Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Reunion Ends, But We Don't Leave

As an only child who isn't close with her only three cousins, a family reunion with 40+ people is very big, and very cool!  Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to meet many of Bill's extended family, many of whom are very much my family now too. This week I got to meet several of those who live further away, and some who Bill hadn't seen in decades. From 10 months to 90 years old, there were several generations represented.


First Generation Sisters

Second Generation Cousins

The La Junta Guest Ranch above Ruidoso, NM, is a great place for a gathering of this sort. It's older and rough around the edges. Some issues border on safety hazards, and it is not ADA compliant.  However, it had every thing we needed including separate cabins for each family and a large lodge for meals, games, and just gathering to get caught up. There was a spot for the rig with power and water (which turns out to be an even bigger blessing now), and it is remote enough to provide a real feeling of being away from the rest of the world. 

Beautiful vistas

Plenty of housing for everyone

Large gathering hall with kitchen
Lovely sunrises every morning

Some rode the zip line at the ski resort, some went shopping in the quaint downtown, some stayed at the ranch and enjoyed the outdoors and the indoors.  Each morning and evening we were visited by a large herd of "locals" who had the kids scrambling outside with carrots and apples.

Breakfast and dinner were prepared by those who signed up for each day, and we ate like royalty all week.  The last night we celebrated birthdays, including Bill's mom who turned 90 today. 

Different size mountains for different size climbers

California cousins getting caught up in New Mexico

Evening meet-and-greet

Morning coffee with a neighbor

Picnic night

Baby selfies
 
Time for brothers to hang out

"But he was just a little guy last year!"

Make a wish! (note the little helper in the middle)
This morning was pack-up-and-go-day with folks returning to Missouri, Washington, Utah, Oregon, California and Idaho. Everyone except us.

Overnight the winds started picking up and by sunrise the large pines were bending and the dirt was kicking up.  Checking the weather we saw that the sustained winds were at 30-35 mph with expected gusts of up to 50 mph.  Figuring we had already pushed the limits of safe travel, we didn't hesitate to make arrangements for staying another day. Our gracious host obliged at no charge, with an invitation to stay until it is safe to head out.

So for at least tonight we are staying put, with the rig tucked nicely up against the lodge.  We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Safe


 

14 comments:

  1. That looks like the perfect place for a family to get together and have fun. Wonderful pictures of them all. I know Bill's mother must have had the best time with all her family around her for her 90th birthday. I'm SO glad to hear that you two dare devils didn't try heading out into those winds.

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    1. You are so right about his mom! She had a wonderful time and was so grateful for everyone coming to NM - she lives in Roswell - so she could enjoy all the grand and great nieces and nephews. Winds got worse all day and we're really glad we stayed put.

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  2. How special to have that many family converge together, I particularly like 90 yr old Mom. Best of luck on the winds, hope you guys have safe travels home.

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    1. Thanks Maura. They are expected to be down to 8 mph tomorrow morning so we are looking forward to a calm travel day.

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  3. It most definitely is better to be safe than sorry. Those winds are only the kind folks drive in that don't know a thing about they can do to the RVs. Be safe.

    We have family reunions fairly often. I love them but my kids, not so much.

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    1. My mother's generation of cousins had several with their aunts and uncles and I enjoyed them until the slide shows came out :-) Saw reports of the highway we would have taken and there were several big rigs blown over so we know we made the right decision.

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  4. Looks like a terrific place for a family reunion! It's so neat you were able to see so many generations together.

    Smart move to stay until the winds die down.

    We will be in that area in a couple of weeks, looking forward to piney forests!

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    1. It had its issues, but overall it was a great location for everyone. Hope the winds are gone for good by the time you get there!!

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  5. What a great family reunion:) The ranch looks like it worked out for everyone with beautiful wilderness. Love those special visitors:) The children must have been thrilled. That is quite a little hiker conquering his first "mountain." Love that caption on the photo!! I hope there are many more climbs to come for the little guy. I'm sure it was very special for Bill for to be able to celebrate his mother's 90th birthday:) Beautiful surroundings, good food, nature, and family...doesn't get much better:)

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    1. It was fun for us to be around the little guys. We don't have any around these days. It was so good everyone is already wanting to do another :-)))

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  6. Looks like a great time was had by all! I bet it felt great to stay. One because of the weather. But most importantly, two, there was NO JOB to get back to!!

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    1. Most definitely loved the no job part! Knowing we could stay until it was safe without any issue felt wonderful :-)

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  7. What a special family gathering -- I can imagine that Bill's mother was thrilled to be surrounded by family for her 90th. It looks like everyone had a great time. And I'll bet you were happy to have your cozy private home in the midst of it all! :-)

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    1. She was over the moon! We loved having our home with us - and gave "tours" the whole first day :-) We counted heads as they left to make sure we had no kids stowed away.

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