Monthly Archives: July 2014

Embrace Your “I Do” Tribe: Sloss Family Reunion 2014

Last week my mother-in-law took her four adult children, three sons/daughters-in-laws, one cousin and her brother and one sister-in-law away to the beautiful Carmel Highlands. As I wrote in my last post, Embrace Your “I Do” tribe, getting together with family can be great, but it also can be stressful. To my mother-in-law’s credit, this event was fun and easy.

I must admit to some apprehension when getting ready for our family reunion: this was the first time we had done a Sloss Family reunion with no kids (there are 11 grandchildren ranging from 13 to 25); the weather in Carmel in the summer can be iffy (which is Californian for cold and grey); sometimes it can be tense when families get together, even if everyone wants to get along.

Surprising to me, it was fun to get together without all the kids. There was no kid fussing, no kid stress and no kid drama. We had magnificent weather: sunny, clear, the ocean was calm—it was picture perfect really. We saw whales from the shore and got to sit out by the pool enjoying the rare July Carmel sunshine. On our last night together we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday with songs and memories and poems and games. Here are some photos from the event.

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As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Embrace your ‘I do’ tribe.

I married into a family that loves to mark momentous occasions by all getting together. Over the years my husband, his three siblings, their spouses, the grandchildren and of course his parents, (and sometimes his aunts and uncles) have gotten together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and B’nai Mitzvahs.

My family of origin didn’t do this, but when my grandparents were alive, my mother’s parents got us together for big celebrations that included my grandparents, aunts, uncles and all seven of us grandchildren. So when my husband’s family started these large celebrations a year after I got married, it felt familiar to me, and I looked forward to them, even with the stress of getting together, traveling and old family patterns that emerge in us as adults.

Starting in 1991, on through to 2006, my husband’s extended family celebrated my father-in-law’s 65th, 70th, 75th and finally his 80th birthdays; in 2004 we feted both my in-laws at their 50th wedding anniversary and there has been seven the B’nai Mitzvahs. We have partied in Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Los Altos, California; Hilton Head, SC; Kings Mill (Williamsburg), VA; Nemacolin, PA and the Eastern Shore of Maryland on the Chesapeake.

Tomorrow we will to honor my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday by spending the next three days in Carmel, CA. We will celebrate her with lunch at Nepenthe, dinner at Bistro Giovanni, culminating in our last night when we will fete her with toasts, stories, songs and skits at The Pacific Edge.

I’m sure that there will be disagreements, slights and disputes after all there are 11 opinionated Sloss-Green family members getting together for three days. But there will also be camaraderie, shared memories and love. Family reunions provide an important way that my husband’s family, and me by association, hang out, celebrate and reconnect with people who share something in common, even if it just memories of past times and people who are no longer alive.

An aside: many, many years ago, when I was 15 or 16, one of my first cousins told me that she had nothing in common with any of us, her extended family, as her excuse for being moody and morose at a family event. Since her wedding, I have seen her only once or twice in the last 30 years. In my book, she and I miss out on a relationship that contains memories of our growing up, seeing each other at family events and shared holidays. A loss that I mourn, but assume she does not.

Marriage means we enter into another family, and find a way to make their traditions our own. Otherwise there is strife and conflict at every milestone birthday, every holiday, every life event. During my 25+ year marriage I have seen my in-laws, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, great aunt and uncle in-laws at birthdays and funerals, Mitzvahs and holidays. These are the people whose tribe I joined when I said “I do” all these many years ago when I became Sloss.

On the eve of all packing up and creating a ‘Sloss (Green) family’ village in Carmel for the next three days I found myself nostalgic with memories, both good and bad, of past family celebrations and departed family members. And I remember back to my childhood, thinking of my extended family members, wishing them well where ever they are.

What kinds of family milestones does your family celebrate? How do you mark the occasions?



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

The Yoga of Dishwashing

“No matter how many times we finish a meal and wash the dishes, another meal brings more dishes. The practice is never complete. When we give up the notion that practice leads to something, we find a stack of dishes right in front of us. The stack of dishes is our practice. Whether those dishes consist of back bending, parenting, chopping wood or fixing a tire, this is our practice in the moment. To be fully in each moment, both stillness and action arise side by side. Practice moves back and forth between the two because [life] is nothing more than what’s happening right here and right now.” – Michael Stone

 

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!