With the weather cooperating, five families from all over the country came together this past weekend in Kent, Connecticut, for a joyful reunion.
We had a wonderful time as Stu and I, along with our children and grandchildren, gathered at his remarkable daughter Mimi Broner’s house. The tradition is made possible because of her and her husband Jim’s enormous generosity and hospitality.
We arrived on Saturday to find our glorious grandchildren, ranging in age from eight months to 25 years, outside, gathered around the pool. Stu’s son Harvey, a professor at Rice University in Houston, was there with his 25 year old daughter Judith, who lives in Manhattan, and son Jake, 23, who lives in Atlanta.
Then Stu’s son Jon, a vascular surgeon living in Sarasota, Florida, and Hillary arrived with their porcelain faced, beautiful, eight-month-old daughter Jillian and 12-year-old son Josh. He was jostling in the pool with Broner cousins Sam, 18, Zac, 16, and 13-year-old Ben, who had just returned that morning from a summer in sleepaway camp.
The all have endless energy and delight in each other!
To add to the fun were six foot tall Lou, 21, and Joe Peterson, 20, Stu’s daughter Eve’s sons. And what made it super special for me too was that my daughter Samantha and her husband Spencer also joined us, with my beloved six-year-old Blake and his three-year-old sister Morgan, whose blazing red hair matches her personality.
What I cherished was how the age differences melted away. It was wonderful to see 13-year-old Ben carrying little baby Jillian, hugging and kissing the googling, giggling squirmy baby. He became a little daddy.
Then to see six-foot plus Sam on his way to Tufts as a freshman spending precious private time with his grandfather. This young man has a heart and soul of a wise old man…
Of course the gathering means great, shared meals. For dinner Saturday night Mimi once again hired Patty and Jay of Bowkin Seafood to prepare a clam/lobster bake, including clam chowder, baked and fresh clams and oysters. But the headliners were the freshly caught lobsters and their trappings. What a treat!
The weekend had a lot of testosterone, and so a basketball game was a mandatory event. Even Blake was on the team. A few years ago the energy of the players caused Harvey to have a dislocated shoulder. This year, while jostling with Zac, his equally tall and strong cousin Joe fractured his finger. Fortunately his uncle Jon is a doctor and quickly pulled it back into place. I’m glad I was in town at the time with the women shopping at the boutiques and missed the drama.
Kent is a charming town in the Litchfield Hills. It has the beauty of rolling rivers, covered bridges and the opportunity to walk the Appalachian trail, which four of the family did on Sunday morning.
The town is filled with many family-operated shops, boutiques and restaurants and the delectable Annie Bananie’s homemade ice cream, sold inside their outdoor apparel and equipment store.
My favorite stop are the book stalls, organized by topic, set up as a fundraiser for the local library. This year they were also raffling off a blazing red Corvette. With $20, a prayer and a dream I bought one, remembering my favorite slogan, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!”
Stu and I have some marvelous memories from this glorious weekend. To have shared the love we have for each other will be cherished forever. It doesn’t get better!