Saturday, July 12, 2008

Copier Family Reunion

My first instinct is dread when it comes to family reunions.  I felt it today.  I had a minor sore throat, a headache; my elbow hurt.  Symptoms of dread.  There's always a good possibility that none of my sons and their families will show up, and that I will be made to feel responsible for this.  "Where's your family?" aunts and sisters ask.  I don't know.  Maybe I forgot to invite them.   They are adults.  They can do what they want.  Still, I feel responsible.  I have failed somehow.

So I was relieved when the first people we saw in the parking lot were Charles and Erica and family.  I was off the hook.  I had some of my family at the Copier reunion.  And I made sure people knew.  I hauled Anne off and introduced her to the Dutch aunts.  She was very gracious and polite about it, for which I was grateful.  I also introduced Mira around when she was by my side.  

My Dutch aunts and uncles are all in their eighties except for Henny, the youngest, who turns 78 this September.  She is only twelve years older than I am.  She used to take Gerard and me to primary on the bus in Utrecht.  She would have been sixteen and seventeen.  Rietje (Marie) said Gerard was her baby.   She turned 85 last week.  I walked from the parking lot with Govert, who uses a cane.  He said he was following the prophet, meaning President Hinckley and his cane.  "He's dead," I said.  "Is that your plan?"  He laughed.  He has diabetes and has problems with the nerves in his feet.  Floris is 82 and forgetful, although he knew who I was.    They all have bad teeth.  No one trims his nose hairs. Bad hair. Bad clothes.   And yet they share an exuberance, an optimism that makes them instantly likable.  

I liked seeing my cousins Anya and Pearl as well as Toni's daughter Jill, who is moving from Nebraska to Maryland, and who was one of my students at BYU.  I met Kate Copier, Floris's daughter-in-law, who knows Brenda Zeller in my new ward.  Old connections and new connections:  I enjoyed myself.  The Copier aunts and uncles are the last ones to call me Loesje or Loes or Loesie.  I'm going to miss that when they're gone.


Anne said...

The reunion was surprisingly fun.
I love old people. I love dutch people. I loved all of your aunts.
They were all so sweet.

Sometimes I wish the Charles and Erica Fam were more picnic-like.
While everyone was eating chicken on a bone with lemonade, we left to go to a restaurant.

But, I loved it.

Louise Plummer said...

Grandpa and I didn't exactly do the picnic thing either. I had a salad from Wendys and he had an order from Kentuky Fried Chicken. We ate it in the car before.

sammyp said...

I'm glad you had fun and I'm sorry we were one of the families you may have had to make excuses for. Or maybe you just said we were dead, that's the easy way out.

We had fun in bear lake getting sun burned. It was also nice being gnawed on by mosquitoes the size of flies. They do have a nice new restraunt that had pretty good ribs. Thanks to the C. Plumm family for watching Olive.

W Vawd said...

I remember each of those aunts and uncles sitting on the big white bench on Opa's porch every Sunday telling their redundant Dutch stories and following with raucous laughter. Just as some Dutch words like 'gek' don't translate to english with the full meaning, I cannot duplicate my 'Little Holland/Atkin Ave.' upbringing to my children. I can only be grateful for the richness of my childhood experiences. I will also miss them when they're gone. Thanks for your blog.
Wendy Copier Vawdrey