In a world that gets busier by the moment, it is hard to keep up with your close friends, much less your aunts, uncles, and cousins, who you don’t hang out with on a regular basis. So, every year my mom’s family has a family picnic in the summer. That and the annual family Christmas party provide a chance to reconnect with an ever growing family. Since her family is quite large and most of us still live in the Casper, Wyoming area, the turn out is usually pretty large. There were a lot of people who were not there this year, but it could easily pass for a small company picnic without stretching the imagination too far.

My mom and her siblings are getting older now, and some of them have trouble getting around. They don’t get together as often as they would like, because it is harder for them. So, the annual family picnic is a nice way for them to spend some time together, and for their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids to enjoy the time as well. They sit around and talk about the old days…about those who have gone home before us and about their memories of them. And get to know the new babies who have joined our family.

This year, thanks to Facebook, where I have connected with a number of my cousins grown and teenaged kids, I knew more of the kids better than ever before. They are a great bunch of kids, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. It is a rare thing, I think, to know the children and grandchildren of your cousins pretty well, especially in a family that numbers over 300, but I can say that I do. And I feel very blessed to know them.

I have been to many of these family picnics. And many are spent asking who this or that new person is, but this time I knew…I knew them, and their kids. I suppose that many people would think this an odd statement, because we all live in the same town, but when you really think about it, do you know your cousins kids and grandkids well? If you are like most families, probably not.

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