Good Morning Progenitors,
Well my friends it’s been an exhausting ordeal but over at last. As you might expect the ‘Marzuki’ family reunions are always a bit different than most others you’ve participated in. When my father and family built the cabin sitting atop Fish Creek Basin, home to our annual sojourn, his entire motivation for putting it there was so nobody could build higher up and spoil his view. Unfortunately there is very little ground flat enough to house our family’s current brood. The cabin has a loft and two small bedrooms but hardly enough to take care of the thirty plus kids 2 yrs to 14 yrs old and their parents! So the small level strip of land adjacent to the cabin is a tent city using every square inch of level ground. Now a “Port O’ Potty” must be hauled in which gets a bit ripe over the weekend but very practical. Beyond the long driveway and the physical location of the cabin, the lack of level ground makes small children susceptible to rolling off the side of the mountain only to be stopped by a tree or boulder. Also his prized location is a twenty-five minute ride down a dust-filled rutted gravel road requiring GPS to ensure a smooth return trip. More importantly though, outside of the little tourist trap of Lava Hot Springs, there’s absolutely nothing to do. No river or lake for fishing, no boating, no nothing! So the older grandchildren find an excuse not to come which of course defeats the purpose. This was my environment for the past 48 hours attended only from a sense of guilt, but do enjoy visiting with my parents, brother, and four sisters. But I couldn’t help but think our conversations would be better facilitated at somebody’s house!
Since the vast majority of attendees are practicing Mormons there is no alcohol, which of course exacerbates the problem. This year my two youngest sisters who are also apostates from Mormonism conspired to bring Vodka and mixers to put in our plastic cups and then finish off the bottle after everyone turns in. There is a small area at the end of the road far enough away as not to wake the others so we partied until the wee hours of the morning. My sister from Las Vegas brought accoutrements suitable for the occasion so when it came time for me to get horizontal and find my tent I became disoriented making a wrong turn going over the side immediately tumbling out of control. I didn’t go quietly either and began screaming expletives after bouncing off rocks, trees, and whatever waking the entire family! Fortunately, with only minor cuts and bruises I made my way back up by following the myriad of flashlights and lanterns. Everyone asked if I was okay, but hardly wanted to talk about it so I collapsed onto the air mattress hoping to avoid further humiliation, as my sisters couldn’t stop laughing.
The next morning I was paralyzed. Hardly able to move from my trip down the mountain, I managed to pull myself out of the tent urgently needing to empty my bladder. The smell of bacon and eggs gave me the strength and motivation to limp in severe pain to the table for a wonderful breakfast. The family tolerates our coffee drinking, so I settled in with some instant coffee and contemplated this family reunion.
Inadvertently I’ve become ‘that’ uncle everybody remembers for being odd and at times a little scary. They don’t know me so it takes some effort to win them over if at all, so I wondered why I even bother. Then I saw my sainted mother and father slowly make their way to the breakfast table both now in their eighties. My mother needs help to walk even a few feet and is very feeble. I know many who have lost one or both parents so I feel lucky that they’re still on this rock and available to me.
This is why I go.