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July 29 Wednesday, October 25, 2006

(right) My sister, Anne/ Annie, fiddles around on the porch at Carruthers Point Girl Guide Camp in Kingston, Ont.

Every summer for the past 100 years or so, my dad's family gets together at Carruthers Point. Originally, that was
where they lived, then there were cottages, and now we rent the Girl Guide Camp on the point. The gathering of family members from near and far climaxes with a family barbecue one weekend.

It's a long way for me to travel, and since I already had a trip planned for the fall, I wasn't planning to go home for this event. However, with the aid of Aunt Katy's Aeroplan points, the opportunity to see my grandparents, sister, and the rest of my family proved too hard to resist. But, because it's more fun that way, I didn't tell my parents that I was coming!

So I boarded the red eye flight from Portland to Ottawa (via Vancouver), where my brother, Stuart, picked me up at the airport. It was early, but we drove straight to Kingston (about 2 hours). My parents weren't there when we arrived—they were separately running errands in town—but others were around so we sat down for breakfast and tea. My dad arrived about an hour later, shocked to see me. Mum arrived that much later yet, and was flabbergasted to say the least. I can say for certain that the joints of her jaw are still solid because if they weren't
, we'd still be looking for her chin somewhere in the rubble beneath the porch. Dad has a picture of the moment somewhere.

(left) My Grandfather, A. Peter Ginn, and another relative, Bob Fleming, show off their matching hats.

When I go back to Kingston, and out to the Point in particular, life is a continuous stream of cooking, eating, cleaning, and tea. As noted above, when Stuart and I arrived the people there were just finishing up their breakfast. So we sat down and ate. Dad came out there just as we were tidying that
up. Mum got there just in time for elevenses (morning tea). As soon as that was finished, it was time to get lunch ready. OK, so there was a bit of a break after we'd cleaned up lunch while the older generation napped and the rest of us took quiet time. But by 3 it was time to get things ready for tea on the beach (another family tradition going back generations). Tea is served around 4, and it wraps up around 5:30 or so when everyone heads back to the cottage to prepare dinner. On special occasions, like the annual barbecue, the windup from that lasts well into the evening. The next morning, it starts again ...

(above) There were 42 of us at the Point this year for the barbecue, every one of them related to me by blood or significant-othership. Stuart's girlfriend, Sue, made it to the dinner, but wasn't there when we took the picture.


Anonymous said...

What more can we say. You covered it all.