

Since we didn’t have a catcher, much less a catcher’s mitt, we had invoked the home plate advantage rule, which means the runner is out if the ball makes it to the plate before the runner does. And “to the plate,” I mean anywhere near the plate.

We had one of Uncle Ivan’s great-grandsons on our team, and he hit a home run, giving us one of our two runs.

Our center fielder wasn’t much help, as she just laid down in the grass and texted with her friends the whole time. But when the other team took the field, she just stayed there, giving them the same disadvantage that we had. She had just returned home from basic training, so nobody could blame her for wanting to take it easy.

We had a slight game delay when the ball fell apart, which was due more to its age than the abuse we put it through.

My son-in-law was the first to sit out because it was too dang hot to play. The rest of us didn’t have the same good sense.

After our trouncing, we all went back to the park pavilion and ate a little more of the home-cooked food, including four or five fruit pies and a delicious cake that my second cousin had baked.

We had about 50 relatives in attendance, which isn’t a huge number considering that we’re related to at least half the county.

It’s always good to reconnect with family and friends. It lets us know that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves. And it reminds us of what great cooks we have in our family.

Anytime I can eat a meal like that for free, it’s a good day. ———

© Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at david@ramblinman.us. I don’t know who brought the big ham shank, but, man, it was delicious.

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