We're back from the Morrow Family Reunion! We do this every other year. Each of my siblings takes turns producing the event, and we move it around the country. Estes Park, Colorado, was this years venue. It was beautiful, and so was the weather. Mother nature had tried to kill off those of us who are Nebraskans, with heat and humidity, the past month, so the cool dry air was really welcome.
Several families rent large rooms and have impromptu party's. We were celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary in one room and the host couple and their kids were hosting another party in their room.
If you were bored, and with no one to talk to, you could just walk the hotel and find a gathering of people whom you knew, and hadn't seen for about ten years. I hadn't seen my cousin from Iowa, for a few years. We have kept in touch but we're both busy, busy, with our own families. She ran into Ralph who was standing outside of my room, (he is no relation but since my brothers and sisters always ask if the Ralph's are going to be there, I invited them) , and asked, "are you one of the Morrow's"? Ralph said "yes, I'm Cliff's younger brother". He'd been had. He ran into a first cousin who knew that I was the youngest in the family. Her eye's narrowed and said "Oh no you're not, Cliff was the youngest in the family". I stepped into the hallway just in time to say, "I see you've met Ralph". How appropriate, that she should meet Ralph under these circumstances. Trying to have some of his fun.
It seems that my brothers and sisters have taken to Ralph and his wife as Marilyn and I have. At our banquet Saturday night, each family had sent a representative to come to the front and introduce themselves and their immediate family, and how they were related to the Morrow Clan. I had the microphone in my hand to introduce my three children and their families and/or friends they had come with. I pointed to Ralph and his 'lovely to look at' wife, and said their names and said, "They've endeared themselves to"...and before I could say "this entire family", one my brothers inserted "the enire hotel". No truer words have ever been spoken. One of the lawyers in the crowd reported the 'juris prudence' committee had found the Ralph's eligible for adoption and in fact recommended it. I said all in favor say aye. A resounding and unanamous ballot made it official.
Ralph's college bound daughter sums up their family's attitude better than anyone. She was standing in a large group of Morrow's who were trying to decide who was going where, and in what vehicle. We asked her, "do those plans sound okay with you"? She replied the same way Ralph would have, "as long as I get to eat a couple of times a day, I'll go along with anything".
Over the last decade, my family has gotten together a lot. Reunions, funerals, holidays, Nebraska football games, golf tourneys, or just traveling thru. Whatever the occasion, whatever the excuse, we think family is most important and worthy of our efforts to cultivate that unity. Our youngsters come and play. As they get older they come and ask "who is that"? And then finally, as they age, one morning you ask them "where were you last night? "Oh we were with Uncle this or in Aunt that's room or with some of the cousins playing cards or we went swimming and then to a movie". It keeps the family strong and most of all teaches our kids by example. The questions will start in about a month. "Dad, where's the next family reunion gonna be, and are the Ralphs going to be there"?