So the reunion was great. Travels to and from went smoothly. My flights were fine, and even the short connection on the way back was no big deal. The drive was tediously long, but at least it was through pretty country and on roads empty enough to drive fast.
It was really nice to see all my siblings and their families, some of whom I hadn't seen in a few years. I shared a room with Sherilyn & Devin. We stayed at a motel owned by one of the relations; it was your typical low-end small-town motel, but it cost all of I think $25/room per night, so no complaints!
It was a pretty relaxed event. Each meal was provided by one branch of the family, so it was just a matter of showing up and eating. (I had to take off at 8:30 Saturday morning, so I missed out on helping provide lunch the last day.) On Thursday afternoon, we did a volunteer service project: painting the no-parking zones red on the curbs along the main street in town. Because I misunderstood the logistics and was the only one to take their car over rather than walking, I ended up playing expediter, running back and forth to get this and that for people, helping distribute paint and brushes, etc. Which actually turned out to be pretty useful. That evening my brother Loren put on a Family Feud game using answers from a survey he'd sent out to everyone. (Stuff like, "what's your favorite memory of Grandpa.") He found a flash program that does the board and the noises, and I ran that while he emceed. It was pretty entertaining!
Friday morning my step-mom ran a dollar auction for the kids. I helped set up chairs and then had to retreat to my room with a headache, but it was a popular event. There were various outings both days (golfing and 4-wheeling and suchlike), but I just hung out and socialized with family. And played a surprising amount of Dominion. It's a big hit not just with my siblings but also with a bunch of the nephews.
Friday night there was a talent show, which was pretty good as such things go. My step-mom's family is musically talented, so there were a number of good performances. Our branch sang this song from the Shaun the Sheep movie, which meant (for the mens' parts, anyway) all the lyrics were "baa baa baa" and I just had to fit in the harmony somewhere, which I was able to do even with my sad 1-octave baritone range. One cousin played the ukelele. My brother Boyd played his uncle's accordion while my sister sang the Russian birthday song, which is hilariously melancholy. And he did one of the songs from Hamilton with two of his kids, quite well. There were multiple dance numbers to Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop The Feeling, plus a hula from kids of a Hawaiian cousin.
As is not uncommon, there were a lot of distant (step-) relations who recognized me that I didn't recognize back. I always feel kinda bad about it, but I see no solution. I just know way too many people and have a lousy memory for names. But everyone was friendly, the countryside was pretty, we all had a good time, and all my siblings responded positively when I told them about our wedding plans. So yay!
Saturday was pretty much all travel. On Sunday, Jerry and I joined Thomas & Josh (toosuto), who was in town doing aikido stuff, for lunch at Domo. Since D&D that afternoon was cancelled due to DM illness, we also took the time to go see giant inflatable bunny sculptures downtown. Later in the afternoon, I went over to Karen & Thomas's to see a bit more of Josh & his family, and ended the evening playing a game of Lords of Waterdeep.
The rest of the week has been mostly unremarkable. Monkey has been working extra hours on a release that went live today. Pandemic Legacy on Tuesday night. Yesterday I thought I had strep, so I stayed home for a doctor's appointment, but it turns out it was just a canker sore in a weird place plus a random sore throat, so that was a pleasant surprise. Ended up taking the day off and sleeping a good chunk of the afternoon away, so clearly I was a little under the weather with something; maybe just lack of sleep.
Oh, and I discovered this week that I just flat-out forgot to pay several bills at the end of last month. Whoops! I'm all caught up on everything but the HOA (who you can't call, so I might as well just pay it double this month), and everybody else did a courtesy waiver of the late fees for me, but still, how embarrassing!
Inflatable bunnies of #intrude by Amanda Parer: