I woke up in the roach motel itching. I'm not sure if there were actually critters biting me, or if it was just my imagination, but either way, I wasn't a bit sad to pack up and hit the road.
But, of course, all good things seem to always come to a screeching halt when it comes to my rowdy bunch, and my good thing of exiting bug infestation happened about 3.4 seconds after we pulled out of the parking lot.
Because, for some insane reason, I was somehow being held personally responsible for navigating our little wagon train, and, of course....as if anybody would be surprised, I got us lost.
And if once wasn't enough for one day, a couple of hours on down the road....I got us lost.
And I have now officially I-Don't-Care-How-Much-Grinning-Jim-Dad-Does resigned from my position as Chief Navigator.
You're welcome, mi familia.
We drove up through the beautiful mountains of Tennessee....where there is ZERO cell phone coverage, by the way, so I've had to put Rosie to sleep for the weekend....to the lovely Carson Springs Baptist Campground. We were greeted by a host of familiar faces, and a bigger host of unfamiliar faces, but all were huggy and feely and very reminiscent of how I was the little girl in pigtails back in the day.
You see, the whole reason for this fabulous week of family togetherness was spurred on by this reunion that we are at presently. The Bangladesh Missionary Reunion. The country where I spent a bit of my childhood while my parents faithfully served as missionaries. So, to all my "aunts" and "uncles" (as you call missionary adults), I still should be running around in mismatched shoes and jumpsuits.
So we are all knee deep in memories and old stories and photographs from back-in-the-day. We played a game that was an ice-breaker kind of activity, but all it really accomplished was me butchering the Bengali language, and my sister having a full-blown panic attack when told she was going to have to speak in the microphone. Good times.
These reunions are always a little bizarre for me, because my memories of Bangladesh are through the eyes of a very little girl. I was fluent in the language once upon a time, and some of my very best friends were some of the Bangladeshi children. So it is so hard for me to think about the country in any other way then how my young mind remembers it. I remember all these people the way they used to look. And I have some very specific memories about each of them.
So, I find myself now looking at my Uncle Jim, with his gray hair and feeble walk. And I remember working jigsaw puzzles in his living room with him back when I was only 5 or 6.
I find myself looking at my Aunt Gloria, who looks exactly the same except for her graying hair, and remembering how I loved to hang out with her, and hear her sing, and watch her dress up in her traditional saris.
And I find myself looking at my Uncle James and giggling when I hear him clear his throat, because it is the EXACT same sound I remember from twenty-something years ago.
And now on to Day 3. Another day of sitting in meetings listening to folks talk about this little country that we all called home for a little while.
And another day of being thankful for family.
Even though the children are slightly on my nerves.