On July 3rd, the extended family got together for a socially distanced picnic. Even this small gathering required all kinds of rethinking our usual family gatherings.
First of all, where would we have it? We wanted to be outside but also protected from the weather. So, my parents reserved a pavilion at the Lexington Community Park. Turned out the pavilion was enclosed, so we moved some tables and chairs to a shady spot next to the pavilion.
Second, how would we do food? Although I think everyone in the family has been pretty carefully working from home, not everyone has been able to stay home. I have one nephew who is an essential worker in a warehouse. He lives with my brother, sister-in-law, and three nieces. Plus, Tom and I had just come up from Georgia on July 1. Even though we didn’t go into any buildings on our way up and paid at the pump when we got diesel, we were still traveling along the covid corridor.
My sister and I brought our own food for our families, but Mom and Dad and my brother’s family decided to share food. John and Jackie actually brought food for our family from City BBQ (it was delicious!). I did notice, by the end of our time together, that most everyone was sampling the cookies that each family brought.
Each family had their own socially distanced table but we tried to sit close enough that all the conversations could be heard. This worked variously well. I know my dad had a hard time hearing what was going on. The multiple voices were difficult for everyone. And, as at most family gatherings, you never get to talk to one group long enough to feel like you are really caught up.
Finally, our family likes to play games. But what kinds of games don’t have touching and can keep social distanced? My sister brought a bingo game where everyone could download cards on their cell phones or iPads. This was fun, but the people who used cell phones had a hard time seeing the numbers. My brother had a great solution. He brought squirt guns and Nerf guns. Each person could choose the weapon of their choice and didn’t have to share. We had lots of fun shooting each other. The funniest moment was when I shot my sister-in-law Kathy with a suction cup Nerf arrow and it stuck to her bare arm!
We had a great socially distanced afternoon together. We had not been together since Christmas – which was a very long time ago. Even though we couldn’t share our food or hugs, there was still plenty of love and laughter. We are looking forward to doing it again soon.