Every year for the past 16 years my mother's family has had a reunion at Aspen Grove family camp. This LDS-centered camp welcomes families from all over the nation to stay for a week in the beautiful Provo canyon, just above Sundance, and hike, swim, play all sports, craft, be inspired, you get the idea. The kids go to their age groups and the adults eat a lot of candy and talk. Or hike or craft or. . .I think I already did that part.
I was so excited to go this year. This was my first year being able to go with a kid of my own. I never experienced the younger groups, myself and so I was more than ready to start my vicarious living through my children right there at Aspen Grove. Lily did not like group. She did love Aspen Grove, though. We all did. No cooking, no cleaning, what's not to like. It was BEAUTIFUL up there. I literally caught myself holding my breath once while looking up at Timpanogos. There were so many wild flowers this year (thank you cool, long spring) and the air was that crisp, clean, I know I just got healthier by breathing, kind of air.
It was great to catch up with my relatives. I really love my family. My siblings, my cousins, my aunts, uncles and grandparents. They are all just too cool. I think I get smarter every time I talk to them.
One tradition we have at our Aspen Grove reunions is Grandma Gifts. My grandmother loves a bargain. Like any other product of the depression era, she saves bits of ribbons, all boxes, containers and of course, coupons. If my grandparents were super-heros they would be "The Rebate Rebel and her side-kick, Garage Sale Gramps: fighting over-consumerism one coupon at a time!". Every year my grandmother saves her rebated items, triple coupon day finds and other freebies she may get at the credit union, mail or store for the WHOLE YEAR. She then wraps them up and divies them up amongst the lot of us at Aspen Grove. The gifts are mostly useful, often hilarious and always FREE. Among my favorite gifts of Aspen Grove past are: Nair, Touch of Gray hair dye, poly-grip, Heineken key chain (my Grandmother is a most conservative mormon woman, she had no idea what she was giving Calvin!) and Preparation H.
This year, my grandfather asked us all in advance to prepare poems about these gifts that grandma gives. It was so funny. My uncle, Rulon, sang a song he wrote on the guitar! Classic. I only wish I had it on tape. I wrote a lengthy rap but dang it! my computer is dead and along with no Elmo I also lost access to my lyrics! Blast. I did scrap up a Haiku at the last minute. Here it is:
Brown paper lunch sack
but no sandwich is inside
free toiletries rock.
Of course the real gift to us each year is that my generous grandparents pay for us all to enjoy Aspen Grove. Thanks grandma and grandpa!
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