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Jamming with the fam


It's a cloudy day and raining on the farmette. My sunflowers have finally reached their full height and are blooming like crazy. I have a couple of 12 footers, I'm sure, although I haven't actually done the measuring...

Yesterday was a big day for my older sister Barb, because we surprised her with a birthday party for her 70th. It was kind of sneaky because the actual date was two weeks ago on the second. So she really was taken aback...and a few tears even came down.

But the rest of the afternoon was sweetness and light with the fam-jam getting together under a sunny September sky in London.

Sister Sandy and niece Rachel took the trip with Rob and me. Barb's daughter Melissa was the organizer behind the whole business along with help from her brother Darren, friends and her aunts, of course. The event was hosted by Melissa's friends Tim and Deb who graciously gave over their beautiful back garden for the day.

It's so great to see all the older, younger and new additions to the family. Had to put up with the usual antics every time I took out the smartphone - look at these two, for example. Nice Rachel.

But getting back to the point. Barb (Fluffy for those in the know in the family) is a kind and generous soul with quite a bit of flair - especially in the hair department. Rob put together a slide show for the party, and the number of different iterations - from the sixties beehive to the purple splash on her forehead yesterday - was astounding.

There were also some times where the headgear got a little out of hand. Back in the day, Rob started this whole tradition of wearing hanky hats made out of the napkins at family gatherings.

We have many, many photos of all of us wearing the silly things that were originally meant to keep the hot sun off imperialist Brits' delicate white domes. Here's one especially fetching photo of her with Mom and Dad at a Thanksgiving in Erin at Sandy's former home.

We've had many good times romping around with Barb. There's quite a few photos of the three sisters making faces and generally having a hoot. Here's a pic from 10 years ago (how'd that happen?), when we were celebrating her 60th on Prince Edward Island. Sandy had rented a house near Summerside where we hung out on the red sand beaches and took in the Maritime air. We also got silly and mugged for the camera, as you do.

Notice how impressed Maya (Sandy's golden retriever) is about our howling. Not.

Anyhow, yesterday was fantastic for catching up with the brother, sisters, nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. The latest family model is a wee girl named Rose - Dan's granddaughter and Laura's daughter - and I found out that there's another one coming from that family - Mitch and Ashley are expecting a third. Yay.

I'm sure Barb will put this one in the books as a day to remember. I know she appreciates all the effort, the reminiscences, the visiting and talking and building of more memories. I do too.

Until next week.


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