One afternoon while chillin’ on the front of my houseboat, I began seeing folks with backpacks and suitcases merrily strolling down the dock. I smiled and we spoke, but I remained puzzled as to where they were all going. I had never seen them before, but it was no big deal. A little while later I saw more unknown folks with several coolers, bags of food, sleeping bags and more luggage. By now I was very curious to find out who was having a get-together as well as a slumber party?
Later that evening I couldn’t see it, but everyone could hear the party going on. I walked down the dock and found where all the fun and noise was coming from. It was a semi-annual family reunion for this group. Can you imagine that many folks (I counted at least 17) having so much fun together and they’re all related! I had no idea those kinds of families even existed today. There was laughter, music and giggles, not screaming and yelling as so many reunions tend to be.
They were gathered on the rear deck grilling, while others were on the front playing Catch Phrase and other games. Plus there were a few inside prepping food and maybe even some down below. Just a quick glance as I walked by and I could see blankets, pillows and a lot of sleeping bags. It resembled a summer camp retreat but not in a cabin in the woods, but rather in the cabin of a Gibson houseboat.
I knew that houseboat wasn’t that much larger than mine and ours just sleeps four! I guess “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” I thought surely at least half of those guests would be leaving for home or heading for a local motel before bed time or they would have to draw straws to see who would get hung up on hooks or get crammed into a closet. Surely someone would need to sleep in a Rubbermaid outdoor storage box on the dock.
At the time I didn’t know this family very well since I was still the new kid on the dock, so I didn’t dare stop and talk to them. I’m sure my mouth was ajar when I saw all those folks and supplies. I was just hoping that Gibson was still afloat come morning.
Sure enough the next day, one by one they walked past our boat as I was enjoying my second cup of coffee. They were still talking and laughing and no one was injured. I saw no visible signs of knives in anyone’s back, no one was hauled to the emergency room in the night and they were genuinely happy they had all been together.
Obviously, these brave boat owners are very gracious and know how to be great hosts, parents, grandparents and good sports. It’s clear they really know how to throw a party and to these rare kinds of families, I salute you.
I’m still waiting for my invitation to their next reunion. I’ll bring my own sleeping bag and pillow. Well, maybe not. I’ll just drop by for coffee.