Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Call Reunion in Afton, Wyoming

Breathing in Memories
A random Tuesday post about the people and places that help make us who we are ...

During the summer, my family and I were able to attend a The Call Family Reunion in Afton, Wyoming. This reunion occurs every other year and has been running for 30+ years. My Grandma Call (she is 91 and still kicking) had 14 children and my Mom is number 10. I spent many summers at my Grandmother’s ranch in Wyoming. We looked forward every year to seeing our cousins and exploring the mountains, streams, grass and fields that decorated my Grandma’s land.

Many of my favorite memories as a youth happened at the Call Family Reunion. I learned about cowboys and farming, about working the land, about the power of uniting as a family and the importance of relationships! Most of all, I had FUN…

I had not attended a reunion in about 10 years and my children had only heard stories of the infamous Call Reunions of my youth. I heard that this would be the last official Call reunion and decided I needed to return to my roots and give my children the chance to experience the ‘magic’ for themselves! As we were driving into the town of Afton, all my memories came flooding back. The tears flowed and I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to return!!

We pitched a tent on my Grandma’s land and enjoyed every moment of that reunion. It rained the first night (all night crazy rain) and our tent had a hole so you can imagine the riot we had!! That didn’t deter us from the fun and memories of that awesome weekend.

On the last day – we were all saying our goodbyes. There were over 250 people in attendance!! I was sitting in my Grandma’s living room with my cousin Kendall and he was so quiet and still and I asked what he was doing? He looked up at me and said: “I’m breathing in memories!” And so I sat down with him and in silence we remembered many wonderful times from our past.

One particular memory stands out with him… Every year his family would bring their 4-wheelers up to the reunion and let everyone use them. I had never driven one before and Kendall was brave enough to tag along for the ride! We drove up my Grandma’s canyon and much to our shock and dismay I drove the 4-wheeler up a tree! The tree bent way over and lucky for us, flung us back safely to the ground. Kendall and I laughed very had about that memory and many others.

And then we hugged and said goodbye. And every time I think of my Grandma and her heavenly place in Afton, Wyoming, I breathe in memories of people and places I love.

Feel free to visit the Afton, Wyoming website: http://www.aftonwyoming.net/

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