Dane and I were pretty wiped out Saturday from the drive to/from Fremont and my frantic freak out session. We pretty much just crashed on the couch and watched Ally McBeal for some brainless entertainment and went to bed early. Then we were at it bright and early the next morning! It hit us that we had company coming, so he picked up the house and I started a pot of chili.
It's amazing how strung out all of the photos can get once you take them out and start organizing and scanning them. So it seemed like I was pulling them from every nook and cranny in my office. I even pulled out Dad's pictures that he took in the 80s and 90s and realized that I had stashed some oldies under all of the photo sleeves in boxes. So THAT's what happened to the old birth announcements and the other pictures of Nancy and Mark! I had even, at one point, started separating them into stacks that I separated with notebook paper labeled Brian, Kathy, Karen, Nancy & Mark, and Old Old Pictures. I had completely forgotten! I ended up with quite an impressive array of ephemera that we could paw through.
Shortly after noon, they pulled up in James' smaller RV and we knew that we were in for a treat! Out poured James and his wife Amanda, along with little David and Matthew... Rose and MaryAnna... and Nancy and Bob! The youngest, Charis and Charity got to stay behind and man the booth at the Gathering. We sat around and talked for a bit while Max gave everyone the sniff-down. We showed David and Matthew how to throw the ball for him (which immediately went straight into the HDTV). We would have been more worried about the TV if Dane hadn't done the same thing a couple of months ago.
I finally suggested that we go through the old pictures and we dragged them all out to the dining room table. I could tell she was a little disappointed that it was just us again, but I assured her that it was either because they were busy or because of me and to not take it personally.
Pretty soon, I was surrounded by the girls pointing to people in pictures and asking who everyone was. Some I knew, some I didn't... as is always the case with unlabeled photos! It was so much fun for me that they were so curious and interested in who all of these people were. And just then I heard Dane in the living room... "Hun? You've got more company!" I practically jumped for joy! We poured out into the living room as Skylar and Makenna came through the door into a sea of strangers. Ha! I could hear Skylar yelling for me... "Aunt Kathy? Are you here?" hahaha...
Pretty soon, Karen and Chad came in and we all crowded around and made introductions with them trapped in the entryway. Then I noticed that Stephanie and Aniston made it, too!! Nancy was just beaming and had tears in her eyes and there were hugs all around!
The best part was when David came over to Skylar and introduced himself by trying to wrestle him to the ground! Little Skylar looked almost twice his size, and it took everything he had to stay on his feet. He didn't know what to think! James pulled David away and showed Sky how David only has his daddy to wrestle with, so he can take it. Skylar looked around at all of us and said, "He's tough!!" hahaha... Man, I wish I would have had my camera handy! That was priceless!!
So, Karen joined us girls in the dining room while everyone else migrated to the living room and the kids got to know each other. She helped explain who people were and helped me remember stories. She's better at that. Then I showed them the photo album page that Dad had made a collage on.... there's Dad with a collie dog back in about the 50s... there's Kathy and Karen and Tony and Brian and Nancy and our long lost brother, Mark. And here's another kid. Hm. Wonder who that is? We had no idea. Still don't. But I'll share that page in another post. We think it was Aunt Doris who got mad at Dad once and said, "At least I can throw a rock in a schoolyard and not have to worry about hitting one of my own kids!!!" Boy, did we laugh over that one!
Eventually, we each had about a spoonful of chili and Karen and her family had to leave for Makenna's volleyball game. Then the Balyeats had to mosey on down the road so they could get back to the awards ceremony at the Gathering. We agreed that this wasn't going to be the last time that we would all get together like this and talked about maybe meeting up at the National Old Time Music Festival next August! That one has TEN stages of entertainment and even a Tipi village! Not to mention that it's also the home of Blue Bunny Ice Cream. ;-)
I think we all breathed a sigh of relief that the weekend turned out so well. We did all we could to make Nancy and her family feel welcome in our family... In other families, it might not have gone so well, but in ours? We're good like that. We're easy.
I have to tell you... I got an email from Brian's mom, Laurie tonight. She read the first Sisterly Love entry and wrote to tell me that she's glad that I wrote about it and shared it on Facebook for everyone. She said that reading about it was healing for her and that she would like to meet Nancy someday. How's that for accepting? I think that sounds like a great idea. =)
Now! Photos of each generation!
Karen, Nancy, & Kathy
Makenna, James, his wife Amanda, Skylar, Stephanie, MaryAnna, and Rose!
And my favorites...
Stephanie's daughter, Aniston
with James & Amanda's boys, David, and Matthew!
Um, Mom? Things are getting kind of wild down here...
Isn't genealogy great? =)