One of the very best perks of my job is getting to combine work travels with visiting friends and family all over the country. If I had to plan them as stand-alone trips, I’d never be able to schedule in all the visits I get every year by staying late or going early to a gig. Even during a gig I can sometimes squeeze in a lunch or coffee date with a long lost cousin or college friend, and it’s special to be able to give comp tickets to loved ones and have them in the audience for performances that are far from home.
Last weekend I combined rehearsals in the Boston area with a family reunion at my Auntie Sue’s house in Connecticut. She used to host these late summer BBQs most years, and her place is perfect for a whole day of visiting and playing.
There are horses and fields, and room for horseshoes, croquet and volleyball, or just running around. As usual, this time there was great food, including veggie burgers on the grill, snappy fresh corn on the cob, and delicious homemade desserts baked by various members of the family.
I haven’t able to attend a summer BBQ in probably ten years, and I didn’t even know until I arrived that this was the first one in five years. Since families have grown and schedules gotten full, it’s been harder to get everyone together at once. Even last weekend not everyone could come, but there was still a large, rowdy crowd, with lots of laughing and teasing and a very competitive, all-afternoon game of horseshoes.
Despite the intermittent rain it was a beautiful day, with people sliding from eating to talking to playing at a leisurely pace, and thoroughly enjoying each others’ company.