Friday, March 27, 2009

The Reunion

The Hollin side of the family has an annual reunion. My PaPaw had 6 sisters and brothers and when his father passed away - the reunion was born. At least that's how I remember it.

It used to be held in Cincinnati and, at the time, at a swanky-do hotel - at least it seemed that way to a young girl from a small town in Illinois. I remember lots of swimming in the giant pool, lots of sunburns, 1 giant diving board and 1 little one and all of the moms lounging around the pool getting tans. And there was the neatest walkup - poolside dining thing which of course we abused by charging everything to the room (Dad got a little hot about that one year). It had an indoor pool with a slide (it was always ICE cold), mini golf, tennis courts, tether ball, shuffle board, kiddie pool, playground and even another pool down the parking lot at another set of rooms - we called it the ghetto pool.

There was even this elaborate program. Each year, a different family unit would 'host' and create the theme, decorate, mc - the whole nine yards. Everyone would dress up - suits, long dresses. I even wore my prom dresses. And LOTS of pictures. I never did develop the 'Smith' smile!

Times have changed. We are getting older - and the cousins just don't seem to be as connected as I am sure their parents would have predicted. It is almost sad honestly. The reunion was such a HUGE deal to me growing up - I loved it. I felt so special to be included in this huge family (we were the step side of the family) - there was so much love. I know that our attendance put a financial strain on my parents but they tried every year to have us attend. Funny, I am in the same boat.

But - it is just different anymore. I miss the Uncle Joe stories and jokes - that I probably shouldn't hear. And the parents staying up so late, smoking and drinking and laughing in the hospitality room. I miss playing in the elevator. I miss Granny's fudge - not to mention little Granny Hollin.

My kids just don't get it. Sure, they love going and playing but I don't think they understand the history and the significance and the meaning. Someone always makes Granny's fudge - they love it - but it's just not the same. It makes me sad just thinking about everybody I miss...

Chris called the hotel and made reservations again for this year. It's been moved to London, KY. It's a nice hotel - but simple. It does have an outdoor pool - but without the grandeur of the Carousel. The programs aren't quite as elaborate - the decorating not as all-encompassing but it's nice. Seems like every year, the attendance is less. We missed last year due to volleyball and I felt horrible. Grandmother said that hardly anyone came. So I told Chris - come hell or high water - we would be there for her if nothing else!

So we will be journeying down to southern KY during Father's Day weekend. I have told my family to take Friday off thru Monday. We always like to stop and visit with PaPaw and Grandmother for awhile on Sunday night.

I think Aunt Sally has the program this year - something about birthdays? So that should be fun - and it will be nice to see everyone again!

1 comment:

  1. The reunion was fancy for years and years. And the fancy hotels were so much better: so many things for children to do. Now really sort of sad.

    We will think of you. We swore never to return after the way we were treated the last time we went.