Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tahoe Together

Grandpa and all his great-grandkids
Grandpa's legacy is nature: wild animals, hiking, respect for life that grows from the ground. Crisp veggies. Oddities like onion bread with jam or salted fruit. Exploration. Reverence for creation.

Grandma's legacy is home: generous meals, crafts, gifts wrapped in love. Games, puzzles, a special day remembered. Gentleness and a listening ear. Comfort. Warmth. Appreciation of blessings.

Their shared gifts to us are faith, storytelling and tradition.

Our generations are the reconstruction of their qualities, each iteration in different quantity and order. The gene sequences arranged like variations on a theme, a melody of kinship weaves through us all with such decided similarity.

This past weekend we stayed in Lake Tahoe to mark Grandpa's 80th birthday. The euphony of our chatter and game-playing spilled out of the large house. More than twenty strong we gathered, ate, teased, laughed and celebrated for four days. Ever-competitive, ever-creative, ever-glad to be together, we hiked and read and played and made new memories.

We ate and ate and ate and ate and ate.

I feel so lucky to come from a family of brave cooks--Grandma had her say in making each of us capable, creative, equal to the task of serving others. And just as amazing is Grandpa's green thumb, extending from each of our hands. Fresh produce and flowers are part and parcel to our nature. We've been taught by both to make and to nurture, to appreciate and to sacrifice for others. What a treat it was to eat amazing food and enjoy the beauty of Tahoe together.

I am blessed to come from a family of love, a functioning, caring symphony of talent. It was a weekend full of stories to be told again and again. I am so appreciative of the experience.

Custom hiking sticks from Grandpa and new backpacks from Grandma
More puzzle--Eric is now obsessed... Mom (Mary) and Grandma Lila join in...
Bruce and Dave's smoked tri-tip
Cascade Falls hike
Sun through the clouds -- Angora Lakes hike
Uncle Dave went over to the big rock, so of course everyone else had to...
Sat 9.10.11 - 45
Uncle Bruce had to ferry everyone across so they wouldn't get wet--this is Addie
Tyler too
Sun 9.11.11 - 03
So mad this came out blurry.  :(  Mom and Aunt Anne cooking up the BEST BREAKFAST I HAVE EVER HAD.  Ever.
"Christmas morning" cinnamon rolls a la Mom
"Christmas morning" quiche a la Aunt Anne
Sunday brunch
There we are... Everyone (minus Kayla and Beau, they had to leave early). What a wonderful weekend with family, celebrating Grandpa's 80th.

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