Every August it is like clockwork: our trip to Western NY for the annual Barnes' Family Reunion. And every August, like clockwork, I am reminded of what a wonderful family I married into. And every August, without fail, I am pulled to the beauty and splendor of the countryside, where Brian grew up. It is warm/low humidity days, with cool/bonfire nights. It is the smell of country, with cows and livestock in all their glory. It is like a second home to me. And I think Lucy feels it too....
On this particular morning, we took a long leisurely walk down the gravel road that bumps up to Brian's parents' property. And Lucy decided she wanted to start picking wild flowers to make a bouquet.
Brian and I started to help her.....
And then, it became like a mission, to find every color and variety we possibly could.
In the end, I think we did pretty good with our little bouquet.
And I was reminded that, just as in life-- it was more about the journey than the destination.
And this journey, on this particular morning, was just about perfect.
|Lucy took this pic!|
|Lucy and Tucker|
|Lucy and her cousin Lucas. He had brought her something from Niagara Falls and was giving it to her. So sweet.|
|Bridget and cousin Michelle|
|Brian and his brother Tim|
Since all of the family was gathered, we had a special ceremony at the cemetery to bury Brian's mom's ashes. The weather was beautiful, and her grave site was as well, thanks to the hard work of Maureen and Bridget all summer. I think it was just as Ann would have liked it.
|Lucy and cousin Claire|
So, the park we go to every year for the main event had a major face lift this past year....
and the highlight of the day for the kids: the zipline!
I swear, it was like the perfect babysitter: free, easily accessible, kept the kids occupied,
and did I mention- a total blast!
|Lucy and Lucas. Two peas in a pod.|
|Greg, George, Sandy, Kevin, Carl, Bridget and Brandon|
|Cousins Will, Liam and Lucy|
Typically, a Barnes' family gathering is not complete without some kind of athletic-type of event.
As you can see here, Brian and Bridget are not the least bit competitive....
You can't see it here either....
Here's the gang, after the big wiffle ball event!
|Carl, Kevin, Brian and Chip. And look at baby Lena in the background! Totally hamming it up for the pic!|
|Lucy, and Rachel in the background.|
|Sandy and Brandon|
|Uncle Tom, Bridget, George, Michelle, Greg and Alex|
Did I happen to mention how great this zipline was?
Or how Lucy and Lucas are like two peas in a pod?
Or how cute that little boy is?
|Aunt Pebbie and Uncle Chuck|
|Uncle Mike and Kara|
|Cousin Joe, and his nephew Patrick|
By the end of the reunion, all the adults caught on to what the kids had been enjoying all day.
Here is Uncle Mike .....
|Cousins Lucas, Liam, Lucy, Brennan and Elizabeth|
|Lucy and Brennan|
After several years in a row, it has now become tradition that after we leave the park and get back to the farm, we take our annual sunset wagon ride down Hodge Road.
It is one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
The perfect ending to a fantastic weekend.