Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Heart My Family

I love my family - as in the big, big family.

I say it like it's some big secret I had to get off my chest...or not.

This weekend was a perfect example of one of the things I love most about my family - spontaneity.  I don't know for sure if it's the first time my siblings and I managed to pull off a "gathering" without my parents, but I am sure we pulled it off in a way they would be proud of.

This means:  lots of food and less than an hours notice.

Mark called at 8:30 when Josh and I were having  a very late-for-us morning coffee, and by 9:30 I was on the road, with everyone, save for Josh who had to work, and headed for the farm.

No rest for the wicked, I guess.

I grabbed hot dogs and buns from the freezer, snatched a perfect-for-a-bunch sized watermelon from the fridge and was out the door.  This could have been enough to feed everyone in a family that isn't obsessed with food being the main feature any time two or more are gathered together.  But fear not, this was only my contribution - reinforcements were coming with my siblings as well.  The well would not run dry!
This was only the beginning...

I got to the farm first, which I always enjoy, especially this time of year, and especially when Mom and Dad are away.

I check on the chickens, gather eggs, weed the garden, transplant beets that need thinning, peek in on the zuchinni,  just to see if any are ready to be harvested and made into fantastic dinners or delicious baking. All the while my children play, nay, they frolic through the yard.   I take time to survey the bounty and beauty that surrounds me and I say to myself..."It is good."  I love everything about being on the farm, but am so, so glad not to have to maintain it.
We frolic like bandits
I also like being there first because I get to then steal as much rhubarb as  I like.

Or maybe I like it because it's just a chance to play pretend, like it's all my own, and my survival through our tough winters depend on it.

This is clearly a result of a still over-active imagination.  That and reading Little House in the Big Woods like it was my job, growing up.  Am I the only one who wanted to be Laura?
Eventually everyone showed up, bearing baskets and bags of food to share with one another and a great party ensued.

Mom and Dad were still on holidays, and we missed their presence, to be sure. It wasn't the same as usual, but, oh we had a good time!  I was so sad we had to be the first to leave.

The kids played, pretending not to hear us when we told them to stay of out of  the "chicken poop", as one nephew mistakenly called it.  The babies pretended they didn't need naps, cause who could sleep when there's a party?  And we laughed.

We made jokes about a certain one of us who pulled a "mom" and "just picked up a few things" to add to the party - to the tune of a hundred dollars.  

We polished off a box of fudgeos and oreos before we even unpacked all the grocery bags.  The speed and volume at which we can eat, is something I am sadly, quite proud of.
my favourite equation:  food + family+ more food = fun

We passed around babies and started telling stories only to have them interrupted by children passing through the kitchen.  The kind of stories and jokes that make you wish you all spoke German, around the kids that don't,  so that you continue on talking about what you'd rather not have little ears hearing, followed by more laughing.

Nobody thinks they are funnier than all of us together.  And it's because nobody is.  

I hope my kids love each other and feel like they're lucky to have each other when they get together.  I hope they do it even when we're not around to make it happen.  I hope they know they will always be welcome home, even if we're not there to open the doors for them.  I hope my parents feel like they've done something right when they come home and find the house tidied up, but the pantry and the freezer a little emptier than when they left.

By the way Mom, you're out of ranch dressing.

I hope we get to do it all over again soon.


  1. Dad and I loved your blog and ARE so proud. We love it that you had such a good time without us - and now miss you all even more.than we already did - which we didn't think was possible. XOXOXO!!!!

  2. First of all, the $100 worth of groceries wasn't ALL for the party, just most of it and second, I look much better in pictures where you can only see the back of my head, so thank you and third, I had a fantastic time as well. Can't wait for it to happen again, and we should definitely start taking German classes!

  3. Hey Karina
    We are in that stage when our kids and their spouses come home a lot - we play a lot of UNO and rehash stories and jokes that have been told a million times before. I have not yet learned to cook for just three of us. In fact, Brian always says that I've cooked for three so there's enough to feed an army. We <3 being friends with our kids - we will never leave the Valley because that is where they have all planted themselves. Now I all I need is a few grandbabies...
    hugs to you, my friend


  4. @Loni - if you hadn't spent the hundred, I certainly would have, given the chance - it's a genetic predisposition ;) And @Laura - I love that you love your family like you do - thanks for sharing, it's good to know that our family isn't the only one that could feed an army at the drop of a hat!

  5. THIS is positively AWESOME!!! every single bit of it :)

  6. Love this post Karina! Your get together is famous I heard all about it last night. I love your parents farm too, who wouldn't want to be the first to arrive and pretend it was theirs. I had to laugh aboout the rhubarb, I'd do the same!

  7. kelly & Deb, Glad you enjoyed the glimpse of the magic that happens from time to time in the "Promised Land", as Dad calls it.

  8. OH my word..I just went back searching for the family flag page and found your guest post and it was....amazing. My mom was exactly that way too, and I loved loved loved your tips. Also busted a gut when you put in your bio "adding a superfluous 'u' to words, but she probably doesn't know your cousin Jim who lives in Saskatchewan'. oh. my. word. you are so funny.

  9. Way to go Jen, you rock!!!! I knew you could do it - let the superflous commenting begin!
    I really love writing for Family Matters - my third post for them is coming out at the end of the month - yippe!


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