Monday, September 10, 2012

Ashworth Family Reunion

After returning home from Bloomington, IN, we had two short weeks before our next adventure--a well-planned and non-spontaneous trip to UT for a BIG Ashworth family reunion.

When I say BIG, i mean 4 generations of aunts, uncles, 1st and 2nd cousins--120 people BIG! But oh, it was so FUN!!  And when i say FUN, i mean 3 days of talking with cousins (some i'd never even met!!), hiking in the beautiful mountains near Brighton UT, hearing stories about ancestors and grand-parents, making ice cream, playing games, cooking amazing food, eating amazing food, getting ready for and singing with our kids in the talent show, staying up late with all my fellow night owls (now I know where I get it from!!) and wondering why it had been 34 years since our last reunion!! (hence the cousins I'd never met).  It was 3 days of perfection.

Except for when it wasn't.  James, Eliza and I all got the stomach flu on day 2.  Eliza got it the worst.  I got it the best (the best?) and James got it first--and gave it to us all.  Luckily no one else got it--hallelujah!! And luckily I only missed out on the book club and the Boston Cream-making activity.  I hadn't finished the book, and I've never cared for Boston Creams, which made it less painful to be missing out!!

Other than that (and really, Reid was the one who got to deal with the worst of it...both times...bless him) the reunion was perfect!!

I was in charge of the fund-raising part of the reunion and decided somewhat last-minute to have an auction.  Amazingly we had over 100 donations. People generously offered up some seriously awesome items--a violin, a handmade quilt, amazing jewelry, century-old books, photographs, recipes, Zumba classes--it was amazing!  And in spite of my lack of auctioneering experience, I dare say I pretty much rocked it.  It's no small secret that I love to hear myself speak, so give me a microphone and a cause, and I'll empty every pocketbook in the house!  There was no stopping me!  We raised over $1700 at that auction, which nearly covered all the expenses that hadn't been anticipated.  And I found a new hobby!!

At the end of the auction we said our big "thank you's" to those who had put soooo much time into the whole thing.  As part of that my sister, Julia and I wrote and sang a song to Charity--the one who really made the whole reunion a major success!  And, since it was so awesome, and so I'll never forget it, I'm writing down our oh-so clever lyrics:

(To the tune of You're a Grand Old Flag)

You're a grand reunion planner
You made two amazing banners
You put our thumbs on a family tree
You created a slide show, designed a logo, and put it on T-shirts for we

You arranged a talent show, and a getting-to-know...
You made this the best reunion in town
And should all the Ashworths unite again
We sure hope that you're around!!!

Thanks, again, Charity, and Steve, and Susan and everyone else who busted their behinds to make this happen!!

Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I could choose from...

My dad on the balcony of one of five lodges we rented in Brighton, UT

Hannah holding James.  She is the best niece/babysitter in the world!

As we arrived, we all stamped our thumb prints around this cute tree, then signed it. Abby won this at the auction! I love having it in our house!!

Feeding the herd

Games, crafts, art contest--the kids were NEVER bored!

Scott teaching a group how to make Boston Creams.  If you look closely you'll see that i'm NOT in this picture. I was two lodges over, wishing I could just puke and get it over with :(

Look at that view from the balcony where we ate our meals!  Beautiful!

The whole crew (minus a few late-comers)
The first generation--my dad and his siblings

The 1st Cousins

The 2nd cousins

The suckers (those who chose to be part of this crazy family!)

Maybe lots of people grow up going to reunions like this, but I never did.  And i really love getting together with family.  So this was something I've been really excited about for a long time.  The only disappointment was when it ended and all the people who i still hadn't sufficiently been able to soak up scattered back all over the globe (one family even came from New Zealand!).

Given our track record, it might be another 34 years before I see some of these people again.  I suppose that the rarity of the occasion is a big part of what made it so magical.  But 34 years?  really?  How 'bout five? do i hear a five years?  Five years for the next big reunion?  will ya give me four?  four years? how 'bout three?  two?  one!?!!  Sold!!

I'll even help with the fundraising :)