general fuzz

Musing from a obsessive computer music composer with hippie-ish tendencies.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Granny's 90th

Oh my. We just returned Granny's (Stina's Dad's mom) 90th birthday celebration, which also doubled as a Rudden family reunion. I hadn't met most of the extended family, so I knew I was in for a huge weekend of meeting folks. We managed to pack a lot of living into our 49 hrs in Virgina.

We met up with Stina's folks (Michael and Martizie) in the Dullas airport, and made our way to the B'n'B which was our base camp. It was a historic home somewhere in the middle of Virginia.

First on the agenda was the Mexican Fiesta hosted at Pam's (Michael's sister) house. Pam has five children, four of which are married with children, some with several children. There are a whole mess of kids. My family is rather tiny, with a total of 3 nephews and nieces. This family is gigantic - its funny that Michael represents the smallest slice of the family with just one child who's not super into reproduction just yet. We had a whole a slew of inappropriate answers prepared for the inevitable baby questions (my favorite being "We feel that there are too many people in the world right now. Obviously you disagree"). Fortunately it didn't really come up.

The Rudden clan don't do parties half assed. This one had an absurd amount of Mexican food, complete with a Margarita machine.

I'm not really a huge fan of margaritas, but theses were dangerously delicious. OMG. I even dutifully obeyed Pam when told to fetch Granny another one. I was a little surprised to see a life sized Oooo (Granny's long deceased husband's nickname) doll in the basement. He seemed quite festive with a sombrero hat, so it was cool. Some of the little ones were scared of him though.

Carmen, Patti's (Michael's other sister) daughter brought a giant paper mache Margarita glass to the party (a Bunyata). Since it was too fragile to bust open, they placed it on the upper deck, and Granny tossed its contents (mini bottles of liquor) one at a time to the eager crowd below. Welcome to the family.

Brian (son of Pam) had brought along his Wii, so I felt right at home in the basement with some projected Wii bowling. We had a blast. Things got a little weird with the Oooo doll though.

The following morning was the Rudden family BBQ. It was at a beautiful spot in a park that kissed the Potomac river. It was complete with matching shirts and a giant Moon Bounce. There was some sweet wiffle ball action, more too much food, lavish artistic presents for Granny from Patti, an egg toss, and a pig Pinata also provided by Carmen.

Also a customary group photograph. My family has suddenly gotten much larger.

Granny and her children (Patti, Michael, Pam):

Then came the fancy dinner celebration. There was a Granny trivia competition and an open bar. There were speeches, word games hosted by Patty (I held my own in the question game), a sibling of the year award (well earned by Pam), and an induction into the mysterious family cult (the FOBSILS).

Our present to Granny was an enthusiastically sung reworking of "California, Here I Come". It was well received by Granny. Dinner ended only too soon.

Those without children to attend to were in no mood to call it a night. We wandered over to the first bar we found and heard loud music (drum machine and guitar) pouring out of it. Before we had time to asses the situation, the guitarist/singer guy/girl (I'm pretty sure it was a guy) came out of the bar (he/she had a wireless pickup) and rocked out with us on the sidewalk. It was beyond surreal at this point. Then he/she had us doing a kick line with him/her to "Naaaaa na na na naaaa". We followed him/her into the bar. Stina saw a piano, and requested that I join the jam. He/she seemed down, so I did. The crowd (we were half the bar patrons) ate it up.

It was simply ridiculous. He/she was super psyched that we came and sang and danced with great enthusiasm.

After we closed down the bar, we walked the block back to the B'n'b and hung out for a bit. Catherine (Pam's youngest) was the only one not officially staying there, so we sorted out a rooming scenario (possibly with the youngin who we all were guilty of pushing too many drinks upon).

When we called it a night at 3am, we headed up the stairs to hear knocking coming out of one of the bathrooms. Catherine had somehow managed to lock herself IN to the bathroom. It was the absolute icing to the cake. She was extracted some 15 minutes later after much debate and poorly attempted quiet yelling through the door.


We all looked a little haggard for Sunday breakfast, but there were smiles all around. There was a family Brunch/farewell at Pam's where the video that Stina made all weekend (interviewing family about Grannie memories) was aired along with a fantastic picture slideshow made by Johanna (a professional photographer). This family was truly amazing to pull this whole thing together. And then all too soon we were on our way back to Cali.

The whole weekend was much more fun and intense then I had anticipated. Everyone was extremely welcoming to me and helped me feel right at home. I felt like I had a chance to connect a little bit with almost everyone there. Granny was in good shape for 90, and was clearly really touched by all the celebration, filled with joy to have her whole family all together for the first time ever.

These kind of events don't happen with out lots of planning and effort. Its pretty clear where Stina gets it from.

I can't imagine a fuller 49 hours of my life. I feel blessed to be part of this family. Happy Birthday Granny.


Blogger Gail said...

That's awesome! I'm exhausted just reading about it ... yet happily satisfied.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Auntie Beautiful said...

Dear General Fuzz...

First...great Blog on the 90th...will you do my 70th?? Now to the next thing...Your CD is absolutely awesome...I am not just saying this...coming from a 60 and 8 month old, and taking one of your suggestions to listen to it in the car, and in addition, being a non/x-smoker, I found it relaxing, reflective, entertaining and soothing (sp?)...I ADORED IT!!!. Wish there was a way we could take it on our Austin Healey trip to Vermont tommorrow and I would be totally in my own world and not dying from back ache and possible fumes....Oh well.....thumbs up...loving you guys, Auntie Beautiful

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