This past weekend D and I took a quick getaway with my dad’s side of the family. My grandmother’s birthday was last week, and in lieu of gifts she wanted everyone to spend some time together*. While many people may cringe at the thought of spending the weekend with 20 of their aunts, uncles and cousins, I relished it. I’m so grateful to have them all in my life, and for the fact that we’re all so close. Of course, since everyone present has a least a little bit of Italian heritage (exempting D and my mother), it got loud and boisterous and there was lots of speaking-with-hands and noodging each other just because we can**.
We stayed at a resort in Pennsylvania, and it was a tremendously relaxing weekend. Electronics (even iPhones) stayed mostly out of sight while we played volleyball, kickball and Scrabble, and spent most of our time outside. We grabbed the dining tables from all four of our suite-style rooms to put them all together mess-hall style and passed around plates of penne ala vodka and cold cuts. We reminisced about the “good old days” and about the schemes my late grandfather got everyone involved in. And at the end of the weekend, my sister drove us home while the rest of the families stayed until Tuesday. It was hard leaving them all knowing that the next day I would be back at work while they were kayaking and swimming in the lake.
I woke up Monday morning incredibly sore and realized that even though I frequent the gym, I’m nowhere near in well enough shape to be playing sports for an entire weekend. I’m one of the oldest grandchildren, and chasing after 10- and 13-year olds that take gym class daily was more taxing than I realized! Walking up and down the stairs is still a little bit difficult. But I’d gladly do it all again this weekend, because if you are lucky enough to have a great family that is close enough to visit regularly, you do it.
*It was still her birthday though, so we all chipped in for a Kindle Fire and unlimited “tech support” in the form of always being available to answer her questions about how to use it.
**I didn’t realize how many Jewish/Yiddish words I grew up using until I was around people that don’t use them. Using words like noodge, schlepp and oy vey were just part of my lexicon growing up in an area with so many Jewish families. And I love it. Why say “carried” when you can say “schlepped”?