Saturday, August 13, 2011

Part 4: The Hart Reunion and Pre-wedding Festivities

My son is a Hart. I remember a few years ago after he started attending the yearly reunion when he came home and told me that he no longer felt "different" he said that he found a whole slew of people who were like him. For him it was an 'a-ha' moment, one that brought him a sense of who he was and where he came from. He loves Hartland Woods and the yearly reunion is a pilgrimage that he will not miss short of being in the hospital with both legs in casts. He proposed to Sydni there last year and they both wanted this site to be the venue for their wedding . I am so very blessed that his Hart family represents a group of people who recognize the importance of family and that they have opened their arms AND campfire not only to my son but to his extended family. Coming from all over the United States, they get together the first weekend in August to visit, eat, drink, sing, camp in tents, float down the Westfork River in canoes, and skeet shoot. When my two sisters and I arrived bumping down the entrance to the camp, our brakes gave out. Coming towards us was a pickup truck when it stopped I had a deja vue moment. I said to this man I know who your daddy is!!! He told me to get out of my car and he wrapped me in his arms and gave me a hug. Jeff Hart, you so eased my way and gave me a welcome that I will long remember. And you look just like your daddy Denny!!!!

The float is a tradition and I was invited by my son who had already asked his stepfather to be his partner. I don't know who he thought he would partner me with because I don't canoe. It would make me sweat and I just purely hate to sweat. If they had a barge with rowers I might have reconsidered. They said that the float would start at 1030am and they were almost on time. It started at 100pm. Becky and I watched as they put the canoes in the Westfork and it was organized chaos. Brian Hart stood in the water for assistance, dogs were cavorting in the water jumping in and out of boats. My thought as I was shooting pictures was how happy everyone was!!
The day after the float(and the wedding) they had a skeet shooting contest. This is also tradition that they take seriously. I wasn't there long to watch but these Harts can shoot!!
Family can be a group of people who share the same DNA. A family can be a community to form unions to raise the young. It has a purpose, a past and a future. A family can be extended beyond the DNA bond to include those who support the goals of the community. A family is bonded by shared joys and sorrows. History is shared as stories are told. The once young now old are the elders passing to the next generation a sense of belonging. This family Hart opened their arms to us for the weekend with the only commonality my precious oldest child Joshua. This family took us in, shared their campfire and shared the joyous occasion of a wedding. Looking at the faces I saw the past, looking at the children I saw the future.


Patti Franklin said...

I love your definition of family. Yes, ours gets broader as the kids marry, we acquire caring friends, and start on new adventures.

Courtney said...

You have such a way with words. Touches my heart every time I read them. Hugs