Traditions and Family Gatherings (D1)

My Father-in-law turned 80 today. There was no large gathering. No big party. Just his immediate family, a simple meal, one GREAT cake and a bit of family tradition.

It was a great day!

For my husband’s family, many of their traditions came out of annual family fishing trips. Blueberry picking and sorting, fishing contests, funny family names. Of all of them, my favorite is game time.

I was introduced to game time during my first fishing trip with the family . After a full day out in the boat, chores around the cabin, and meal prep and cleanup, everyone would gather in the side room for a game of cards. Skip-bo to be exact. And this family is serious about their Skip-bo.

Strategy, blocking, keeping everyone honest — all major components of the game.

But for me, it was having the family together, gathered around that picnic table, laughing, jeering, cheering each other on. Now that is one heck of a tradition!

That was almost 30 years ago for me and I’m not sure how much farther back it started for my husband’s family. Over those years, we’ve gone through many decks of Skip-bo cards and added games like Uno and Chicken Foot (Dominoes).

Today, it’s not just fishing trips, but any time our family gets together. And it’s not about the game, or the activity. It’s about the time spent together, the connections and the memories. We use the time to share stories, discuss life and share our love of God.

I have been blessed with an amazing second family, who have always treated me like one of their own. I hope in another 10 years we will be celebrating the 90th birthday of this his special man…and playing a spirited game of!

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