Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aunt CB and Uncle Jack's Sixtieth!!

This past August, Aunt CB and Uncle Jack celebrated their Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary. Most of the clan—Beth and Takeshi in Japan could not make it—gathered at Roaring Brook Resort at Lake George, NY for a week chock full of just about everything!

We had our own building of hotel rooms, with a large open room filled with couches and chairs as you walked in, our own pool to use right outside our front porch, horses to feed apples to and ride every day, and also, lest I forget—breakfast and dinner meals to order at the restaurant included.

With people ages one and a half, and into their eighties, we had the gamut of generations, AND plenty to keep us occupied—we hiked up mountains (as Tim bagged still more of the Adirondack Forty Six), played miniature golf, played tennis and shuffleboard, rode horses and attempted archery, watched for shooting stars at night, played real golf, went on a ‘history day’ with Jim regaling us with Baker family history at nearby Granville, NY and then, Saratoga Battlefield. Some of the crowd played the ponies at Saratoga Raceways, and some others did an intensive Adventure ropes course.

But, let my siblings and their children tell you what our week was like:

Jim’s daughter Kelly (age five), wrote: “I remember the cat, Sealy [Editor’s Note—‘Sealy’ is a stray cat that the kids found and built a house for]. We liked playing with her, and Maggie had the ferns to make the roof of a house for the cat, Bridgie had the sticks to make the walls, Maddy had the moss to make the floor, and I had the stones to make the patio. She wouldn’t go in there until Ali took out the fire things that people use (cigarettes).

Maddy, Jim’s daughter (age eight) is crazy about horses. So, with the horses grazing in the field just across from us, she was in heaven: “I remember going on the trail ride with Mommy and Daddy. My horse kept eating leaves. I rode Spencer. He was a beige horse. We trotted a lot and my horse was racing the cowboy’s horse and he wouldn’t stop.”

From Dan: “Seeing and being able to talk with everyone was a rare treat. It was great to play golf with Chris and Maggie. I won the first round; Maggie beat me at miniature golf.”

Jim wrote: “I particularly enjoyed Happy Hours. Around 4PM (some started earlier), when trays of vegetables (for the health conscious among us), cheese and crackers (for the proper among us), and chips and dips (for me) were spread out, it was time for a beverage. Sitting around the pool, soaking up the warm sun and having conversations with everyone was wonderful. While it looked somewhat different, it had the same feeling as the Happy Hours at Otty Lake. Surrounded by tall white pines, looking out over the water, and talking about everything and nothing at the same time.”

Chris wrote about various highlights, one of which was History Day: “ found out a lot but enjoyed Saratoga Battlefield. As usual Jim had to find conflict with poor guide who was revved up to tell us how the colonials whipped some British butt.”

Chris’ son Patrick, age six, on his favorite memory: “Oh easy, catching frogs was great, we caught them with Rebecca near the playground on the way to the horses.”

Tom thought that just one favorite memory was an unfair question, but he singled out his golf outing with Dan, Nick and Alex. On the eighteenth hole, things did not go his way and he could not get out of the sand trap, time after time. He finished: “I’ve played a good amount of golf over the years and enjoyed watching others flail away in sand traps. On that day, at least as I remember it, I was glad to let my brother and nephews share that enjoyment.”

And Sue: “Most of all, I loved hanging out with ever-changing waves of family: drinking beer with Dad and my brothers on the front porch, savoring Happy Hour snacks with Mom and everyone by the pool while the little kids—and the big boys!—played and did ballet in the water, taking pictures with Dad of Maddy’s first horseback ride, playing Apples to Apples with 11 people in the Big Room, all of us taking over the miniature golf course one night, seeing everyone walking hand in hand up the road to the dining hall, lying out on the lounge chairs watching for the Perseid Meteors, and so much more.”

The anniversary couple?

Dad wrote: “What a wonderful week! All agreed the food was excellent. This included dessert and it was Paul who found out that it was possible to order TWO desserts!!” [Editorial Note: Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Paul did not arrive until the end of the week, so there was not much time to take advantage of this grand nugget of information].

And, Mom: My main thought is it was a wonderful week and worth every penny! It provided memories to last a lifetime. One of the goals to raising a family, no matter what the size, is to allow each child room to grow indepen-dently, to become themselves, while also creating a respect and love for one another. I saw adult children, each with their own quirks and oddities who also loved one another and enjoyed being together. As I said, it was worth every penny!”

Maddy summarized for all of us: “I’m glad we went to Roaring Brook and I want to go there every year.”

Thanks to Tim Walker, Kristin’s husband, for taking the formal pictures of each family group!

Picture One: The Grandparents and the Grandkids:
Front Row: Maddy, Kelly, Patrick, Joe, Bridget, Maggie
Back Row: Alison, Nick, Brian, Uncle Jack, Aunt CB, Paul, Matt, Kristin, Alex
Pictures of the Clan!!
Front Row: Maddy, Kelly, Bridget, Maggie, Patrick
Second Row: Cameron, Kristin, Tim, Rose, Jim, Jill, Aunt CB, Uncle Jack, Chris, Jen with Joe, Pat, Alison, Nick
Third Row: Tim Walker, Angela, Paul, Gina, Matt,Christi, Tom, Sue, Alex, Liz, Dan, Gina, Brian, Glenn


CB said...

well Pat, you surprised us with this!!! The real date for 60th was Sept 3, 2009. And the picture of us all walking up the hill to dinner showed how we did it!! Jack and I, bringing up the rear and holding hands, trying to pull each other up there!!

Sue Kinsella said...

We did have a grand time together! Can you imagine living in close quarters with your whole family (at the high point, I think there were 33 of us together) for a week and having such a good time that when we left it felt like it had been much too short a time?!?

Just to confuse things, I walked into the main, big living room the first night, having just spent a very frustrating past couple of hours wrestling with travel websites and poor computer connections while trying to buy flights before prices went up for Alex's and my return trip to the West Coast. It had not gone well and I was exhausted.

Still, it was very disorienting to walk in the door and have a guy I'd never seen before walk up and throw his arm around me, cry, "Sue! Great to see my big sister!" and start jabbering about all the fun we used to have when we were little. Huh?!? Could I possibly have forgotten one of my brothers?

I kept searching my memory for this "lost brother" as he went on and on. Finally, my OTHER brothers took pity on me. This "lost brother" was a friend of my brother Jim who just happened to be staying at the same resort we'd just moved into! I was relieved to find that I haven't yet lost it THAT much!

'Course, maybe that was why the week all seemed to go so well and be so short - I mean, if I couldn't even remember my BROTHER . . . .

Tim Kinsella said...

Pat, what a great summary. Thanks. It was such a wonderful family get together.

Pat said...

Hello all,

Yes, It WAS a great time!!

And, Happy 18th Birthday, youngest son of mine, Nicko!!