Chuck has 7 siblings, making for a heck of a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins, with cousins-in-law and little cousins-once-removed appearing at an alarming rate. The brief trip to NW Ontario was a chance to reconnect with some of them. Here’s the long dining table in the great room of the cabin where we hung out.
The kids had their instruments along, the elder two because they were taking in lessons on the way home through Calgary, the younger two just because 12 days is too long to be without your violin. At the after-wedding brunch at the bride’s parents place, they played happily for all. Alas we accidentally left Sophie’s violin in Winnipeg, so she wasn’t able to play, but the others did.
I expect performing gusto from Erin these past few years, and Fiona’s always got it flowing too, just because of her personality. With Noah, though, performance gusto is a new thing and it took me by surprise again during this trip. His showpiece of choice these days is Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5, which he plays with commitment, energy and showmanship. He barely needed the low-key encouragement of one cousin the night before, and he was happily up on the big log staircase performing for the assembled multitude of extended family.
Everyone was very appreciative. We hardly ever see this part of the family. We’d never met a niece-in-law who has been part of the family for ten years! We are lucky to get the kids together with their grandma every two or three years. So these family events, even if they’re brief, are very important.