Sunday, May 30, 2004

Memorial Day Extravaganza

Greetings from Frankenmuth, Michigan! I'm spending this three-day weekend at a family gathering of sorts. Most of Dad's brothers and sisters brought their families (about 40 people in all) to a big, raucous German dinner on Saturday night. By now I know most of them (no repeat of last July's fiasco), and I had the opportunity to hear all the old stories, find out how my cousins are faring in work and school, etc. Of course, I also brought with me my graduate math textbooks- time and finals wait for no man.

This afternoon I spent with the younger cousins, Rita and Steve's kids and Peter and Ellie's kids. I'd forgotten how much more energy the really young have at hand. After a game of freeze tag on a large playground (with a 10-second penalty for touching the ground), which Sam won by freezing us all after half an hour of chaos, it was time for basketball.

You'd think that, being the only 6-footer in the game, I ought to have dominated. Well, that would have required some shooting and passing ability, which nobody in the game seemed to have. The half-court game to 21 points (2 and 3 point field goals) lasted about 2 hours, I think, with a conservative estimate of 319 out-of-bounds, and 47 airballs. The smaller kids compensated for their lack of physical ability by fouling early and often; Calvin seemed to have Luke hanging on his shooting arm for dear life half the time. But hey, I think we all had fun, and at just the point when everyone over 12 collapsed, it was time to get root beer floats.

So today we also visited my grandparents' grave, and walked about the tombstones, looking for hints of sad and beautiful stories. I don't think I could put together exactly what I was thinking at that time, so I won't.

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