Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Branch from Our Family Tree

I'm at my family reunion this weekend (We rent out a day-camp for three days.).  I expect to see at least 80 people there this year. Keeping in mind that this includes just my mom, her four siblings, and their offspring, I think that's pretty special.

Speaking of special, I was just poking around in Facebook, on my cousins' pages (just making sure I've got most of the names down,haha), when I stumbled upon some photos from a birthday gathering of my cousins, the Carlins. The Carlin family has had more than its share of tragedy in its lifetime; a farm family with eleven kids, they lost the eldest brother and eldest sister to two separate car accidents, and their parents (each to cancer, within a couple of years of each other) more than 30 years ago, but they've remained a tight bunch. Today, there are eight Carlin girls (two sets of twins) and "baby" brother, Steve. They are spread out around the U.S. (and sometimes the world), but they always have regular get-togethers, and they always make sure someone marks the occasion with photos.

As the sun set on the day of the birthday party, someone in the group got the idea for these shots, (at the edge of the picnic shelter, I assume) and at least six of them went along with it. How cool is that?


I can't decide which capture I love better.
(In case you can't tell, they're all smiling in this one.)

One of the most endearing qualities of my Carlin cousins is the way they sing together (yes, Brother, too).  I get choked up, just thinking about it, as to hear so many levels of harmony in a single song is stirring to the soul. I'm pretty sure they have their disagreements like all siblings, but when it comes to music, there is nothing but harmony.

Jeanie, though (top right in the photo above), is the Carlin who turned her passion for singing into a career. She even wrote and performed a song that fits beautifully with this weekend, this post, and every family. 

Not everyone in my family can carry a tune (I won't mention any names.), but I'm pretty sure most of us love to sing; and at our reunion, everyone is welcome to do so.  On that note (ha! Get it? Note?!), I'm off to print out some lyrics so I can join in!

I suppose I should charge up the camera battery, too. ;)

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