Friday, August 17, 2018

Family reunion features music, laughter, food, tears, 88-year age span

Family reunion and birthday weekend for Cookie Meyers, center, featured 45 family and close friends for meals and music, and 20-plus popping in and out to share the celebration.  Here, the clan gathers from seven states and beyond.
The oldest member of the family-friend clan was 92 and the youngest four, for a span of 88 years -- like the piano's keys! 
 Cookie surrenders to the "getting ready" crew as nieces Amarylla and
Kira, right, fuss with make-up and a new hair do. Gifts were forbidden, so
people offered services, set-up, music, culinary talent, errands, expertise. 
Nephew Kenji as emcee helped engineer an afternoon of music,
stories, jokes on Cookie and a talent show including charades.


I'm thinking of "a picture is worth a thousand words."
Keller's photographs of my recent birthday weekend bash and family reunion are, as the Master Card commercial says, "priceless." So this column is long on photos. Permit me, please, a bit of prose.
In memory of two departed family, hats were worn to honor clan mother,
Ellen. A sculpture of Don Quixote stood sentinel, made by the late Bill Jones
From left, Christena Cosgriffe, Cookie, the sculpture and  Olivia Cosgriffe.
because we remember those who are absent. It is my belief that their spirits stay close.

MY PARTY was held near a memorial for family who have, as my Crow friends say, "gone to the other camp."
Brother Rick, sister-in-law Jane,nephew Steve singing. Rick
also wrote haiku, Jane sang and Steve, a chef, was invaluable.
This reunion was joyful because of recent family challenges:  illness, accidents, separations,  surgeries, the woes all families experience.  Because we are a large clan, we have more than most. On a happy note, we've also had a pair of weddings, college and high school graduations,  anniversaries and 
good medical reports. We focused on the "glass half full."
Two splendid cakes were made by my niece Aurora,
presented by nephew Orion and great-nephew Connor.
I wore one of my grandmother Olive's hats at the tribute.

THIS REUNION celebrated the goodness of our far-flung clan, our love for one another, the joy in renewing connections, reviving memories.  We've helped one another through the years -- and now we connected with music, poems, hair, make-up, clothes, toys, food, silliness and shared memories of joy and sorrow.

"You Are Our Cookie, Our Only Cookie,"
sing sisters Olivia and Misha, to the
tune of "You Are My Sunshine."

Virginia and Amarylla, from Arkansas and the Bay Area
have fun and joke a bit after the talent show.
Friend Corby Skinner presented a series of entertainment
based charades with Cookie's favorite theater themes.
The hammock Keller put up was a hit 
with the young great nieces, nephews.

Niece Amarylla, with kids Peny and
James, enjoy the weekend. Ama's
chef husband helped with the meals. 

IT WAS a weekend of smiles and sports, talking, singing, eating, reminiscing, playing games, catching up. My Atlanta niece and her New York chef boyfriend donned their aprons to create a dozen delicious side dishes, using Montana's summer bounty.  Two nieces -- from California and Oregon -- pampered me with a make-up and hair treatment. 
Tippet Rise capped the weekend.
Here, Cookie and Keller in "The Barn."
Food glorious food -- cakes by Aurora, artfully served by
friend Cristina and sister Olivia. Many hands made it work.

My Georgia nephew emceed the traditional family talent show party with wit and sweetness. My Mendocino nephew played an electric guitar borrowed from our musical veterinarian. My Montana niece made two stunning cakes. My two brothers penned tributes -- one a heartfelt essay, the other beautiful haiku. Dear Georgia relatives crafted a poem about my interviews and  travels. My late sister Peny's widower surprised me with vintage slides. Friend Corby devised clever charades. Our Arkansas "adopted kids" (cruise friends) sang and played. I wish I could list every name, but I love and appreciate every one of the 60-plus who contributed stories, photos, food, entertainment and tributes.  I love, love, love you all.

UP NEXT:  Art in the yard. Most of us have objects that mean something to us outdoors.  Our yard captures the interests, talents, losses and memories of the generations.  We take you inside and close-up to the pottery, flowers and memorabilia that dressed up the celebration -- and keep watch over the Montana place.  Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each Friday when we post a novel look at travel, the arts, nature, family and adventure.


  1. Baltimore Based CelebrantsAugust 17, 2018 at 9:03 PM

    Delightful tribute to family, memory, treasuring the past and enjoying the present. Go, Cookie.

  2. Too much fun. We are only sorry we didn't know about this grand affair..... how does one become an honorary member of the clan?

  3. New England CousinsAugust 19, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    We wish we were there- and felt as if we were.... could not break away from the crazy demands here.

  4. Fun fun fun. Always a joy to keep up with Keller's "Cookster" and Co.