Living in Austin, Texas we don’t have four seasons unless you consider a week or two of 50 degree weather winter. What we do have are three very short seasons and one very long one. So I’m doing my best to enjoy the quickly passing spring. Because today my friend it is expected to be 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32.2 Celcius. Either way that is much too warm on the 14th day of March.
I remember how invigorating and inspiring spring was when I lived up north. After being shut away for 2-4 months, buried under snow, fighting the sub zero weather while waiting outside for the bus, enjoying the snow on the good days, it was a ray of sunshine when the first robin was spotted. It heralded a celebration. We knew flowers would be peeking their heads above ground and trees would be soon dressed in their most colorful spring best. It gave me a much needed burst of energy.
When almost everyday ranges from 60-80 F🌞 (15.5 to 26.6 c) spring just seems like any other day. Rather than spring having a sense of renewal, it signals the countdown to 🌪⛈ and the oppressive and miserable 🔥 heat. We know there will be many nights 🌑 where the thermometer doesn’t go below 80F. (26.6c) Where a simple five minute walk means you need a shower and carefully coiffed hair is either now flat or if curly has exploded to triple its size.
You don’t see people out between 10am and 8pm. Everyone stays inside unless they are fortunate to have a pool 🏊🏼 and even then you must watch the UV index so you don’t fry your skin.
People who live with oppressive winters ☃ think southerners are wimps. Southerners think northerners exaggerate. As someone who has lived in both extremes (went to school at -36f or -37c 🌨and went to high school when it was 105f or 41c 💥 and it was too hot to touch my outdoor locker, I can assure you anyplace where one extreme dominates it’s not any fun.
As a simple math question the answer is yes 2 + 2 = 4 but in terms of life nothing could be further from the truth. When two people join together and create a new life, they become 3. And most families add to that number and become 4, 5, 6 or more.
If your family is close then there is a good chance you will have experienced a family reunion. It is a large party where the progeny of two people all come together. In my family it was the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren of George and Rose. Over 100 people would gather in the heat of the summer, in a park in Oklahoma City with containers of fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, homegrown tomatoes, lots and lots of pie, and if we were really lucky someone would make homemade ice cream.
My mother was an only child and I have only one sister, so in my daily life we had a very small family. So on those yearly summer days, to learn I was part of something bigger, a family with many branches helped me feel grounded and reminded me I belonged. Maybe my lineage wasn’t to fabulous wealth or royalty, but it was clear my lineage was one of love, caring and a deep and abiding faith in God.
We no longer go to those reunions. My grandmother and all of her siblings have passed on. The group has now splintered off as those other great aunts and uncles have become great, great grandparents in their own right. So they began having their own reunions. Life goes on. Modern life has taken everyone in their own directions. I think about trying to revive the family reunion even though my own family is small. It would consist of 9 people. But I pray and hope that it will grow as my children and my sister’s children marry and have children of their own. So no, I don’t think 2 + 2 = 4.
If you want to have our own family reunion here are some resources: Family Reunion Planning and Family Reunion Ideas