I come from a very large family, both on my mother's and father's side. (My father is one of 7, and my mom is one of 11.) I grew up with tons of aunts, uncles and cousins. Some of my most treasured memories have been family gatherings at the holidays such as Christmas and Easter. On Sunday we had a gathering of many of my relatives at my cousin Ellen's 50th birthday at my aunt's house in Queens.
We all had a really enjoyable time. Many of my cousins are married, and brought their kids with them. They are the next generation of my family, and they are a beautiful group of kids. There was plenty of food, which was really good. (I indulged a little too much I think, as I felt like I gained about five pounds when the day was over!) It was also nice to talk to many of my cousins who regularly check out my blog and have them tell me how much they enjoy checking it out.
My cousin Eileen, who is my oldest cousin and Ellen's sister, lives in Hawaii and joined us by cell phone a number of times during the afternoon. During the day, we had a contest about how well we all know Ellen's life. It was about 40 questions on all various parts of her life. I was chosen as a judge (along with our family friend Mildred) on the questions' answers, as my reputation as a Trivia Maven got me the position. My family was divided into four groups, and we all had fun guessing at the answers. (I did make a ruling on one question, and tossed it out because it was not worded properly. I felt like I was back at Professor Thom's.)
We also did a game called "Rock, Paper, Scissors" which matched all of us up against each other in a knockout tournament to determine the winner. It was the standard game where two people put out either a fist, two fingers or their whole hand at each other. My brother-in-law Jack was the winner, albeit a reluctant one as he really didn't want to play when it started. But it was still fun.
There was also a very nice retrospective on Ellen's life on a computer disc, which we all watched on my aunt's computer. It was really nicely done, with many old pictures of Ellen, her immediate and extended family. (I even saw myself as youngster in pictures I never saw before.)
We all enjoyed ourselves today (although watching the Mets lose to the Braves today on TV wasn't fun), and it was really nice to be with my relatives today. I am really blessed to have such a warm and loving family, and I thank God every night for it.
I really hope you enjoyed the day, Ellen. We all certainly did.