Immediately following our LVC retreat, I had the chance to gather with the whole Weber side of the family for a family reunion. Well, it wasn’t really a chance…it was, in fact, MANDATORY. That’s right. Our family is so busy that we have to make reunions mandatory to get people to attend.
Now, just for a little history… (and this may not all be accurate, but my memory is…) We used to have family reunions every summer. We would all gather at the beach for a week and stay in a humungous beach house. This was generally funded and organized by Wanda Weber – my wonderwoman grandma. Family reunions were generally a time to get a nice tan, eat wonderful home-cooked meals (rotated between families), watch Aunt Grace’s slideshow of her most recent trip abroad, play bizarre organized games and do family trivia, and… play pranks.
As the youngest cousin in the family, it took many a year for me to be included in such tomfoolery, but you can bet that I wished every year that I was old enough to finally participate in my cousins’ pranks on the adults of the family! I watched year after year as my cousins would do something bizarre and hilarious, like take off all of the toilet seats in the house and replace them with kids floaties. The chance to finally participate was one of my greatest achievements! (Isn’t growing up the best?) One of my favorite pranks was the year we bought huge blowup raft-animals – a huge alligator, lobster, shark, and octopus. 2am came and went as we blew up the rafts, snuck into the adults’ rooms, and hung the massive floats just above our snoring aunts and uncles. That same year, we did many other small pranks. (**Note, saran-wrapping my dad to the bed did not turn out to be very successful and resulted in one angry uncle.) The following year, we decided to tone things down a bit since it seemed as though the adults were still angry from the year before. That time around, we simply took the large row boat from the backyard and brought it into the kitchen. That caused a minor disturbance. 🙂
Here’s the thing, though… the adults secretly love it. Every year they wonder what we’ll pull next. Well, as the cousins got older and many of them had their own kids, our family reunions began to evolve. We somehow moved from the beach to the mountains (to keep the adults from getting sunburned?). Year after year, less people were able to attend. That’s when it suddenly became mandatory this year. ATTENTION WEBER FAMILY! You MUST attend at LEAST 2 days of this reunion in Amish Country, PA. So, for the first time in many years, over 30 of us gathered once again.
It didn’t take long for the cousins to deviously smile at one another with dreams of a new prank. (It seems as though we have to wait up less late with each year as the adults go to bed earlier and earlier…) That first night, around 10:30pm, the cousins circled up. “We HAVE to do something good.” We quickly recognized that our location was prime. We were in Amish country for goodness’ sake! Another resource came from a game earlier in the evening that involved Peeps; we had boxes and boxes of Peeps at our disposal. Peeps? Amish? This prank would have to get creative. We thought of idea after idea, but most seemed impossible. How glorious would it be if the adults walked into our eating area in the morning and there was a HORSE? And/or a buggy?? But how could we get our hands on a horse and buggy? Impossible. The night drew on, and we needed to make a decision quick. We realized that to have a really good prank, we’d need another day. But to throw the adults off a bit, some of the cousins stayed up late to do a mini-prank with the Peeps, staging them around the room, ready for combat in a Peeps Revolution. Our idea worked – the adults were slightly inconvenienced but mostly amused, thinking our prank this time around wasn’t so bad. They weren’t ready for the hilarity that would ensue the next morning.
During our brainstorming session, my cousin John interrupted all the talk about horses and buggies and said: “This is kind of a different idea, but what if when the adults walked into the dining area in the morning, we were all gathered around fully dressed like the Amish, holding some sort of morning meeting?” We liked this idea, but it seemed impossible. Would we take Amish clothes off of someone’s clothesline?? Well, my sister and cousin hit the jackpot and found a Goodwill. They somehow scored outfits for 11 people for a total of $18, and before we knew it, we were fully decked out in Amish outfits! 7:30am was the earliest we decided we could muster, knowing there would be a good chance that many of the adults would already be eating breakfast. Still, we filed in silently in a straight line – men first, women last. We gathered round in a circle, and for the next hour, we held an improvised meeting, calling one another by our new biblical names to discuss issues such as the barn raising, my (lack of) suitor, and expressing our gratitude for the crops through song and prayer. While I’m sure this was a ridiculous and politically incorrect sight, it was clearly one of the most fascinating “pranks” we’ve ever pulled, and certainly of a different nature. And boy – once again – did the adults love it!
(See more photos from the reunion here)
Are your family reunions anything like this, or is my family crazy???