Did I mention my cousin Kevin was here from Korea? He is a marine stationed there. He, his wife and four kids used their time state-side to come to the family reunion. They were only here from Tuesday-Thursday but interestingly Kevin bonded with many non-family members at the Cascade Ranch. He is hilarious and outgoing. And through his established connections, we were able to get our reunion picture taken by his new best bud, Chuck. Kevin secured the strategically arranged picture for 9am on Thursday to capture all attendees. We had several folks planning to leave by noon. Unfortunately, we had some premature departures so the picture is a few family members short.
After many goodbyes, the parents, Jenny, Abi and I headed to Crater Lake. It was Abi’s one request to see. She flew in on Wednesday night and so we went Thursday morning. Even though I had already seen it last week during the yoga retreat, it was still magnificent. Truly, an American wonder must-see! But it’s a little nerve-wracking getting there. I remembered that from before. And it wasn’t just from the intense hike but also the harrowing drive. To arrive at this magnificence, there is a two lane road up a mountain, switchbacks back and forth. When the car is on the right, the view down from the curb-less road is disconcerting. As I get older, my vertigo combines with an active imagination, I killed us off multiple times.
We had hoped to meet Kevin and his family for a picnic lunch but we just missed them between the timing and cell phone connection. We did enjoy a lovely gourmet pasta carbonara and pesto pasta courtesy of our relatives‘ cooking. Unfortunately, we hadn’t packed plates so we ate it very elegantly on paper towels… and it worked. Gourmet food with a view! Crater Lake should be a bucket list item!
Once we were back at the lodge, our family was assigned to cook. And as we so often do, we relinquish cooking duties to Jenny’s expertise. At mom’s request, Jenny made a chicken walnut recipe that was my grandparents‘ favorite. Mom had the original recipe card in grandma’s handwriting. I color-copied and laminated it for each of the reunion attendees. It was a sentimental gesture inspired by my mom. We ended our last evening with a candy-covered dessert that Kevin scored from one of his new buddies. Some of the candies were m&m’s which is the official candy of any Walsh gathering since my grandparents were Marge and Marv. It was a great way to go out.
I should mention my mom also made brownies for dessert. Or more accurately brown e’s. The former kindergarten teacher filled a pan with cut-outs of the letter e on brown paper. It was very clever. And I love this last picture of my dad waiting for my Uncle Tom to get the joke. Of course, next to dad, my quick-witted Uncle Rog is already laughing.
To echo my Uncle Tom’s sentiments at dinner, “I’m proud to be a part of this family.”