Summertime…..and the living is easy….

I am counting the days to summer.  Although I love the Christmas season, there’s is something very uplifting about summer.  As a kid, summer meant days of sleeping in, lazy endless days filled with friends and absolutely very little obligations.  Now as an adult, even though summer no longer has the interruption of my life from being a student to being just a “non-student”, I still feel as if I am mentally transformed.  I don’t take things so seriously, my schedule is very laid back, and my brain has a harder time wrapping around obligations and duties.  I love the transformation that the children go through and as a family, we are all on a hiatus.  No homework, no test to worry about and no stressing.  We have the beach, the movies, the parks. We are limited only by our imaginations.

Upstate NY is going to be great over the days of the reunion.  Flashlights will be useful especially for night walks down the country road.  We will have campfires at night so bring your best skin-crawling, zombie apocalypse, spider-filled paranormal story to share.  If you’ve got talent and you want to sing, dance, tell a joke or two and want to entertain us, let me know.  There will be plenty of opportunities to showcase your talent.  It won’t be like a Night At The Apollo, but keep in mind that some talents of course can and should be left at home.

There will be lots of bugs- bugs everywhere.  The bugs will sound like hail hitting the windshield as you drive at night.  They infiltrate everywhere so don’t forget your Avon Skinsense (or whatever it is called), bug spray,  citronella candles, and a bug zapper to add to the entertainment.   The young kids (…in all of us) will get a kick at the sound  of bugs frying at night.

There will be so much to do, yet there will be plenty of nothing to do as well.  Feel free to find a lawn chairs (bring your own), deck space, grass, rocks, and tree stumps just sit on and enjoy the summer air with a cold glass of lemonade (or Johnny Walker…).  Upstate NY is beautiful in the summer.  Every thing is green and lush.  There are lakes and streams every where.    Although it will seem as if every truck has a shotgun in the cabin above the driver’s head, crime is low in Sullivan County.  I would be surprised if one of us didn’t run into a redneck during the time we will be there but generally, the people are extremely friendly and nice.  I lived in Sullivan County for 7 years and loved it.

We are going to be living “commune-style” so we are going to share all duties.  It may be best to volunteer early.  I need a coordinator to organize the duties so that the homes remain clean and undisturbed during our time there, both inside and out.  The owners will probably have neighbors looking out for them so eyes will be on us even if we don’t see them.  Fredi suggested a planned menu and I think it’s a great idea.  Enchild has volunteered for grill duty so all master chefs and wannabe chefs can showcase their talents & join him.  Let’s remember to have the young kids participate and get involved with the day-to- day-chores.

We will submit a grocery list.  Nearby there will be plenty of farmer’s markets to buy local produce.   There’s a WalMart within 30-45 min drive so shopping can be done locally if needed.   The food coordinator and I can work out the detail.  Let me know if you would prefer to bring the food or some of it or donate about $50 towards food.  I personally would prefer to give the cash.  I am into juicing and would love if someone had a juicer to bring so that I can demonstrate some quick easy smoothies during the nutrition talks.

This blogs offers you the opportunity to submit comments/feedbacks and even articles.  I would love to get feedbacks, suggestions and ideas.  It is OUR REUNION,  so please respond.  The reunion is going to be an awesome time and I can’t wait to see everyone.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE T-SHIRT.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, please go to the menu bar and open the link to the T-shirts.

Live!Love!Laugh!Liline!

 

 

 

 

Magical Moments………….

It is very good to get feedback.  Last year’s reunion was not well attended but we had such a great time.  Enchild did an amazing job at getting his backyard and pool ready, the temperature was warm, and the company was terrific. My kids and I were on the east coast for 2 weeks, and I packed the 14 days with so many activities and so many events because I wanted them to have a great time. I tried hard (too hard) to create “magical moments” for them.  I expected the family to be busy with work and their own lives so I underestimated their willingness to spend time with us.  Some of my family members hadn’t seen the boys in over 10 years! How time flies.

So here I was, trying very hard to create these family “magical moments”.  From the moment we set foot at Babo’s house, the kids were in their “moment”- as was I.  It felt so good.  Babo’s house has always been a home filled with love.  I always felt welcomed there.  From there, we went to Enchild’s house and you should have seen how bugged eyed they were to see that basement of his.  A theater! in a house? Wow!  More magical moments with Enchild.  And then Kettelye came, and the kids always had a soft spot for Tatie KiKi.  Then to Frantz’ house.  Despite Kettly being ill and facing surgery in a few days, she fed us and took care of us.  The kids didn’t know them at all, so it was bittersweet for them to meet her.

We kept a list of all the cousins they met that weekend.  They couldn’t remember everyone but, as Carlo’s daughter Sophia used to call my kids “cousin” , that’s how they referred to everyone. Cousin. Tatie. Uncle.  It was about family and they felt connected, and that was my “magical moments”.  We had lots of them.

I continued on with our itinerary, but the kids didn’t want to go.  They were happy to be with their family.  I could only promise them that next year, we were just coming to to be with the family.   I wasn’t putting much thought into planning the reunion until Tony called me asking me if I wanted to go to Enchild’s birthday party.  I got the invitation and had put it in my wishlist.  I didn’t hesitate and Tony was generous enough to make it happen.  From the moment I saw him and Charles at Long Beach Airport, I exhaled. It was nonstop pure joy.  Those two are something else. Never a dull moment in their presence.  When we arrived, the bitter cold (temp was 8 F) was just a background thing.  We laughed of course about leaving the warmth of the west coast to this blistering cold that had a name that I don’t care to put in my brain, and ChaCha said, “Don’t they realize that they have a choice” to leave this cold?  It was a great weekend.  Don’t think I slept much.  The look on Enchild’s face when he realized we were in his basement was truly priceless.

It seems that my “magical moments” tend to include my family…..

We didn’t have much growing up in Queens, but we had each other.  We had family.  I had the best cousins in the world in Max, Pouchon (Gerard), Nadja & FeFe.  I had Uncle Gerard whose belly would jiggle when he laughed.  Chiquita & I had Uncle Toto who picked us up on Fridays to take us away from the busy house of ours.  His apartment was always so much quieter than our home, and it was great to have an adult’s undivided attention.  That man always has a warm place in my heart.

So at Enchild’s birthday party, Tony got philosophical on us.  He can get emotional that guy.  He was talking about us being with each other and needing to talk more.  We all enjoyed each other’s company but he felt a sense of sadness because  we’ve all lost touch.  We talked about the family reunion and wanted to make it not just a fun event, but a time when we can sit and talk and get to know each other.  We do want many “magical moment”s.  There will be time to have a great time but we are hoping that we will leave upstate NY on July 6 feeling closer than ever before. We are creating a mentoring group consisting of multiple generations from different families.  A group will typically consist of a preteen, teen, young adult to 25, 25-40, and >40.  We want these groups to meet everyday during the reunion, and to continue the relationships between reunions.  The groups ideally will consist of different family members and we will leave it up to the groups to decide their own agenda.

This is our reunion and everyone is welcomed to contribute.  If you want to write a blog, let me know………………………….

Love! Laugh! Live! Liline!

 

Happy Easter

Hello Everyone,

I went to my first sunrise Easter service today.   I love a good sermon and my local Catholic church just doesn’t seem to have what I am looking for.  The sermon there is very mundane, and the scripture is never read from the bible and the sermons tend to be very bland.  Even when current events is full of electric conversations, the sermon of the week would barely touch it.  I go  but I don’t usually leave feeling as if my soul was nourished.  At the nondenominational service that I attended today, the  sermon could be summarized with the 2 words, “Only Jesus…”  The preacher talked about how we tend to praise God when something goes well but take credit at times for the good fortune, and then blame him totally when things go bad, not realizing that when things go wrong, it is usually from our misdeeds or someone else’s.   The sermon was moving, and the sounds of the waves made the Resurrection that much more meaningful.  Life, it’s a gift.  Only Jesus could have made such a glorious day!

 

Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful Easter day.  Its a perfect day here in southern California.  I started this blog as a family blog, so that we can all communicate and stay in touch.  I have sent the first newsletter so please share it with other family members.  I ask that all head of households to please forward to me email addresses for all family members who have one so that I can add them on the mailing list.  I need a head count for all those who are attending & deposit :).

So far the list of attendees are:

Carline (+ Garrett & Ethan), Antoine, Enchild (+ Marjory, Tamara & Matthew),

Charles, Alex (+ Tony), Carlo (+Marisol, Myah, Sophia), Robert & Irene,

Kettelye (+Makeda, Nneka, Shaana), Evelyn, Daphne (+Austin), Max (+Maggy, Gabby, ?Gregg),

Nemours, Jennifer, Natasha (+Patrick, Chelsea, Chloe), Vanessa (+Ayana), Karine, Tania(+Abdou, Riley)

 

Please submit your vote for the T-shirt TODAY!

Looking for volunteers to help organize the food list.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Love,

Carline