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05 September 2013

Labor Day in CNY

I haven't been home for Labor Day in almost 10 years. For a normal family, that wouldn't be a huge deal. For my family, it is. Every year my parents throw a PAR-TAY on Labor Day weekend, and everyone comes. Dad makes his world famous (okay, maybe just locally famous, but famous nonetheless) chicken and Mom makes all kinds of salads - spaghetti, macaroni, potato (using Uncle Jack's recipe). Everyone brings a dish to pass and there are games and prizes and a facepainter. This year also starred a magician - with a real bunny! - and an ice cream truck. No joke. My momma is crazy, and she firmly believes in going over the top to make people smile. She was certainly successful this year. When that ice cream truck pulled into the driveway, playing it's tinny music, you would have thought it was Christmas!

My husband made an honorable showing at the ladder ball game, winning alongside my cousin Alan. I, on the other hand, was eliminated in the first round. This is not surprising given my general lack of athleticism, even when it involves throwing two golf balls connected with a string at a PVC ladder 20 feet away. I also failed miserably at the washer toss.

Aside from the over-the-top Labor Day festivities sponsored by my darling parents, there was so good ol' fashioned family bonding over archery. Both of my brothers are bow hunters, and I got the opportunity to shoot with each of them, as well as my oldest brother's daughter and son, on Sunday and Monday. It was pretty fun to hang out and shoot with my big brothers. Even cooler to help my little niece Kiersten get better at shooting her little stick bow. I'm by no means an expert or coach, but it was fun to share my little bit of knowledge with her.

The family that shoots together, stays together. 

Me, my big brother, and our bows. 

Helping Red shoot. 
Of course, no family visit would be complete without the commission of a minor crime. This year I helped Mom steal wildflowers in order to decorate the Labor Day picnic tables. The tables looked beautiful, and I'm positive that part of that beauty came from the knowledge that the flowers were illegally obtained. 

Mom, caught in the act. 
The best part about going home to Mom and Dad's is enjoying the sunsets each night. And, despite some rainy weather, this weekend provided a few beauties. Their view over the valley is always beautiful, but when the clouds make beautiful designs in the sky 'round sunset, it makes for a beautiful sight. 

Old Glory flapping in the breeze. 

My favorite. 
After the long weekend, I returned to NC ready to get back to work. Visiting my CNY home always re-energizes me and gives me the mental strength to get through a few more months without being around my people. Although that I will admit that being far from my homeland is easier now that I have an new awesome set of family down here. Makes the long absences easier. 
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