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You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
– Desmond Tutu

Today (after work) Joel & I are roadtripping to Western NY to spend the week celebrating with the Nesbitt clan (mom’s side). It is our 80th family reunion, and “Clan” is a totally appropriate title. There is definitely an established hierchy. Aunt Doris is 91 and Uncle Bob is turning 90. And I can barely keep up with either of them.

There’s usually about 60-120 people gathered around Uncle Pete’s pond, under the pines my Grandpa planted, at any given time over the 4-5 day hang out.  And probably close to 200 that filter in and out over the course of those days. Not all are blood related, some are the “Nesbitt-want-to-be’s” that we have grafted into the family.

I mean, most people celebrate the 4th of July by having a cookout and watching the town fireworks display. Well pish, posh. We have a potluck dinner one night, a chicken BBQ another, pancake breakfast (over the fire) and the normal 4th of July grill out as well. Oh, and there’s the three tables of desert which is overflowing at all times, and two huge steel bins, one filled with soda pop and the other with sweet cherries. We also do our own fireworks, usually courtesy of my cousins Nick and Steve. There’s the annual softball game, the annual volleyball game, the annual egg toss, and annual water relay fight. There’s the “King of the Mountain Raft” game that continues in the pond for everyone between the age of 10 and 18, which has been going on since my mom was little.

There is also morning prayer around the flagpole, and just a lot of praying going on in general, as everyone spends the days catching up with each other, laughing and crying. And the sharing always results in a few people stopping to lay hands and pray for another.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Photographic documentation to come.

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