Thirty years ago, my dad and his brother and friends bought a few acres of land in Tioga county and erected a creosote soaked huntin' camp. This cabin is where my family goes to gather and imbibe. Since I can remember, we have packed up the car and headed "upstate" whenever the weather was fine. Some years it was just my immediate family, other years the entire extended crew of 30+ people spewed onto the property in bonfire, chicken pit, hill-rolling, hair pulling glory. This weekend, the big family went again to celebrate the anniversary.
16 people spanning three generations crammed into the two rooms (although Corey and I pitched a tent outside to avoid the cigarette smoke...) and I remembered that I was born into the correct family after all. Corey's family may appreciate my need to constantly read, but my family knows what it means to just kick back and be our judgmental, whiney, imperfect and fiercely loyal selves. It was so good to be home again.
Yesterday, we burped our way through three meals consisting entirely of fried foods before heading around the canyon to participate in our favorite activity: hillbilly watching in Potter County (God's Country). My parents staked out a good bench by the line-dancing gazebo while the rest of us gathered funnel cakes and kettle corn. And then we watched.
Full bellies hung over our powdered-sugar-covered legs, beef jerky and candy wrappers scattered about, the children whipped one another with glow sticks, and we sighed with contentment after photographing mullet families with rat-tail kids. The men folk argued and grumbled over who had the best parking spot for a fast escape. We had a heated argument over the remaining cans of Labatt. Waiting for the fireworks to start, I just know the same thought ran through all our heads. "Those people will never be as cool as us."