As we waved good bye to the last of our guests, I felt as light as a feather. This event had not wiped me out physically or mentally. The only thing left was the laundry and that seemed easy enough. We had hosted a Neill family reunion and I could see us doing it again. It was actually FUN.
Two weeks before the big weekend, July 4th, 2009, our family reunion, it hit me that we could have 30 or more people looking to us to host a good time. The thought of meals to plan, house to get ready, grocery to shop, .... it all overwhelmed me. What scared me was ....to keep some sort of order that a crowd creates after eating a meal, and the clean up that followed. I feared of being overworked, overtired, and drained of any human emotions other than "used up." I would be responsible for all upkeep.
Mary (Stevens) gave me an advise that had worked for her. Think thoroughly of every thing that needed to be done, especially meal preparation and clean up. Assign two persons for each activities, such as preparation of meals, clean up, etc. Keep the hosts OUT of the schedule. The hosts have more than enough duties before, after, and during.... Although I did not think through everything, I did create a schedule for meals and clean up. It worked beautifully. It was like magic, watching the young people doing their chores willingly and dutifully.
One time, I found myself cleaning up...maybe because I scheduled two of my brothers in law for duty. Mary called me out to living room. " JaeHi get out of the kitchen."
It was a memorable several days. All the activities that we did are like a big fun blur. The drive in the Amish country, the stops at by gone-era stores...buying hand churned butter, home made bread and jams, buying samples of candies of past... visits of memorable sites, watching everyone play freesby, soccer, taking stroll with aunts, cousins, just talking, laughing...the whole family squeezed on our large front porch and enjoying the fair weather...and what else were there?
What I remember most is, I enjoyed the event. I participated in RESTING and FUN. I went to work the day after every one left. My coworkers asked me how my "Family Reunion" was. I told them it was wonderful. They looked at me again. Did they expect me to be wiped out and exhausted?