Reunion Recounted: Memories of a Brown Penguin

I’m back from the DOLOP family reunion!

Fact: I was there for only five hours before I started to feel suddenly and urgently sick. I didn’t want to use the communal Port a Potty…so I left as fast as I could, which was five miles per hour in accordance with a posted sign and a cranky neighbor who would maybe throw rocks at vehicles who went any faster.
My relatives might be saying, “JoAnn, we would’ve let you use the house potty if you’d asked! No need to rush off without saying goodbye!”
To which I say, “I didn’t want to be sick in front of 100 people who know me and will remember my face/actions. Besides, in my sick state, I thought that I could make the very long trip home to my own personal bathroom. I actually made it about twenty (seemed like a million) miles before I frantically ran to a gas station bathroom. It was filled with graffiti but NOT filled with toilet paper…it was, however, anonymous.
“But JoAnn,” you say, “you are blogging to the Internet about your illness, which seems to be the opposite of anonymity.”
To which I say, “Yes. I make logical decisions like that.”
Anyway, I wasn’t there long, and I didn’t say goodbye to ANYone. Now all one thousand of my relatives probably think I’m rude/into myself/need to eat more Activia.
The reunion was held at our ancestral home, which was founded by my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother. It’s beautiful:
This is what the reunion is about: the older and the younger gathering together to love…
…and eat a lot of meat. Notice the salsa? The deep pit BBQ? Yum.
Here is Sheldon, in a sea of brown. Happily he still knew who his mother was despite my looking exactly like 100 other people. My Father suggested that I call out like a penguin to lead him to me during picture time…and it was a good idea considering that we had all basically become a sea of brown penguins.
What am I talking about? Hello? Is this thing on?
It’s inside jokes like these that lead me to think there’s a strong vein of eccentricity flowing through my veins.
Do you know what else runs strongly through my family’s veins? Raw talent.
I don’t think I inherited that part…just the eccentric, penguin joking part.
However, my Relative Linda obviously has raw talent. Look at these quilts that she MADE. They have our signatures on them. Raw. Talent.
What do you think of these handmade dolls made by my Great Aunt Ruth? Raw. Talent.
These bracelets were made by my Relative Kris. I loved them. LOVED THEM. Raw Talent.
Here I am, stuck with a tendency to make obtuse penguin jokes while other people in my family make art from scraps of metal.
And here I am with my spoon and fork wind chime that was made by my Aunt Cathy.
Raw. Talent.
I think she’s looking for silver plated spoons/forks/knives if anyone wants to donate to her wind chime cause, but wouldn’t it be funny if she’s NOT looking for utensils and then she ends up with a bunch of random silverware on her front porch? She’d have to blame it on the no talent relative who makes obscure and obtuse penguin jokes.
Anyway…I know you guys are dying to know what Relative (actually NOT my Uncle) Ron wore for the event. He was NOT a brown penguin. He was a lime green sign of independence and rebellion.
I think Relative Ron started a trend. Here is Meat Master Matt (who, shockingly, IS my Uncle) wearing a Hawaiian shirt and daring us all to give him whatfor about it.
Whatfor Uncle Matt!! Whatfor!! Just because you BBQ’ed a million pounds of beef and spent four hours making homemade salsa for everyone doesn’t mean you get out of wearing the official regulation tee shirt!
We had a historic scavenger hunt where we all ran around, looking for treasures. I wore flip flops, so I spent the whole time complaining about my delicate feet being stabbed by sticks and worrying about poison oak. My Aunt Cathy tried to reassure me that she hadn’t seen any poison oak, but towards the end of the event I think she was contemplating throwing me into some poison oak. My family has a low whiner tolerance. Luckily for me, Aunt Cathy never found any poison oak…and I bought one of her wind chimes, so I was still on her good side despite my incessant complaining.
I saw this beautiful waterfall when I was searching desperately for the place where a cow was buried (yes, that was a clue on our historic scavenger hunt).
Who’s this person running through a field of wildflowers? Hint: They are wearing a lime green, non-regulation polo shirt.
Quinten made a new friend at the reunion: Relative Olivia. She is Relative Ron’s daughter. Q and Olivia had a blast running around, eating cookies and drinking pink lemonade by the gallonful.
Sometimes Q had too much fun and went into a pink lemonade induced frenzy. Time outs ensued:
After time out, it was back to the cooler for MORE pink lemonade.
And that, my friends, is the 2010 DOLOP Reunion in a nutshell. Nothing else to report…except I saw Bigfoot:
HAHAHAHA! Bazinga Derrick! Gotcha again!
All in all, it was a wonderful, action packed five hours. I’m truly disappointed that I couldn’t stay longer and get to know my distant relations more. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to say goodbye to Relative Ron the Rebel, or eat watermelon with Relative Laura, or look at more picture albums or visit with Great Aunt Jessie. I’ll have to make up for it at the next one!

The End.

24 thoughts on “Reunion Recounted: Memories of a Brown Penguin

  1. Well, um, huh, there's some talent in your family, that's for sure. It looked like a great time, except for your unfortunate desperation dash. A gas station bathroom? Really? Ack!


  2. Oh girl! Nothin' like a five-hour reunion to get you by till the next one….in ten years! 🙂 Sorry you got sick, but I think I would have (tried) to make it to MY porcelain throne, too…


  3. you have raw. talent. right here in this little box we call the computer or is it a pc? i dunno- but you got it sister (or should i say non-relative jo ann? who i would gladly call my relative anytime!) love love love your stories! so sorry you got sick and couldn't spend more time w/ your relatives!


  4. And now we all know where you inherited your Raw. Talent. Reading this was a great start to my day. You may be be happy to know I was able to laugh out loud while reading this without spraying coffee all over my computer. Good work.


  5. I commented earlier, but Blogger seems to be having some issues. At the risk of repeating myself…now we all know where you get your Raw! Talent! This made me laugh out loud, but without spraying coffee all over my keyboard. Well done.


  6. I need to comment on Cathy's dictation to Julia. This on a day earlier comment section of your blog.

    Cathy editorialized that, (I guess) due to the “harsh and no whinning” environment in which she grew up …. I would not have survived. Therefore I have not earned the right to be referred to as your UNCLE. Only relative Ron. That is so rediculious. You can refer to me as your UNCLE anytime. I proudly wear that badge. Truth is we are more alike than you and your Aunt Cathy, as you would not have survived in that family either. No big deal as your Grandparents are two people I have come to love and respect more than most. They are kind and loving, not to mention generous with their time and resources. I very much appreciate them. Your Grandfather has been a real friend to me. So, eventually we all end up at the same place in life. Some take the brown highly traveled path and others, the lime green gut sucking in path but, here we all are having fun and respecting those who have taught us all life's wonderful lessons. Blog on Girl.
    Love, UNCLE RON


  7. Thanks Uncle Relative Ron. Aunt Cathy/Julia was not the only one who pointed out that you are a cousin. Our family likes to have order, and groups and I get it, how else would we remember who is who. You are my honorary Uncle, even though I think maybe you like sweet Christina more than me. She likes to put snakes in unsuspecting relatives faces though, FYI.


  8. Well, I tried to respond earlier today – to no avail.
    We'll see if it works now…
    Raw talent?
    Girl, you've got it all over the blog.


  9. LOVE the pic of your older relative kissing your wee. The hat. The moment. All of it. Impressed with YOUR talent, my friend, to share it so well.


  10. A scavenger hunt?!?!? How cool is that? What fun relatives you have.

    PS: I hate inside jokes — they make me feel like an outsider. I guess since I am sans brown shirt I clearly am…


  11. i was laughing out loud at this so much that HUSBAND RON said, what is wrong with you?! sitting in a room by myself, laughing. it does look suspicious.

    glad you had a wonderful time!


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