I was greeted by most everyone with, "How are you doing? Are you hanging in there?" since most of us connect on some form of social media. Everyone knew that Quayd had just entered the MTC and that he is our first. I was still quite on the edge with my tears, but I tried to just cowboy up and express my gratitude for his choice to be there! Because of Quayd entering the MTC and my shopping non-stop for cabin decor on our way up, I opted to have nothing to do with breakfast, our family's assignment, this year. There was more than enough hands in the kitchen preparing, so I came back to the cabin and washed dishes while Doug's sister, Anne dried and we visited.
The Friday night hayride was fabulous, no surprise. This year's theme was movies. We were greeted by Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest (two cousins) who were the hosts of the greatest movies of all times Academy Awards. Interrupting them were two of the characters from Lord of the Rings, "Gandolf and ???" because I'm not a LotR fan. They were insisting that their movie was the best. However, we had some fun traveling across the ranch and being entertained ...
Mitch is always a main character in the hayride and, honestly, everyone just can't wait to see who he'll be this year! He was a great Simon! Some people are just born with natural talent to entertain and Mitch is one of them! He shared stories at breakfast that had us just rolling!
Our first stop was at the barn where we got to experience a live version of "Singing in the Rain" . So cute! And they were really light on their feet!
As we drove down to the river, we stopped on the bridge. Everyone only had to look to the west and before the Titanic music began, we knew what movie we were going to see a "Clip" from. This "Jack" wasn't nearly as quiet about how cold the water was. He flat out asked Rose if she didn't have a little more room on that door for him! We were laughing so hard!
This would have been Quayd's favorite. The Indiana Jones music started and he came running down the hill with the giant gold ball rolling behind him. The ball wasn't as co-operative as it should have been, which brought more laughs!
Our next stop was for a scene from Lord of the Rings. We had a little commotion at our trailer and I couldn't get close enough to get a shot or even hear it. I felt bad not to catch this part of the show but then again, I'm not into that genre. Seriously, though, laughs could be heard from whatever was happening with Gandolf and his sidekick with the very large "ring". (This shot was taken at the beginning near the barn. My bad.)
Finally, for the last stop, a scene familiar to all (Even me since I finally watched the Sound of Music for the first time), Julie Andrews came running over the hill from far, far away singing, "The Hills are Alive..." After quite a jaunt, she was greeted by her little children and performed, "Doe a Deer..." So cute!
One other surprise along the way was this huge, huge turkey vulture, just sitting out there watching us, as though we were invading his territory. We were! What a sunset! What a sight!
However, he was no quitter. He found the hidden treats, and then even did the obstacle course in less than 40 seconds!
But, most of the time, the reunion is about catching up with each other on families and news. There's always much talk of missionaries, the gospel and wonderful uplifting experiences. It is amazing to me that this has been going on for 60 years now.
We had a wonderful lunch and then there was time playing in the river, horses, games and activities. It's always well organized and well attended. We had our family council about the cabin, after cousins started to head home. Most have at least a four hour drive to get to their homes.
After everyone had left, and only a few remained, we enjoyed the downtime with Alan and Jill, and my favorite nephew Jake, who stayed over night with us. Next door, more of the extended cousin family stayed. Later in the evening, they wandered over to see the renovated cabin and we all ended up sitting in the cabin until almost eleven just visiting. I have to admit, that was my favorite part of the entire reunion, spending time with two of my favorites since the day we met!
On Sunday morning, we usually have a little Sabbath lesson and then relax and enjoy our time together with Alan's family before loading up to come home. It was so hot all weekend in the day and so cool at night! There was literally frost on the ground in the mornings! We drove straight home and just relaxed for the rest of the night. Carol and I hadn't seen each other for two weeks, so she came over and we sat and caught up in the hottub while Doug came in and out, delivering cold water bottles and a few laughs.
Leaving Quayd at the MTC was hard. Being at the ranch was a great bandaid. Being with family was a wonderful ointment. It was therapeutic time. I'd really not wanted to stay for the reunion this year. I LOVE the reunion and never ever want to miss it, but this year, I just didn't want to have to keep saying, "I'm great!" when I wasn't! However, the more I said it, the better I felt. I still teared up a few times. I still thought of Quayd every other thought. One time, I literally called, "Quayd, here!" to come and eat an extra Breakfast burrito, before I realized that Quayd wasn't there. But, it was so great to be surrounded by the most amazing and incredible people I know, to hear their stories and experiences and to just be uplifted by their love and support. Score for the Corbridge Reunion, another great success. Life is so good! I am so blessed!