Wellsir, I want to thank you for being patient with my old eyes and the problems they have caused and are causing. No one wrote in to point out the mistakes I made in the text last week and I appreciate your understanding. I found I had made mistakes that drive me bonkers when I read text that seemingly abandons standard English. At this point, and it is amazing to me, I have to hold small print well away from my face to be able to read it. One month ago I could not have even seen the page, let alone the print. I am astounded and appreciative. In less than a month I get a new prescription and new eye glasses and then I shall be normal. ...and furthermore, former students and former high school classmates do not necessarily have to comment on that.
Speaking of old people... Herself and I went to her family reunion last weekend. This is the family on her mother's side and they are a close knit group. The remaining two original members are now 90 years or so and that is celebratory sad. What a wonderful thing to have had them for so long but knowing we won't have them for much longer. Even though I am not a blood relation, they have always treated me as if I were. The other cousins have become good friends and that is great as I have no family reunions on either side of my family.
Wellsir, you know I think family is important because I have told you of our family Fourth of July celebration, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. We also celebrate the most important spring family event which is, as you know, Bunny Cake Day which, like Labor Day, has a different date each year but is always the Saturday a week before Easter. And yes, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it is obligatory for everyone under the age of, of, hmmm, Social Security checks I guess. OK! It is not really required but I show up with my will and a bottle of white-out. No, I am not taking out names but will change names. Whoever is not there gets their name put in the will to receive the contents of the garage. If they miss twice, they get all the stuff in the attic. Unless it is something very important we almost always have 100% attendance.
But the recent Gideon reunion was successful in that many people came. ‚ÄúJim," who hosts the event and cooks the meat, did his usual superb job and the meat was ‚Äúto die for,"  as the saying goes. He, like me, is an ‚Äúin law" so his wife is a Gideon cousin. She has everything set up and ready for a crowd well before anyone gets there. This is all like ‚Äúthe old days" as there is much visiting, kids running and playing, older people talking and changing groups and talking some more and no one in a hurry.
Of course, there are fewer young people attending now. USA people move around more than most other countries, is what I think I know and our country is so vast as to encompass the about the same area as all of Europe. It has only been recently that European young people were beginning to change areas in a major way. Also, remember that in Europe, a long distance could involve more than a half dozen languages. Here in the North America we can go almost 6000 miles (almost 10,000 kilometers) speaking English, or some version of it. You can't always tell what the Valley Girls are saying and what the Deep South means by some of their more meaningful expressions.
But all that to say the young people are moving around the country and losing their family identity. Many would like to come back but it is difficult to schedule long trips and, if you are young and still struggling to get a life of your own, maybe a week end with strangers who say they are family isn't as attractive as it is to the older crowd. But I must tell you, the people who were there enjoyed renewing family ties, celebrating the lives of those who were no longer there and praying together for those there and those gone.
As an ‚Äúin-law," I enjoy going for all the reasons stated above but also the cousins have become friends. The oldest cousin was always ‚Äúthe old man" of the young crowd and he  was often reminded of his advanced age, even when it wasn't advanced. Then, during some conversation some while back it came about that I was two or three days older than him. Now he won't let me forget that ‚ÄúI" am the oldest. That's okay, I still enjoy being with this group.
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