After a year of warning, invitations, planning, reservations and preparations our family gathered at the Red Lodge Resort Ranch located a few miles west of Bowden, Alberta.
|Red Lodge Resort Ranch Campground|
Not everyone joined but those who did had a great time. We visited, met kids, now grown up with kids of their own, cousins met cousins who had lost connection due to life. We move, we work and play and we all change. We have all aged, gained weight and changed hair colour naturally or by design. Some members have new mates, some hang in and live comfortably with old ones. We are all held together by the common family bond of a Mother. Our mother has had three different husbands so we are a blended family with the same Mother genes. Seven kids from the same woman who lived through tough, historic times. We all carry hard times scars, invisible to untrained observers. I look with envy at my wife's family, a whole family with very regular family tree. I see how easy it was to draw her family tree and the simple uncomplicated life they lead. Theirs was not a wealthy, monetarily, family, rather, a supporting and loving family in their own way.
Our tree was dramatic and difficult tree to draw, roots from several families blended and melded together in a not always harmonious design to construct who we are today. I watched with pride who we have become. All members are hard working, contributing members of society. We have all raised families of our own and most of our families are working on theirs. With the loving support of our family all of us will be okay. We may not always be very loving, certainly not clinging or expressive, but are all supportive in times of need. Reunions should not just be at funerals or weddings but these occasions seem to be the most common excuses to show our love and support.
The Red Lodge Resort Ranch was the perfect spot to enjoy a family reunion. There are rustic cabins to house families or couples who do not have their own holiday trailers. There is room for kids to run, play and explore.
|Candy Flies From Smashed John Deere Pinata|
Games can be played, balls kicked and batted, playground to swing and slide upon, there is room to run, walk and hide if need be. We enjoyed a hall with small kitchen in which to cook and eat and entertain. There is a riding arena where we took the young kids for their first horse ride. We walked up the trail with grand kids, some riding bikes, or foot powered toy cars or sauntered along observing bugs and smelling the roses.
|Stop and Smell the Roses|
We watched as they smashed candy stuffed pinatas and roasted wieners and marshmallows. I saw two and three year old kids mesmerised by our live entertainer, Richard Popowich who put on a wildly entertaining hour long performance of singing, joking and drawing out ordinarily shy family members. He was even interrupted by a 10 minute hailstorm and started over without missing a beat.
|Stormy Reunion, Sun Does Shine Again|
Great job Richard Popowich.
|Richard Popowich the Entertainer|
I do look forward to our next family gathering. I will show up no matter how busy we are.