Monday, July 14, 2008

Brewgal et al have survived her family reunion. This is a reunion of the mother's side of my family. She was one of six children. We try to get together every two years. This year's reunion was held at Pipestem State Park in West Virginia.

Some fun facts:

30 = family members who showed up. Not a bad turnout.

3 = generations represented. My grandparents have both passed away.

19 = family members who went white water rafting. This was an event I approached with much trepidation. I've never been rafting before, and I had visions of the little brewers being thrown into the river and crushed by the rapids. I'm sure it didn't help that I had recently read the story about the kayakers who went over a dam and were sucked into the dam's turbines and killed.

3 = minutes it took me to realize I cannot control a raft. They put most of us into two person "duckies." Little Brewer #1 and I were in one, and soon discovered that despite our best novice paddling efforts, we were going around in circles. I'd paddle on one side, and she would paddle on the same side, which meant I'd have to overcorrect on the other side. All the while we were drifting farther and farther away from the calm water where the group was located. Little Brewer #1 was in tears, I was upset, so after we finally managed to paddle back to shore, we requested to go in the big raft, the one with the guide. Much, much better.

1-2 = class of rapids on the river.

1 = number of falls on the river. Captain Andy, our guide and raftmate, told me to paddle through the waterfall. "Most people forget to paddle," he said. "The water is going to want to take us close to the bank, but keep paddling so we go through the middle," instructions I interpreted to mean, "paddle or die." We had picked up another passenger by this time, 5 year old Max. "Ok," I answered with some trepidation. The kids were instructed to hunker down in the raft and hang on to the straps. I am perched on the edge of the raft with a paddle. Then Little Brewer #1 started bouncing up and down saying "let's go! let's go!" Off we go.

As we approached the waterfall, the sequence of thoughts in my brain was as follows:

Hey look, there's a pullout just before the falls if you don't want to go over the falls. Can we do that? paddlepaddlepaddle

Wow, that water is fast. paddle!paddle!paddle!

Holysh!t!Waterfaaaaaaalllll! tryingnottofalloutofboat boatistipping! splashysplashy

Floosh. Calm water. I realize I forgot to paddle.

5 = family who ended up crashing their rafts on the waterfall and going into the river. We watched them, one after another, as they went down sideways in the waterfall.

1 = number of rafts lost in the waterfall.

2 = babies under the age of 6 months. So cute and squishy!

23 = pizzas consumed. We are like a swarm of locusts at mealtime.

7 = days spent at Pipestem.

5 = days it rained. After five days of rain I was ready to rename the state Wet Virginia.

5 = total number of reunions taking place concurrently. We felt totally outdone by the reunion with the big banner and the one with the gift bags.

1 = celebrities seen (Morgan Spurlock, courtesy of the Spurlock family reunion).

12 = hours driving there and back.

$4.19 = price of gas in Hinton, WV.

2 = number of years until next reunion.

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