family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,


Family reunions… they are neat to have. Our family is pretty large, and unfortunately not many could attend, but those who did, I am thankful for the time with them. It was the first year my oldest brother Don and his wife Sally could not attend. That was weird. They are the rock for the reunion. Sally loves to plan it and organize it, and that component was missing this time around. Don LOVES the kids… and the kids who are now adults with kids of their own. They are very wise and giving of themselves people, they are real people..not pretend. They were missed.

It is strange but even family who live within a 20 mile radius of each other here in the Syracuse area—we do not spend nearly enough time together, so it was good to have quality time with them too. I felt bad for my nephew—who has 4 siblings, and none were there. His mom and step dad were there though and his kids got to spend time with their grandparents.

My brother, his wife, Mark and me, our new dog Riley Regan, my sister and her 2 kids , my nephew , his wife and 2 kids, and another sister and her husband were there. It was a hot humid few days. A few of us had campers with AC- and that was great for Riley, and the grandkids and their parents…—Riley  was not feeling 100%, so the cooler temps were good for her too. . Our nights were more comfortable than they had been in years passed when we had a pop up without AC, and when we were tenting. 100_0446

100_0447I was over at Jeff and Amanda’s one night as the fire flies were darting back and forth. Brandon was trying to figure out what they were. So Jeff caught one in his hands and let Brandon peak inside and see the fly light up… it was magical, it was heart warming , it was wonderful to see the wonder and excitement in Brandon’s face..and the love in Jeff’s face as he was explaining to Jeff what these lights were.

This is living..this is what life is about. Not the DVDs, or the Nike at nite channels.. no nature, parents, kids, spending time with one another ant not I phones, computers, I pads. 100_0435

Taking the nap under the tree, 100_0473

playing with bubbles. 100_0429



playing cards at a picnic table







having the grandkids help walk the dog…



100_0464Having a grand child help with the dishes….



100_0480100_0462Just enjoying each moment. Now it will be another year before we all come together.

That is a long time. We are hoping all can come next year… each person not there was missed terribly.

I am thankful we were able to share the 5 days though with all who could come for all or part of it.

I love my family… I love my husband who came into my family through marriage and shares in this annual event ! I feel truly blessed.

Love to all.. Mrs Justa alias, Cindy

What a difference a year makes.

Last year I was 54. I had injured my L hip about a week prior trying to yank our windmill out of the ground to put it away for the winter. Ended up with pretty significant bursitis. I was having a terrible time walking, getting in and out of bed, and trying to be a good sport about it.

Then came the week of my birthday.

We had had a terrible few days prior my birthday. One the 17th at 10:05 PM Mark was holding our little Cairn Terrier and was trying to get a stuffed mouse away from him. The dog turned and showed his teeth and ripped part of Mark’s nose off. 100_0631 We called Jeff and he and Amanda came over, it was not good. So we had an ambulance ride to the ER.

Mark was still unable to walk very well,

he was in a lot of pain anyway from from his leg, and now this. Fortunately the resident in the ER that night was specializing in ENT and plastic surgery, and it took a long time, but he attached the nose and we went home.

We called the vet the next morning,

and the vet felt that this was writing on the wall, and recommended we put the dog to sleep. What if this had been a toddler grabbing the toy mouse , what would have happened then.So the day before my birthday we had to put our dog down.

My son , his wife, my brother and his wife thought that maybe they could help us take our minds off the tragedy, and Jeff came over and had decorated the house when I was away, Tom and Sher, and Jeff and Amanda came over for my birthday.

They did make it better for us,

and I am glad to say this year has been less dramatic. Tomorrow I turn 55. My brother Tom and his wife wanted to do breakfast, and came and joined Sean and Pat and Mark and I this morning. It was a very nice time. And as I look back and forward in life, I realize that more of my life has passed, then is in front of me. It is weird to think of not being here some day. For all I know is that I have always been. I am melancholic right now, remembering those who have already passed on, grateful for those in my life, and curious of what life will bring going forward.

I have regrets,

but they are worthless to focus on, I have joys, they are worth treasuring. I am lucky really. We are not wealthy, we are not spoiled. We are pretty frugal most of the time, and we have not had the opportunity to save as much as the financial wizards say we should have, but I can not help that. Life has been here, and not handed on a silver platter. Life is life. I wonder what this next year will bring? Love to all, Mrs Justa.