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Anything goes, it’s Reunion!

  • July 23, 2012 7:46 am

I can’t believe it’s already that time of year!  We’ve had such a mild and lovely summer, but now that Reunion is here, the 100 degree days are becoming more and more frequent to ensure we all enjoy spending this entire week outside.  It’s amazing how we always adapt to the temperatures, allergies, and bedtimes.  Anything goes, it’s reunion, right?

I say that because it’s something that falls out of my mouth almost every day this week. Conversations typically go a little like this:

Kid 1:  “Mom, can I have a coke?” (11:00 p.m.)

Mom:  “Sure, it’s Reunion.”

Kid 2:  “Mom, can I borrow some clothes from (any other kid out there) because I’m soaked from the water balloon fights.”

Mom:  “Sure, it’s Reunion.”

Kid 3:  “Mom, can I do the Fun House 29 times in a row?”

Mom:  “Sure, it’s Reunion.”

Listen carefully this week.  I promise you’ll hear a mom or dad or both utter this phrase more than one time.  It’s a week of sweaty, nocturnal, small town bonding.  What could be better?  Especially when anything goes!

Help

  • August 29, 2011 7:19 pm

Ok kids, I think we need to make a pact as moms that when we need help, we ask for it.  We all think we need to be Super Mom–dropping kids at their designated activities after school, cooking delicious dinners, cleaning immaculate houses, washing never ending piles of clothes, and working on hours of spelling and vocabulary homework nightly.  I think we need to lay it out there that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and some things fall through the cracks.

Just today on TWO occassions, I talked with moms who were overwhelmed with after school schoolbusing to activities alone, and were trying to problem solve their way through the double and triple bookings they seem to have in their calendar.  Even if a kid only has one activity, ie softball, couple that with their sibling that has baseball and yet another sibling that has tball, and you’ve got yourself a trifecta of calendar explosion.

Girls, we HAVE to be able to ask for help.  I’m the pot calling the kettle black here, as I only use and abuse my own family when at all possible, and only call on friends if I have the time to back  up the favor with a Sonic drink, but I truly feel we HAVE to just somehow get over it.  Call your friends.  They like you. Most likely they like your kid.  They want to help, because then when they need help they know it’s “all good.”

Right?  I think I’m on the right track here.  Let go of the guilt.  Text your friend.  Return the favor.  I’m sure it all works out in the end somehow, and in the meantime we get everyone where they need to be, and maybe some spaghettios on the table.

Now, someone just call me on this as I go insane on Thursdays.  :)

The Weekend and Clean Up

  • July 31, 2011 10:23 pm

Reunion came to a close Saturday night, and even with the best intentions of retiring to sleep early in the evening, we spent the early morning hours on a porch retelling old stories about childhood, high school, and of course, those long lost ball game moments.  Some of the same stories are retold year after year, but this year I was surprised to hear a few new ones–specifically about my husband. We are quickly approaching our fifteenth wedding anniversary, and it seems I still have a lot to learn!  Apparently, he might hold the record for most licks received throughout his public school career, and has the witnesses to prove it!  Somehow all my mothering woes are becoming more understandably crystal clear after hearing about his constant antics and just plain bad luck.  Everyone gathered around literally laughed out loud as we took turns reliving some embarrassing, surprising, and albeit rebellious moments.  It was just a few short hours, and it was the perfect way to end another week of celebrating in our favorite Small Town.

As the carnival drew to a close, some cabins began the process of cleaning out refrigerators or taking down their decorations.  There was a certain wistfulness in the air seeing the clean up begin, knowing we were closing our eyes on Reunion for another year.  The dads slept in the cabins so they could wake early and finish the clean up before the temperatures rose to over 100 (well, they hoped to do that anyway,)  By noon all the cabins were showing signs of closing down, and the carnival was preparing to travel to the next town.  Soon the gates will be locked, and the entire area will seem like a ghost town just waiting for the next last week in July.

As I tucked the Scroggins Hoodlums into bed tonight, they were already nostalgic about the end of this Reunion, and making plans for the AMAZING Reunion we will have next year.

And, I have to admit, while I’m fighting my own spazzed out body clock tonight, the combination of warm fuzzies from the late night porch stories, and the happy snuggles from the exhausted kids in bed feeds my sappy side until I’m just about stuffed.  I think they say that’s when your cup runneth over.  I suppose mine just about is.

Day 4…Kid Free Night

  • July 29, 2011 9:31 am

Early on, we established a tradition of the kids taking one night off of Reunion to rest and recover.  In establishing this tradition, I might have let it slip that even the rides are closed–that Thursday is an entirely Kid Free Night all together, not just for the Scroggins Clan.   After hearing that my third grader openly argued with other water balloon soldiers about the fact that bracelets were even available on Thursday night, I do feel a little guilty about my deception.  But, only a little.

Since we don’t have carnival, water balloon, or specific meal time duties on kid free night, it truly is a night to sit and chat with friends–old and new.   Sometimes there are literally Reunions of some kind, and people meet up with old high school and college buddies to hash and rehash the fun times “back in the day.”  Games of cards and dominoes spring up in various cabins, and before we know it, it’s after two in the morning. That’s significant, because now for just the second year in a row, we planned at 2 a.m. breakfast–with bacon, eggs, tortillas–the works.

Now, kid free night is specific to the Scroggins Clan, and a few others who have also been sneaky enough to establish such a tradition.  If I’m honest with myself (and the kids one day), there are still rides turning, games playing, and water balloons flying like any other night.  That was obvious to us last night when we fired up the griddle and kids of all ages seemed to appear at the cabin, holding their little faces outside the screen and hoping for just one piece of delicious bacon.  In no less than five minutes we were hosts to about twenty kids.  Those poor children looked like they were in such need of the breakfast meat, and we really only had enough to throw out to the adults, setting off our guilt meter.  We promised them leftovers, and asked them to return, but as usual, there were zero bacon leftovers.  Next year:  more bacon.

As we finished up the night, one of us noted that Reunion Week is the Longest week of the year-simply because we are awake for so much more of it.  And, it’s true–that 4a.m. bedtime is something else.  There is not other time of year where I consistently and purposefully deprive myself of sleep to enjoy 100 degree temperatures.  But hey, that’s Reunion.

Day 3-We made it an early night.

  • July 28, 2011 7:21 am

I think the 2 a.m. bedtimes were wearing on both the hoodlums and myself last night, so we came in early at 1:30 a.m.  That’s what we call “Reunion Logic.”

I might instill an Early Wednesday Bedtime tradition after experiencing some wonderful emotional meltdowns and a very intense water balloon fight–both of which zapped the energy of each of my three Reunion Marathon Runners.

We did manage to salvage the night in the last minutes thanks to a game of Spoons.  I can’t take the credit, but one of my friends gathered some weary balloon soldiers, sat them around a card table, and began teaching some card sense.  I was also a newcomer to the game, and very excited to see the kids holding a REAL deck of cards and playing a game that involved something other than miniature houses, dice, or very tiny pieces of important plastic. It was a compete success, and I was laughing as the kids “drew bad cards” and “got four of a kind!”  Promises were made to play again and again this Reunion and every other Reunion for ever and ever and ever.

And, that’s what we call “Reunion Tradition.”

Day 2…getting tired

  • July 27, 2011 9:36 am

One of the novelties of Reunion Week is the time warp that occurs out on those carnival grounds.  Granted, we try not to go out there until 8 or so, given the record temperatures that always occur during this time of year, so after dinner, and a few rides, the fun doesn’t REALLY get started until 11…or 12…or 1.   That’s when the water balloon fight starts to twindle, and the kids start to retrace their steps home for board games, snacks, cards, and sometimes even sleep.

Then…

Once the kids have sufficiently passed out from exhaustion, the parents can sit and chat uninterrupted, and WHAM!  It’s four in the morning.  Last night we packed up a little early, and were safely back home by 3:30, but my old bones are already feeling the effects of these late/early nights only three days in.

But hey, it’s Reunion.  That’s what we do.

Time to coordinate naptimes…both mom and kid so that we can rally for Day 3.

Day 1…Check

  • July 26, 2011 8:32 am

Monday night down, the rest of the week to go…

One new tradition with the Old Wise County Settler’s Reunion is the Reunion tshirt.  I’ve noticed them over the past few years–some are unique to camps, while others try to define Reunion itself.  And in the spirit of old and new traditions, the Twitter Tshirt was born, so for those of you still wondering what we crazy Wise Countians do during this week, here’s a little more explanation:

#WISECOUNTYREUNION2011

10.  #ineeda4thfor42

9.  #anythinggoesitsreunion

8.  #whoareyouandwhyareyouinmycabin

7.  #ihaveacarnieinmyfamilytree

6.  #smellslikebacon

5.  #theparkinglotisnotwhatitusedtobe

4.  #iknowwhatsinyoursolocup

3.  #byotp

2.  #iboughtmywaterballoonsinapril

1.  #ifyoudontgetiticanthelpyou

It’s Reunion-anything goes (almost)

  • July 25, 2011 6:18 am

And here we are again at the hottest week of the year-the week we all pack up our kids, our food, our money, and our pillows to head out to our own little shanty town of fun.  My kids are excited out of their skin that this week is FINALLY here.  They are planning their water balloon strategies during the day, and mapping out their carnival rides by night.  Most of all, they are wallowing in the lack of bedtime, the abundance of fun time, and in this all too familiar-yet unique week of the year.

My kids are old enough now to start the process of “checking in.”  They are old enough to know where specific cabins are located on the intricate map of reunion home sites.  They are old enough to remember the antics of past reunions, and to plan future antics for when they are “old.”  This week is carving a special place in their memories, and an even more special place in their sentimental hearts.  It makes me smile to see them so excited–so happy to be in their small town and with their friends in family.  It makes me know we are home.

Fourth of July Fun

  • June 28, 2011 6:33 pm

Everyone seems to have their own Independence Day Traditions.  For us, it usually involves a lake, some cheetos, and an inevitable sunburn.  I’m especially looking forward to a few days being water-logged in this five million degree heat.

But, on top of the cheeto-filled fun, we also sometimes partake of the Fourth of July Fireworks-which always make me anxious.  Is it just me, or does giving your small child a miniature piece of a dynamite-like substance just seem wrong?  I know I’m a fuddy duddy when it comes to explosives, but they ALL make me NERVOUS!!  Our kids love the parachutes, the little throw-on-the-ground-snapper-thingies, the spin-around-making-a-very-shrill-noise-contraptions, and always…always the OH SO LOUD blackcats.  I just wish we’d all get a few sparklers and spell our names in cursive and be done with it–go find some lightning bugs afterwards.  Those are just as shiny, right?

I would almost have a case if the Daddy of our house wasn’t as excited about the ignited toys as the kids.  In addition to all the goodies outlined above, he likes to invest in the kind that actually fly into the air and try to explode.  Most of the time, things have worked out ok for us, but I’m not going to lie.  We have fires and ashes in our past.  It wasn’t pretty–and all the more justification for my explosive phobias.

This year (as I grin from ear to ear) there is a burn ban (HOORAY!), so maybe we will be able to duck and cover from this little part of the tradition until next time–or all of our kids are in double digits.  I just really thing double digits are in order when playing with fire.

Whatever your traditions, explosive or otherwise, sing a few patriotic songs, have a hot dog, and be sure to be just sappy enough about our Country to get a few goosebumps.

No matter the 500 degree heat.

Smalltown Teamwork at the Dentist

  • June 27, 2011 12:30 pm

Last week I double booked the kids’ dentist and orthodontist appointments–four appointments within the same two hours at two different offices. I’m awesome, but even I was going to have issues with getting all the kids to their allotted appointments at the correct times.

So, I sheepishly asked for help.

Here’s how it went down:

Kid 1 went into Dentist 1 for a cleaning.  As Kid 1 finished, Kid 2 went in for a cleaning, and Kids 1 and 3 hopped in the car to drive across town to Dentist 2.  In the meantime, Dentist 1 watched over Kid 2.  When we approached Dentist 2′s office, I dropped off Kid 1 for braces assembly; Kid 3 and I went back to Dentist 1 to retrieve Kid 2 and get Kid 3′s teeth cleaned.  Dentist 2 was all too happy to cover the watch on Kid 1 while I went back to Dentist 1′s office to finish the cleanings on Kids 2 and 3.  In the end, we finished the afternoon with three sets of cleaned teeth, and one set of braces.

There are lots of things I love about this little town, but who knew it would be dentist appointments?