Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jensen Family Feast

Karlo and Rowie joined us for the 2009 Jensen Family Feast this year. It was nice to bring them along so that they could see where I grew up and find out how nice my family really is. Besides, I had a feeling that Santa would be there, and I wanted Row to see him and sit on his lap since I didn’t know if they would have an opportunity to do that with all of the driving and moving back to Louisiana.

So, we all hopped into Karlo’s mini-van (yuck – no offense, but my people just don’t drive those…) and headed south. Karlo was already trapped in the van when he found out that the drive would be 2+ hours long. I think that he regretted it right then and there. Then, he had to listen to me and Bub argue about the weather the entire time. In the end, we made it safely and everyone was happy to see us. Like always, they treated Karlo and Rowie like family.

This year’s food was soup for the first time that I can remember. We brought a seafood chowder and Tuscan tomato soup. There were other chowders, soups, and chilis there. It was a nice change. Of course, there were desserts, but not as many as usual (I don’t know if that’s good or bad).

Karlo caused a bit of a ruckus when he knocked down three folding chairs trying to get to Rowie before he bit one of the boys. (Biting became an issue as the time drew closer for them to go to Louisiana.) Anyway, he made it to the boys just as Rowie was chomping down, so the clatter was worth it.

The boys had a good time running around and being crazy. There were plenty of kids and, minus the biting, everyone seemed to have a good time. My cousin’s grandson is almost a year older then the boys, and my niece’s daughter is a year younger. There were little people toddling everywhere!

The biggest surprise was that my niece had a second little girl with her. I didn’t even know that she had gotten pregnant again. It was at about that moment that I felt like a schmuck. They live 45 minutes (if even) from us, and I hadn’t seen her in a year. That is just shameful. So, I’m determined again this year to do many more monthly get togethers.

I let Kesli know that I couldn’t commit to the Ogden marathon because I was awaiting word on my admission to Westminster’s program. She just finished up her Master’s in Accounting last year, so she understands the time commitment. I did promise to run the last ten miles of the marathon with her, though. That’s the time that she’s going to need the most support and encouragement anyway.

Another cousin and his kids were there along with the elephant in the room – you know, the thing that everyone can see and feel but doesn’t talk about…. His wife’s absence was surely felt, and I think that everyone truly hurt for him and with him. She was such a good person and so devoted to those kids and to him. She was quiet but cheerful and always nice to us. She’ll be missed for years and years to come. He and the kids seem to be adjusting fine – at least that’s how it all appeared for those few short hours.

We had to head out a bit earlier than I would have liked, though, because it started to snow again. Anyone with a drive ahead of them cleaned up and hit the road fast. The burden to really get everything done always seems to fall on the locals…. This year, I vow to do more to help before and after because it’s not an easy job.

Our thanks to Aunt Carolyn, Kesli, and Juanita for doing the bulk of the work. Without them, this party would have ceased a few years ago. Another thank you to Uncle Ray for spending his free time polishing rocks that he turned into gifts for every person there. Brooches, pins, and bolo ties with beautiful, shiny gemstones – very thoughtful.

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