Monday, March 22, 2010

We're havin' a party...

Monday Mar 22, 2010

We're havin' a party...

Dancing to the music
Played by the DJ
On the radio
Sam Cooke, Having a Party

We had a family party on Saturday, and let me tell you that those Perrys do know how to party! My mom is one of 5 children, and she is without question the quietest, most reserved of the five. My extended family is big, funny, loud, loves to tell great stories, and did I mention loud? When one person tells a funny story, all other siblings are immediately inspired to tell a funnier story, and to tell it just a little louder than the last. And so it goes until the house is bursting at the seams, and we're all bursting our sides with laughter.

Growing up with a big extended family like that was wonderful. Countless holidays and birthdays were spent at Appie & Papa's house on Oakland Drive, and they had a perfect place for entertaining a big crowd. They had a giant family room that opens up onto a big sun porch that opens up to a big backyard, perfect for us kids to run around in. Their dining table was as big as any corporate conference room table, which made for lots of after-dinner conversations filled with funny stories of the old days. Appie was truly the matriarch of the Perry clan, and she kept us all connected to one another. I can remember very few family gatherings anywhere other than their house.

Many of my loyal readers know that the past few years have been tough for the Perry Clan. Papa passed away in the fall of 2006 and Appie died a few short months later. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer during that same time, and those three events really turned my world upside down. For a long time after that, gathering with my cousins and aunts and uncles seemed so strange. We met at different places, and that felt wrong. We didn't always keep up with what was going on in others' day-to-day lives, so getting together felt like getting to know each other somehow. Grief from losing the "center" of our family wheel was fresh, and being together without Appie and Papa just reinforced that hurt.

This weekend's party wasn't for any occasion or holiday, and maybe that is part of what made it easier. The out-of-town siblings (one in Florida, one in Georgia) both came to town, and that seemed enough reason to gather as a family. And it was really fun! We told old stories, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the cute baby tricks of my little ones, and ate like the clan of locusts that we are. Everyone who wanted baby snuggles got as many as they wanted. The conversations flowed, and there was lots of inter-generational hanging out which, to me, is what makes having a big family so much fun. While we will never get together that I don't miss Appie & Papa, it really was a great party.

Posted at 02:33PM Mar 22, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[1]

Doing a study here...did you all line yourselves up in birth order on purpose?
Just wondering!
Happy to see smiles on all the Perry faces!

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 23, 2010 at 10:26 PM EDT #

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