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08/20/2006: "Family reunion"

I am a month late with this but here is the report on the family reunion. Every three years we schedule a family reunion back on the family farm which is now run by one of my cousins, him being the third generation. This year there were about 150 in attendance. I won’t bore you with details but just let you know that it was a very good time, with a lot of activities and a lot of catching up being done. The weather was hot and muggy; reaching 102 degrees on Sunday, but at least it wasn’t raining. It would be hard to get that many people under cover and inside it that happened.

What I will tell you about the reunion is how I almost missed it. We have known for a year what the dates would be. At some point I marked my calendar and a month prior booked my flight to Minneapolis and a rental car to drive up with. We were down to a week before when my mother called and wanted to know my schedule. I told here I would be flying in on Thursday morning and arriving sometime in the afternoon or evening. Two days later she calls a little after midnight wanting to know where I was and how soon I would be in. The problem was that I was at home asleep. I had marked the wrong weekend and booked everything for the next week. Needless to say she was pretty upset. I started making phone calls to see what I could do to reschedule my flight but there were only a couple of flights available and it would be an additional $900 to make the changes. As a last resort I checked for a flight out of Raleigh on Northwest using a frequent flyer ticket. That wasn’t looking good since they wanted to route me all over the country taking all day and I would still have a 300 mile drive from Minneapolis. I then checked if a frequent flyer seat was available flying into Grand Forks ND, a flight I had never been able to get a ticket for. Lo and behold, there was a seat available on a direct flight in the morning to Minneapolis and then a connection arriving in Grand Forks at 1:30 in the afternoon. I called my mother back and told her I would be in Grand Forks at 1:30 and would get a car and drive the last 50 miles. She insisted that she would be there to pick me up. I then quickly packed and left about 2:30 in the morning for the Raleigh airport. Once in Raleigh I had to try to get hold of the people at work to let them know that I would be gone for a few days.

Needless to say, there is no way that I could keep a mistake of this magnitude quiet, so I was the butt of a lot of jokes over the weekend. I did schedule an extra day to stay and visit since it will be a while before I am able to get back there again