Whatever happened to family reunions?
You know - those celebrations held once each summer in which Uncle Clyde continues to hold his undefeated horseshoe champion crown and Aunt Mathilda beams as everyone fights over her hot dish. Or when Cousin Cecil brags about all his kids - the obnoxious ones, of course - and Grandpa Earl asks for the ninth straight year if he ever told you the story about so and so and everyone says no because he tells it so well that everyone wants to hear is all over again.
Time once was when just about everyone had a family reunion. It seems nowadays, though, they're about as sparse as hens teeth - or maybe Uncle Earl's.
And that's too bad.
We got a lot out of those family reunions, back in the day. We kept up with each other. They were a way for us all to take stock, measure ourselves in the eyes of others. After all, we didn't want to disappoint Grandma Mae. We looked up to her, and, well, she wanted us to look up to us as we passed her in height but not age or wisdom.
Since July is Family Reunion Month, perhaps this is a good time to take stock of our own families - however we define them. It might not be a family in the traditional sense. It might just be a group of friends related only by mutual interest. But family reunions are important. They're a way to recount the past and set our sights on the future. And, yes, to keep track of the past before it goes slipping by so quickly we lose track of it forever.