Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Fat Bohunk Family Reunion 2012

The rest of the summer whizzed by as fast as the first half, and Semester is already stomping me with his steel-toed boots. I’m a pathological procrastinator and a badger-fierce protector of my “summer space,” so the cold sweats I’m having over next week’s start of the school year are my own dang fault. Come next Tuesday (it’s pathetic that I KNOW this and do it anyway), I’ll be ready to go, I’ll have a tingly sense of adventure & excitement about my fresh new students, and I’ll be totally mystified about why I put myself through the wringer like this. Every. Single. Time. So here I go procrastinating a little more, recapping one of late summer’s highlights…

It seems like our Big Fat Bohunk Family Reunion was decades ago, though it was at the end of July, in the Minnesota woods near Leech Lake. It hasn't even been a month ago, but I miss my Big Family more this year than I remember in the past. Maybe our friend’s and my uncle’s passing from our lives this summer leaves me contemplating priorities more than usual.

Anyhoo, you can see last year’s revelry at;postID=6223593135121397134

This year, there were 57 humans and 15 dogs, and our slightly irreverent theme (it’s 2012 after all) was, “If I’m not Mayan, I’m Dyin’” (complete with reunion theme t-shirts for all, thanks to my little bro). The festivities included the 2nd annual Esther Williams Invitational Lake Swim with 17 participants, ranging in age from teens to sixty-somethings, and included folks with bad tickers & bum knees, and folks so out of shape that near-drowning seemed like it might be a mercy. To everyone’s surprise, the only Bohunk to make it across the lake and back was my little bro, who’d packed on a little pre-winter hibernation layer since his recent move to Ohio, so we all had to eat a little crow and crown him the Big Fish.
One cousin led us (and by us, I mean them, since I was typically still at the coffee shop in town) in early morning Beach Towel Yoga. I couldn’t talk her into evening yoga instead, but I’ll work on it for next year. Our Campfire Hootenanny this year included two generations of musicians and several great sing-along numbers. There were always a few folks gathered around the firepit chatting, knitting, and reminiscing, while others went off to water ski, tube, jet ski, or treat their third-degree sunburns. The 2nd annual Go Whole Hog Pig Roast was exceptional, although there was, sadly, no hat for the pig this year. 

We even held the first annual Bohunk Bonanza auction, where everyone dug through their cars for stuff to auction off in support of the cabin taxes. Among the bargains were crushed straw hats, a piece of rock from Jerusalem, old plastic signs, a toy airplane made of pop cans, and felted baby hats. 

There were unlimited floaties, a canoe, a paddleboat, and always, shampoo & conditioner on the dock.

The tent city was already tightly packed when we arrived, so our Ecuador, Kansas and South Dakota clans stayed at the motel in town, a strip motel my grandson dubbed “The Number House.” He could bang on any numbered door (then barge right in Dragnet style) and find family. I’m pretty sure he’d like things permanently arranged this way, with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Great-grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins all handy. My dad didn’t make it this year, so Mom was the Grand Matriarch, a title she wears well, and we met our two newest baby-boy cousins. And other than the usual water-sport strains and sprains and the sound golf thrashing of the old by the young, there were no serious injuries.
I’m already looking forward to next year. My sunburn has peeled & healed, I have a delightful new layer of freckles, and I’m hard at work on waterproof glittery headbands for next summer’s auction…