December 02, 2014
Chapter 5A: Family reunion at the Buffalo River cabin
The main reason we made our trek to Arkansas this summer was to get together with family at a cabin in the woods. My father and his wife Cynthia reserved the thing and organized everyone to be there. It was ridiculously huge with lots of bedrooms and baths and a basement filled with air hockey, pool, ping pong and a huge TV. And the back yard was filled with a bunch of horses that the kids had fun feeding apples to over the fence.
There were lots of us that came so by the time we all paid some of the cost it was less than a hotel. And lots more fun! Were were nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains near the Buffalo River Valley, one of the most beautiful places on earth I think.
Here we are playing volleyball in the backyard.
Most special to me during this trip was seeing my mother and father together (who divorced when I was a teenager). Here's all four of us playing cards:
My ma, who lives in Fayetteville, drove the 2 hours to the cabin and joined us for a couple nights. There was such generosity of spirit on all sides, hard not for me to cry a couple times seeing our family together. One night there was game of hearts and the four of us, my father, brother and mother all ended up playing late into the night. I remember sitting there and tears rolling down my cheeks as I looked at my parents laugh and tease and talk about our past. I don't regret anything about my childhood and am not suggesting I wish it had been different. But I do know it felt wonderful for all four of us to be together and be happy. I credit this moment to my parents for letting go and letting love and generosity heal wounds from the past. I also remember Cynthia, my father's lovely wife and my step-mother, being so generous and kind. She went to bed early that night and the four of us just stayed up and drank and played cards until late, such a gift and a moment I'll never forget. Afterwards I took this tearful selfie:
Moving on, some more photos from our time at the cabin. Living for a few days with Uncle Josh was something the kids adored. Bailey and Josh at dinner:
Breakfast on the porch (that's my cousin Hannah at left)
Petting the horses. All the kids each named a horse. Can't remember them all but. Bailey's was named...Bailey! Josh's horse was named Awesome Josh. Forget the other names cause they weren't as funny!
My step-sister Jenny with Josh.
Bailey lazing around with Grandpa Tim.
The dinner Jess and I made for folks:
Non-stop hummingbirds were at hand: