One Weekend in July

 

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From New York, Delaware, DC, Virginia, and New Mexico, cars pour into the driveway of our house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beds full of people, yard full of tents, a rented house and rooms at a B&B.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, cousins, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, children, toddlers, a babe in arms, another on the way. Girlfriends, boyfriends, in-laws, outlaws, five dogs and a cat.

Teachers, engineers, filmmakers, brewers, potters, nurses, writers, beekeepers, 501-C-3’ers, administrators, builders, artists. Soccer, baseball, Frisbee players. Musicians, eaters and drinkers.

Stacks of bagels, dozens of eggs, pounds of pasta, buckets of salsa, crocks of barbecue, vats of gazpacho, pans of cookie, tubs of watermelon, baskets of peaches, loaves upon loaves of summer zucchini bread. Carafes of coffee, pots of tea, gallons of beer, bottles of wine. Growlers, water bottles, pottery mugs, sippy cups.

Big Frisbees, tiny baseball bats, bike paths, canoes, swimming holes, bon fires. World Cup Soccer games at the local brewery, family music at the coffee house, pottery lessons in the studio. Slow walks to the river.

Birdsong at dawn, cicada by day. Whippoorwill and wood thrush at dusk, katydid and tree frog by night. Buzz of conversation, shrieks of laughter. Talk of courtships, marriages, births, illnesses, deaths. Stories from the past, dreams for the future.

To Rob and Jane Ryan Crowe. For all that you got right in your lives, the wars you fought, the joys you shared, the sorrows you survived. You saw that irresistible something in each other’s eyes and left us with so much more than we can ever thank you for—not the least of which is the Crowe Ryan Family Reunion.

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