There are some things one can count on when the Andersons come. Uncle Bob & Aunt Madeline usually arrive early. Uncle Doug & Aunt Charlene always arrive late. Cousin Patty and Cousin Gregg (Doug's kids) are usually even later than Doug. Cousin Shelly (Bob's girl) & Brett have the two little ones (Mallory & Brooke) in tow, so it really matters on the kids on when they'll get there.
Well, the gathering was scheduled for 2pm. And since no one had yet arrived, we began to fear that maybe folks thought it was Sunday. (Well, no one really thought that, but we did joke about it.) And shortly after 2, the first guests arrived. And to the shock of everyone, including himself, Uncle Doug was first! He and Charlene were astounded that they were first. Lots of hugs were shared and we heated up the bean greens that Charlene had brought. Plus she had Chex Mix - yum!
Turns out Shelly & co had arrived at Bob's earlier that day and everyone was going to head over after that. And they were there by 2:30. Mallory & Brooke had asked before hand to get clear on who was who (we usually see them once, sometimes twice, a year). And they got my name right, at least. It was lovely to see them all again. Madeline brought a decadent chocolate cake and some crackers for Patty's radish dip (that had yet to arrive).
Patty was there shortly afterwards, with said dip. She'd hollowed out a red cabbage for the dip and that was a hit for the day. Dad said the prayer (amidst arguments on whether God was watching us or not - long story) and we all ate. And sure enough, by the time we were all seated (in the dining room, kitchen, and living room) Gregg arrived.
The food was wonderful and I ate far too much. Then we sat and talked for hours. Eventually, I passed out presents wearing the Santa cap & reindeer cap that the girls had brought. (I like to be thorough.) Once things were winding down, I escorted people next door to see my newly (well, before last Christmas, actually) remodeled kitchen. Folks seemed to like it. Then everyone headed home and by 6:30, we were just the four of us again.
The day was very fun, but unfortunately, that was tempered by the fact that no one commented to Amy about her engagement. Normally when someone in the family is engaged, that's the main talk of the next family gathering (at least, that's what I always thought was the case). Alas, that was not this case. In fact, in the Anderson family, the only one who really seems pleased is mom's Cousin Lynelle. When she got Amy's pre-announcement (to get the news and general date out to folks) she cried. And every time, she says, that she thinks about it, she gets teary eyed. She's truly happy for Amy getting married. She is, however, a shut-in and won't be able to attend. :-(
Although the lack of discussion bummed (or angered) us (poor Amy cried) out, we figure that for most of the folks, they probably just don't know what to think about it, let alone say. I, for one, am thrilled at Amy and Rachel getting hitched. Heck, I'll even go to Minnesota in August, that's how happy I am about it. :-) But for us, Amy being Lesbian is normal. I think for many of the Andersons, it's still something alien. So we're disappointed in the lack of "congratulations" or wedding discussions, but we do understand why there was none of it.
It'll be interesting to see if this is echoed at the Short gathering this Christmas Eve. I'd like to think that it won't be, but I guess we'll find out soon enough!