This past weekend was the annual Carson family reunion up in Little Pine Valley. I was able to travel home for the event, along with my aunt. We had lovely cool weather on Saturday for the reunion. Overcast skies rolled over the mountains and across the valley, sprinkling just a couple raindrops on us. That didn't stop us from holding a water-balloon tossing competition! Matt and I stayed pretty dry - all the failed catches soaked the ground instead of me :)
Lunch was pot-luck style. My family brought fried chicken and there was a nice assortment of fruit - strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, and melons. The mac & cheese was some of the best I'd ever had! And the cupcakes were very tasty. I went back for seconds later.
I spent most of the afternoon catching up with two of my second-cousins from Montreal. It was a lot of fun, since they are also involved in the info science/database fields. Everyone enjoyed looking over the large family tree chart that was spread across a line of picnic tables. My cousin Erin won the braille kit that I submitted to the Chinese auction and I showed her how to use it later that afternoon.
My cousin Shawn entertained us with songs on the Scottish bagpipes and then later the Irish bagpipes. Others played the guitar. The music was really neat and I enjoyed it a lot. I brought my tin whistle back to Maryland with me so I can learn some tunes before next year. I may also invest in a bodhran, though I need to find someone to partner with if I want to play it!
On the way home, we went by way of English Center to explore by my dad's old summer stomping grounds. It was neat to see the old suspension bridge - it is one of only a few short suspension bridges in PA (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hhh.pa3580). We then saw the house that belonged to my great aunt and some of the places where my current relatives live. This used to be a very important area for the lumber industry. The logs were shipped down the Susquehanna River from the nearby city of Williamsport. Williamsport used to be a millionaire's city - Wikipedia says that "Williamsport once had more millionaires per-capita than anywhere in the world" and I remember many others telling me this, as well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamsport,_pa)
Later Saturday evening, I asked my mom if she could show me her knitting needles. I didn't know that she knew how to knit and I was eager to see what she had done and used. She found the needles and let me pick out some yarn, and then we sat down to learn how to knit. It was really neat! I now know the knit and the purl. My practice project is going to become either a hot-pad for tea mugs or a scarf for one of the stuffed animals. We'll see!
That same evening, my brother was struggling with a very challenging lab for his summer course. He seemed to be figuring it out, though, so I told him that if he finished, I would treat him to a Guinness. I think the picture shows the result of his perseverance: