Scott does exist.
The middle child walked into the Mexican restaurant in the tiny town standing guard to the gorgeous and mammoth Rocky mountains of Colorado as darkness fell Sunday night and the Miner Family Reunion became complete at last for my dear wife Karen.
She sat at one end of the table of 15 chattering people on this Sunday night in Estes Park and her brother sat at the other, with eldest brother Steve and No. 2 Jana and youngest sister Lynne and their kids mixed about with my Elisabeth and her guy George Three.
Scott was the last of the five to arrive from all different states for this meet-in-the-middle affair, pulling in late Saturday afternoon from California. Because he’d chosen to skip our tour excursion of 10 up a mountain that night and we’d absconded with two cousins in the biggest SUV all day to Denver for visits to the zoo and Rockies (reports to come at a later date) this our first chance to meet. In fact, as Thursday turned to Friday andd then Saturday, I’d hung the brother-in-law I’ve never met with the name The Myterious Scott. Does he exist, I’d ask the cousins?
I shook the man’s hand and looked into his eyes, the final piece of my wife’s tribe, the guy my age, in fact. Yeah, Scott existed.
Delicious food and big drinks in wide glasses filled bellies and the two generations were requested to line up in front of the bar for photo opportunities before we departed.
The night certainly was not finished, so we invited all back to our cottage.
There the cousins took to the couch and chairs to play synched games they downloaded to their phones.
Click either photo for a description. Click the right photo for an enlarged slide show.
The Miner siblings and I sat around the table for lively talk about life, then and now. I tried to mostly listen to hear about what it was like for them then, filling in pieces from stories I’ve heard from the approaching dozen years I’ve been with their sister Karen.
The similiarities with my family have always struck me. Their parents Bob and Caroline divorced like my Frank and Dolores. They had to eat all their food or were not allowed to leave the table. Sounds familiar. Karen says she can’t drink milk now because of it. For me, it’s mushrooms. Jana says it’s peas, but she loves lima beans. Oh, not me.
Steve, the oldest, says his version of the family always had to eat Roman Meal bread. They laughed. Lynne, the youngest, said that by the time dad and his likes were gone, mom made what she liked and Wonder Bread was on the table.
Two families. There’s 10 years difference between them, just like me and my youngest sister Dory. Two families, indeed, as I thought about how things were different for her and Frannie after I went away to college.
Steve talked about his job as a county tax assessor in Oregon and Scott about working with the Army Corps of Engineers, and then I asked them all about their favorite place they had ever lived. They joked about how I was interviewing them, and I promised that their answers were not for this blog.
So be it. Oh, this was quite a day.
At one point, Stormy called over from the couch, “1986! You guys have not all been together since 1986! That’s too long! The adults agreed, but talked of how life can always get in the way.
Jana quickly started discussion about where the next reunion should take place. In two years. Hawaii, perhaps? We all shall see.
Today, Lynne and her two, Stormy and Kimi, depart for Texas and Arkansas, and Jana and her pair, Dacia and Drew, begin the trek back to Alaska. Steve and Ross, and Scott and we four stay to Tuesday.
Which family member of yours have you not seen for the longest, and why? How did you feel when you saw a family member you’ve not seen for a long time? Did your parents make you eat all your food before you left the table, and what do you not like now because of it?