This past Saturday, my family converged in upstate New York at my cousin's country home, Stony Brook Farm. It's a beautiful home that's perfect for hosting and entertaining plenty of guests.
I drove up there with my brother and Barry through a crazy rain that I thought would never let up. Finally we arrived and was amazed at all the new construction and landscaping that was done since last year. The most fun additions were a pond and a pool on their 42 acres of land.
The pond was warm and soon it was full of kids and adults and even my dog as we enjoyed the rare opportunity for some cooling off in the waterin' hole. The mud squished between my toes along the bottom. There were diving contests off the rocks. Frogs croaked along the banks. All I needed was an inner tube raft and a beer.
There was also some excitement. Ryan locked his keys in the trunk of his car and had to call AAA to unlock the car. It was quite an event as we all cheered on the porch as the rescue truck drove down the driveway. Poor Ryan, he's not even in the family yet but he gets as much crap as anyone else. He had to put up with being the butt of the jokes for the rest of the day. But at least he's the star of his own video.
Family gatherings are always special. They don't need to be fancy, just as long as there's food, everyone's happy. What's really wonderful is how the cousins have grown up so close and now the new generation of cousins get to experience the same closeness that we have. They will always know that their family will be there to turn to for laughs and for comfort.
I feel very lucky to have the family that I do. I know I don't tell them that often enough.
See the photo slideshow.