Reunion celebrates 20 years of food, family and tradition

Reunion celebrates 20 years of food, family and tradition

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Friends make a face when my husband and I say we’re headed to our family reunion.

Their eyebrows lift, their noses crinkle. 

“Oh,” they say. “Sorry.” Family time that intense, spread out over several days, is an obligation, something to be endured, not enjoyed.

We just smile and nod. We know we’re headed for an adventure.

For 20 years, we’ve gathered in the mountains, at the beach or near a lake; we’ve gone to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi. 

My sisters, niece and cousins took time out from touring Chattanooga to ride the Coolidge Park Carousel.

The toddlers are now young adults, with college degrees and real jobs.

The tweens have toddlers of their own. 

And the little ones who have come in the meantime transform into new humans every summer.

This year’s reunion took us to Cloudland Canyon State Park in the northwestern corner of Georgia, where we took part in my version of primitive camping. We had no wi-fi, cell service was spotty, and our three-bedroom, two-bath, air-conditioned cabin had a full kitchen and three televisions, but no closets. 

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