12 June 2022

Family reunion

It has been a long tradition: the Saher family reunion. I can remember them from my childhood. And they are still going! It’s not a close family, but you could see that as a reason to appreciate the annual reunions even more. If we don’t see each other then, then we don’t at all! I am getting keener on them with time. But covid  had got in the way. I had attended the last one, in 2019. I had no way of knowing there wouldn’t be one for 3 years! 

We normally meet at the house of a family member, and do some sort of excursion from there. The last time we went to the beach, but we’ve been to a woodland, and onto a river, and all sorts of things like that. But this time, my southern uncle was organising, but he had decided that it was better to do the day closer to where everybody else lives. He had imagined a picnic, and a visit to a pancake house. But it turned out the pancake house didn’t take bookings, and the forecast was wet. So the day before the actual reunion he sent an email out saying it was cancelled. Oh dear! If it would be moved then the chances of me being in the country for it were very small. I was just looking forward to it. But then I thought that maybe we could just get some cousins together and do a cousin dinner, which is a bit of a tradition as well. 

I didn't get anywhere sorting that. Before I got to it, there was another message coming in from my sister; she said it would be a waste to cancel the whole thing and that she actually owned a conveniently located roof. We could just do the whole thing at her place! She suggested a picnic on the moor, and having pizza in her house. And so it was organised! The day was saved!

It was very logistically easy for me; I woke up at my sister’s place anyway. I helped making some sandwiches for the picnic, end soon we welcomed the first guests. It was good to see everyone! We were not complete; there was one cousin make it but that had already been the case when the plan was still the pancake house. But we had a good turnout!

I was especially chuffed to see my one cousin who had moved back from Canada during lockdown. I had obviously not seen her during lockdown, and I had also not seen her in all the time she had been living in Canada. It had been a fair while! And she has brought the youngest of her children, and I had never met him. And she was already talking about the next country to live in, so we need to enjoy her company while we can!

We started with coffee and cake in the back garden. And when we were almost complete and we all had had enough coffee, we went to the moors. My sister explained where we were going to my last missing cousin and we were off. And it is a beautiful location! And the weather was fine.

The three patriarchs

There was another surprise; another cousin, the sister of the one who had come back from Canada, said she was going to go to the UK for her holiday, and Wales was included in the itinerary. And it turned out she had booked a camping right in Nant Ffrancon! So I would see her again later that summer! And with my nephew visiting the very same month, it would be a summer with more family visits than anyone could have anticipated. Cool! 

It was good to spend some time on the moors hearing how everyone likes where they live, and their job, and what everyone thinks of Dutch politics, and how we are all trying to make our houses sustainable. And how the children are doing, and the pets. And who looks like who. The usual family reunion stuff! I appreciate it more with the passing of time.

Group picture

We knew that there was rain expected, so at some point we went back to my sister's house. That resulted in a small dispute; my sister’s cat did not appreciate that my cousin had brought his dog. But the animosities remained mild. And we humans had more tea, and later we ordered pizza. And my nice played some harp. And then the whole reunion started to come to an end! Some of us have to travel quite a distance in order to get to Hilversum. 

Nora playing harp

By then the weather was atrocious, so my stepmother offered me a lift to my mother’s place, where I would spend the night. That was kind! And I was glad that I had got to see all my relatives, in spite of the slight hiccup! 

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