Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Michaelson Reunion 2007

Afton, Wyoming. The Ranch. Star Valley. Home. No wonder this is one of my "happy places." The Michaelson reunion is held every year on the last Saturday of July. We have a barbeque on Friday night, the reunion proper on Saturday afternoon, fireworks courtesy of my Uncle Sid in the evening and a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. With all the memories I have made at this reunion over my many years of life, it amazes me that other people, other families don't hold a yearly reunion. I say it's worth all the trouble, if they turn out even remotely like the ones we have.
Rivulet enjoyed crawling around in the grass at the ranch, finding mud and playing with her many cousins in the same age bracket.

(Above) Uncle Jeff helping Lemur wet his toesies in the Intermitent Spring. It's a 3/4 mile hike we do every year up to the "Geyser." I've done it every summer since I was Lemur's age. Last time Lemur hiked it, he lost his beloved paci to the water gods (he spit it out screaming for me). He remembered it this time, and kept asking if we were going to find it.
Above is the nasty gash I received for saving my son from a grisly death. Okay, a bad fall . . . but still. This is after I washed it off. Note the blood on the buckle. Cool, huh?
Papa and Lemur making it down the trail. I love moments like these.

Earlier that day was the actual REUNION! Above is Uncle John (who Lemur hasn't seen since Christmas) showing Lemur how to bump fists as a manly sign of comraderie. Lemur was beeming. They also threw rocks in the Swift Creek, right by the bowry.
Above is my Aunt Sylvia and my Grandma playing their accordians. It was awesome. They practiced all morning. At one point, G-ma came into the kitchen where I was busily cutting up fruit, started to play with Rivulet and commented, "That woman has gone accordian crazy!" Apparently my Aunt had just recently bought the red one and taught herself to play. It's the happiest I've ever seen her, honestly.
Uncle John and Rivulet spent some quality time together, when he wasn't tossing a ball in Lemur's face or teaching him . . . uh . . . colorful words. I miss my brother.

Good thing about digital cameras: I can take a picture of a picture and have it turn out like the above of my Great Great Grandfather, Jacob Michaelson. I have wanted this painting for my own, but G-ma absolutely will not part with it. So now I have my own. So to speak.
Above is a picture from inside the old barn, looking out at the old corral. I remember going in there early in the mornings in the summer to get Moneychanger and Missy for a ride. The weeds were just the same. While in the barn, I saw an old box of animal penicillan that expired November 30, 1950: with the bottle still inside! I also found a pair of overalls that I suspect belonged to my Great Grandfather Joseph.
While inside, I heard strange noises over head that I assumed were birds in the hay loft. But then I heard footsteps just behind me, out by the door. When i mustered up the courage to look out there, I saw the most beautiful rooster who caught sight of me and with a loud and humerous "Cluck cluck cluck" ran away across the yard. Boy was I relieved it wasn't a skunk!
And here is the M on the front screen door. It stands for Michaelson. I love this reunion. I love the food, the people and the place. I love family. I love being a part of a family like this one.
Well, there it is. A breif recap of what I did this weekend. Reunions ROCK!!!


Tristano said...

People make places special, and vice versa.

WildBound said...

Beautiful photos of memories.

WildBound said...

Oh, and cool bloody buckle and all. Lately I've had a strange, possibly unstable desire to see my bloody pants from the accident. Alas, they were disposed of before I ever saw them. I never thought I'd find myself wanting to keep the literally cut-off bloody jeans as a memento...

DreamPacker said...

great photos. great memories. makes me want to start that tradition somehow.

CowboyBob said...

Share some ideas on how we might get started with an annual reunion, please. The family is large enough now. Loved your story and pictures.

Bethany said...

I honestly haven't seen Wyoming look so inviting before. Sounds nice.

Ahenobarbus Textor said...

Reading this gave me a non-earned nostalgia. I've never really been to my big reunion up in Coer d'Alene, Id. Purhaps I'll make more of an effort sometime in the future.

Sayyadina said...

Well, Couer d'Alene is beautiful and therefore might be worth it. The reason Afton is so wonderful is because it is a tradition steeped in tradition. We know so many of eachother and have so many memories together in that place. I could only hope that it would be that way for you if you went to your own.