The sun has been shining all day, and I have been inside almost all day, ignoring my lawn, now badly in need of its third cutting. For anyone interested in the saga of Lawn Mowing 2009, read * below; otherwise, it's fine to skip it.
The almost annual Memorial Day Ranch Meeting Gathering at the Blanchet Ranch last weekend was full of chaos, drama, fun and family, with kids running around, the lawns turned into tent cities, the ATV in high demand and cameras heating up from overuse. I personally (with the help of two nieces, Susannah and Clementina, and 4-year-old apprentice granddaughter Lily) logged about 600 photos over the weekend.
There were several babies in various stages of growth, the youngest being seven-month-old Elyssa, who was the same age as Lily at her first ranch meeting, as well as growing kids at every stage. Little Addie, who's creeping up on age 2, weighs about the same as Elyssa, Marley (almost a year) and Colton (just over a year) do now. Lily and Addie seemed to love their time camping out on the lawn with their folks and running around at the ranch.
I trimmed my hundreds of photos down to about 100 for the Best of Ranch 2009 to share on Snapfish.
There's a some really good ones, but most are just a snapshot of time, the Blanchet Ranch family getting together for fun, food and business. Yes, the Blanchet Ranch meeting LLC took place Sunday afternoon and lasted over two hours; none of us are great at Parliamentary Procedure and getting to the point in a hurry.
This year's Blanchet Ranch auction had lots of stuff – kids books, photo collages, candles, a homemade sox monkey (which I bought for my monkey-loving granddaughter), handmade leather books, an antique cheese grater and egg beater, and on and on. It brought in around $220, which we voted at the meeting to have old movies my dad took when we were kids onto DVDs.
I won't even talk about all the food, though thanks to niece Rose's husband Rod I ate salmon instead of hamburger at the barbecue; however, it was hard to resist Marianne's homemade pies and all the other goodies I've been avoiding to the first of the year.
During the whole month of May I've lost .04 lbs. -- not very impressive, but not bad considering Memorial Day weekend. I was afraid to get on the scales for several days.
Drama included a one-car rollover a few miles away on the neighbor's ranch; luckily Mike (Elyssa's dad) was not seriously injured, but the poor old car of which he was so proud (it used to be his grandma's) didn't look so good when it hobbled by.
Though I pitched my tent, I ended up taking advantage of the surprising opportunity of a real bed in the house ... Since there was no rain this year, everyone else was camping out instead of packing the house. I was the last one to disperse early Monday afternoon, and brother Larry and I took a tour of the wheat fields. Except for some extra rye, they didn't look bad, but already we need rain; fantasies of a bumper crop fade away quickly in Coombs Canyon.
In addition to the photos I took, trying to capture everyone on one weekend in time, mental images of sun, kids, siblings, nieces and nephews also remain.
My next family gathering will be much smaller – with Jenny, Lawrence, Lily and Addie in Tigard for a week's vacation (one night at the beach), starting in just over a week. Next Sunday I get to go see the Lipizzaner Stallions in Portland with my sister Caroline!
(* The first one I did get done on Mother's Day weekend, though my lawn mower – which I did get started with the help of the lawn cutting man, Jerry, who was working across the street – only lasted part of one day.
Then I made the mistake of thinking I'd finish on Mother's Day. Couldn't get it started again (the rubber primer is now good); neighbor Paul got it going for a little while, then I ended up borrowing his to finish the rest. I mowed the front again the Wednesday before Memorial Day, once again borrowing Paul's mower. Jerry is planning to fix mine (he ordered a new rubber primer), but it's still broken, and my grass is growing like crazy.)