Road trip! Next weekend we will head for Arkansas. We will fly to Little Rock. We will rent a car. Then we will drive for a couple of hours to Hope, Arkansas, to see some sweet people. We're not the only ones traveling to get there. Lots of people are coming from all over Texas. Some are coming from Tennessee. Some are coming from different places in Arkansas. Whatever the points of origin, the destination will be just a place, just a location, until we all get there. Then it'll be gathering of young (as young as a couple of weeks old) and old (as young as just over 80 years old) souls there to enjoy each other's company.

Next weekend will be a particularly special one. My mom's side of the family will be enjoying a family reunion in southwest Arkansas. I could probably stop right there and you could flesh out the rest of the story. Everybody's got a family. Every family's got their share of family stuff: the crazy aunt(s), the blended families, the exchanging of gifts, the sharing of recipes, the guys wandering outside to get another beer out of the cooler in the back of the truck, the kids who are so excited to see their cousins that they run around in circles until they collapse with scraped knees and elbows in a sweaty pile in front of a box fan... You know...

At the mention of those words - "family reunion" - you are able to fill in the blanks. You can imagine the card games, the dominoes marathons, the sharing of stories that start with, "Remember that time..."

Well, we're looking forward to all that and more. It will be too hot. There will be too much food. And it will all be good. Aunt Vera has already promised banana pudding. My sister Charlotte has committed to making her much loved corn dip. The call has gone out for everybody to bring their ice cream freezers so that we can make several batches of ice cream on Saturday afternoon.

More than once during the weekend my mom and her sisters will break out into a medley of hymns.  Their denominations might not be the same but those Baptist, Assembly Of God, Methodist, Church Of Christ, and even the most heathen voices will make beautiful heavenly harmonies. Also, more than once, a few folks will try to cut a rug. There will most likely be some attempt at a line dance of some kind, and there may be a stab at a jitterbug. We'll just have to wait and see.

We'll be there sharing some memories and creating a few new ones. We will miss the ones who aren't there, and we will give thanks for the ones who are.


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