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                                          Has it really been five years since the last family reunion? It doesn't feel like it's been that long. A year or two, maybe, but certainly not five. Everything about this place looks pretty much how I remember it, aside from the people. Last night when we were doing the whole 'oh it's so nice to see you, you've grown so much, can I go the hell to sleep now' bit and then this morning at breakfast, I couldn't help but notice much older everyone looks. I guess it really has been five years. That's a really long time, plenty of time for everyone to change. I mean, I have cousins now who I know little to nothing about.

                                          Of course, I've probably grown plenty since the last time we were all gathered under one roof, too. Actually, I think the only real change that's occurred in me is the fact that I'm engaged. Does that count as growth? It should for me. If you'd told me five years ago that I was going to be engaged before I even turned twenty-five, I would have laughed so hard tears would've streamed down my face. Hell, if you had told me a year ago that I'd be engaged, I still would have had trouble believing you. It's safe to say that I'm not exactly a serious guy. I won't even get a dog because the thought of having something that depends on me freaks me out too much. Marriage really wasn't a road that I planned to go down, but Steph changed that. She's not the type of person I usually date, which is good because the average lifespan of my pre-Stephanie relationships had an average lifespan of about two or three weeks. I love her, and I plan on being with her for as long as she'll have me.

                                          "Son of a---" Okay, I need to cut back on the thinking. This is the second time I've tripped because I haven't been focusing enough on what I'm doing. There's an awful lot of stuff to trip over out here, apparently. I probably should have taken that into consideration when I made my great escape earlier. I can't stand being cooped up indoors for very long, so a while after breakfast, I said I was going on a jog and hightailed it. That was, what, twenty or so minutes ago? I push myself up off the ground once again with a groan and glance at my watch. Yeah, twenty minutes sound about right. Might have been thirty, though. I'm not really sure when I left. I brush the dirt off of me before continuing on my way, this time making sure to watch where I'm going. This way leads back to the house, right? I really hope so.

                                          How long have I been going this way? It has to have been at least ten minutes, and I've yet to see any sign of the house. I think I might be lost. Fantastic. I should probably turn around, but I really think that this is the right way, so I'm going to be stubborn and continue on this way. Plus, it would take too long if I headed back the way I came from. Okay, if I don't find the house soon, I'll turn around. Probably. Wait, is that it? Oh thank God, it is. I make a beeline for the house, pleased with myself that I managed to make it back. The door lets out a low creak when I pull it open, and I slam it shut behind me. "I'm back!" That probably wasn't necessary, but I felt like they deserved some sort of warning. I make my way into the kitchen and dig through the refrigerator until I find a bottle of water. After twisting the cap off, I down almost half of it in one drink and start wandering back towards the living room. "I'm bored!" I announce, like it's an extremely serious problem. Which it is - for me, at least. "Does anyone want to do anything? We could go swimming, play soccer, rob a bank..." My voice has always carried, so yelling's rarely necessary for me, but I'm speaking a little louder than usual so that anyone nearby can hear me.
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xxi see the { light } surrounding you
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxSO DON'T BE AFRAID OF SOMETHING NEWxx
xxx xxx 'cause I see the light surrounding you
SO DON'T BE AFRAID OF WHAT YOU'RE TURNING INTO

                                                    I know that I should have stood by my first response to my mother. I wasn’t surprised when I received the phone call at the start of the summer from her. It feels like this happens every time that Vincent has a break from work. If I remember correctly, she once tried to talk me into taking the kids to her house during the school year. She went on about how, since they were home schooled, I should take them more places during the “school year”. I don’t think any of my family members understand how home schooling works, and I doubt that any of them really think that I’m doing a great job raising my children. It feels like they have always given me odd looks when I was talking about my plans for their schooling. Sometimes I wonder if Vincent thinks we’re doing what’s right for our children. We never specifically discussed what we wanted to do. It was more of me deciding that I would home school our children. Hell I do a better job than half of those teachers at the public school, and with three children we wouldn’t be able to send them to any sort of private school. Besides, I wouldn’t want to send them to some rich school where if you stand out or speak up you’re shut down. My children should understand that they have the right to voice their opinions and that others do too.

                                                    Where is everyone?” I can’t help but mumble under my breath. Someone thought that it would be a brilliant idea to have a barbecue tonight, but when it comes time to prepare the food for the cook out, everyone disappears. I don’t mind making food, but for the amount of people that are at the lake house, it would be nice to have a helping hand. Besides, I don’t know if there are dietary problems that any of my nieces or nephews have to avoid. The last time that I saw my children was earlier this morning during breakfast. I know this lake house like the back of my hand, but I have no idea how to tell where my siblings or parents might be. For all I know, they are all out enjoying themselves on the beach forgetting about the fact that you have to prepare food before you cook it.

                                                    I walk to the stairs that lead up to the second floor. “Hey, I am going to start preparing the food for the barbecue. Anyone want to help out?” I hear the front door open and someone come into the house. Dominic calls out the house. After all of the years, I still remember my nephew’s voice, but it has matured over the five years it has been since I last saw him.

                                                    I turn back to the kitchen, hoping to ask him if he has seen his mother or other aunt and uncle. I catch the tail end of him, as he walks into the living room. Deciding that I have no better way of finding anyone, I follow him into the room full of oversized, comfy seats and a television. He’s asking if anyone wants to go spend some time and play some sports or go down to the beach. “Dominic, have you seen your mother?” I question him, hoping he has. Turning to the others in the room, “Have any of you seen your parents?” Just then, an idea pops into my head. “Dom, why don’t you guys get off your butts and help put together dinner tonight?” I doubt that any will take me up on the offer, but might as well give them the chance, right?

                                                    I give Dominic’s hair a little ruffle, “where have you been? You’re sweating, go shower, your fiancée won’t want you all sweat. Well, she might, but there are times and places for that.” I can’t help but joke as I begin to walk back into the kitchen. I haven’t yet been able to ask my younger sister about what she thinks about Stephanie Hart, but my first impression was that she was a bit too “put together” for her own good. She reminded me of my older sister in plenty of ways.

                                                    Opening the fridge, I pull out some of the meats and vegetables that each section of the family bought for the first event of the “vacation”. Opening the chicken, I hope that the next two weeks will turn out better than the last time that everyone was together.

                                                    [ooc; sorry, this was pretty shitty. they will get better, i promise.]
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                                                                  tab tab tab YUR TME WLL CME ( if you wait for it
                                                                  tab tab tab YUR TME WLL CME ( if you wait for it
                                                                  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoit s hard, believe me... i ve tried
                                                                  xoxoxo i won t wait much longer cause these walls they re crashing down
                                                                  xoxoxo i won t wait much longer cause these walls they re crashing down
                                                                  tab tab tab tab AND I KEEP COMING UP SHORT

                                                The day had been pretty slow. Most kids, as kids usually would, slept in late. As for me, I'm not a kid anymore. And as much as I would love to sleep in, my body wouldn't let me. Oh the science in that, I would hate to get into that. I'm not a science teacher. I'm a history teacher. But I can tell you that I'm so used to waking up early every day, that I just wake up because my body clock tells me to. So since about six in the morning, I've been roaming the grounds and reading Blink. Ok. You've caught me. I do like to indulge in some psychology every now and then. The book was just so interesting with how we think and make snap decisions. I'd like to know what kind of decisions my wife made with me. Or going to this lake house. Honestly, I don't mind going to these family shin digs. I have nothing to hide, right? Well, who said these things were made to get the family to open up? They usually do... Either way, I was currently captivated by Gladwell's anecdotes and fluid prose by the lake.

                                                I looked up at the water. The sun beat down on it, creating a glittering reflection that just blinded me. I didn't mind. I kept looking at it. The air was perfect and not suffocating-ly humid. I liked the weather like this. Give it a slight, cool breeze and it will be a heavenly day. What time was it? It had to be at least... three... I looked at my watch. I was two hours off. Whoops. Time flies... right? I took my "I want you!" bookmark and slipped it into the page that I left off of. It was time to find people. Joy. No, really. It was actually fun to be at the lake with Petra's family. I didn't mind the people at all. Maybe her parents might be a bit... eh... but I don't mind. In laws never like their son, right? I mean, we get a lot of crap for our parenting skills, but who cares? It's how we want to bring up our children. Our children. Not theirs. They had and/or have their chance. But everyone's been so nice so far.

                                                I saw the house in sight and started to asses it. It was nice and cozy looking, you know? Nice for the Gilmore family. It's been five years since the last reunion. It wouldn't hurt to be here, now. Besides, the pops was getting ill and our youngest doesn't remember any of his cousins, uncles, and aunts. What a shame. Plus Dom's got a fiancee. She seemed nice. Really pretty. I wonder how Dom got that one. He had never been one for a serious relationship. A teacher can tell. When you're in a school with a bunch of kids, you get to know them and how they work. Inside and out. Okay, maybe not that elaborately. But I can see a player-type guy when I see one. And how she got him to pop the question just escaped me. I walked into the house and heard voices in the kitchen. It was Petra and Dom. I smiled, "What's up, kiddo?" He lightly slapped the side of Dom's face with his palm. Dominic wasn't much of a kiddo anymore, but I liked to play around with my nieces and nephews. I went over to Petra and kissed her on the forehead. "What's everyone up to?" I looked down and saw a chicken. "Cooking?" I asked. I mean, obviously she was, but what's with the early start.

                                                      [ o o c ; first post, woot. didn't pull an arm and a leg to go all out~
                                                      i don't want to add steph in, just yet. that'd be weird to be playing them all in the same place.
                                                      maybe i'll have her with some kids for bonding time or something? ]
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    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx( camden michael barton )
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                      Camden Barton @cammyb
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                      family reunion.. #can'tbetoobad
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                To be completely honest, I've never enjoyed family gatherings. We always get criticized for not attending school, rather than applauded for the intelligence we've gotten from our parents and built upon. My cousins, or the ones within age range, think my siblings and I are the weirdos. Which.. Doesn't make sense. We've gained knowledge by experience and do our own experiments. I think I've learned more on my own outdoors than any boy scout. Mom and Dad did a perfectly fine job raising us, so I don't get why everyone else disagrees.. I remember last time we had one of these family reunion things, I was around twelve and much more hyper than I am now. We'd gathered time and time again before that, and everyone was happy. But as the visits became scarce, so did the true happiness. I think the main reason mom never wants to go back is because they always make her question herself. I remember once, a little before the last reunion, she was really upset. I didn't know what to say, but as the most agreeable with my mother, I just went and hugged her. She didn't act like she knew why, but I feel like she did.

                As of now, I find myself sitting in a tree. No, not just one of those Hollywood-esque typical teen in a tree thinking about life.. Actually, I only came up here to look over the lake. The water is soothing to look at, however some of my cousins are preoccupied splashing in it. There are birds, possibly a cardinal or two, squawking in disapproval of my presence. Totally not fair that they're hogging the view. Well, fine. the squawking is bound to irritate me eventually, so might as well leave with a good mood.. Wow this bark is rough. It's seriously painful to be climbing back down. Had I been in proper attire to do so, I'd have just jumped into the lake. The branch had extended over a deep enough portion, so the only pain would be the initial contact with the water and possible ear popping once at a certain depth. Whatever though, the bark wasn't that bad. I made it down after a few minutes of struggle, and much to my dismay, my hands were a little dirty and scraped from the rough bark.

                A trip inside wasn't too terrible, I can see Mom in the kitchen and Dom in the living room blabbering about doing something. I wouldn't mind doing something, but sometimes I feel he doesn't know what to actually talk about.. Degrading, if you ask me. I know just as much as, if not more than, any school-taught child. But, I don't put it past them. I just find smug amusement in their ignorance, although it's a pet peeve. Walking upstairs, I can almost smell the warmth of the outdoors.. The lake house isn't entirely modern, so it's more natural. No need for air fresheners unless a skunk gets in. The good thing is, there's indoor plumbing. I'm not exactly sure how I managed to grab the strongest possible soap in that bathroom, but I did. And Holy hell did that sting. Well.. I guess it's just trying to do it's job. It's not like the soap had goals for causing me pain, it's inanimate.

                Returning downstairs, I almost considered going back to join the family. Yeah. Because conversations about college would go perfectly fine. "Oh, Cammy, why don't you go to Harvard! you're so bright!" Yeah, I can almost hear it now. Instead, I looked into the kitchen where my mom was preparing dinner and Dad was standing with her. I couldn't stand watching her do it alone, so might as well help. Hey dad, hey mum.. Need help? Even without response, my immediate reaction was to help. As a family, we usually helped. Especially since we traveled a lot and did our own things, family time was full of team work and cooperation. There was rarely an argument, I mean, besides maybe one or two between my parents about college.. Was it really that necessary? I understand for most occupations it is, but hey, plenty of brilliant men came out on top without it.


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      ( in the kitchen )xxxxxxxxx( with mom )xxxxxx( what am I listening to? [x] )
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    wearegliding5683's avatar

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    xxBITTER HEART BITTER HEART TRIES TO KEEP IT ALL INSIDE
    xxxxBITTERx HEARTx BITTERx HEART xSHADOWSx WILLx HELPx YOUx TRYx TO xHIDE
    xxxxxxxxbitter heart my bitter heart is gettin' just a little fragile xx
    xxxxxxxxxxxbitter heart ⊱⊱ bitter heart of mine

                                                      I haven’t officially decided what I think about this family gathering. We have only been at the lake house for the night. Of course, the first night was filled with the awkward greetings and various congratulations on anything that happened in the past five years since we have last seen everyone. I never wondered why we didn’t spend more breaks with the family, papa never seemed to be too close to the others in his family, at least from what I have seen him be like around the others. He isn’t the kind of guy to walk into a room of strangers and leave with a room full of friends. I think some of my friends find him and his ways odd, but I’ve grown used to it. I love him regardless on the way that he acts around strangers.

                                                      After breakfast this morning, I didn’t know what else to do, so I find myself sitting in my parent’s room. The four bedrooms were supposed to go to my grandparents, parents, and aunts and their spouses. However, when I heard that they were going to put all of us kids into the same room, I asked my fathers if they would be alright with me staying in their room. It’s not that I don’t like my cousins, I just feel more comfortable staying in my parent’s room than with all of them. Besides, I’d be sleeping on the floor regardless of where, here I get more room and I’m not crammed into such small places.

                                                      Closing the front cover of the book I’ve been reading, I place it back into the backpack that I brought to the lake house with me. In the fall I will be attending New York University in order to do pre-law. I brought a couple of the books with me that my classes for the fall would require me to read. I had my orientation for school just before we came to the lake house and I wanted something to read while I was here. Most of the professors wrote down what books they would want us to have for their classes next semester. I made a little stop by a bookstore before heading here with my family.

                                                      It has only been a couple of hours since we had breakfast, and I wish that I didn’t feel obligated to leave the bedroom that I shut myself into. I can hear my aunt calling up the stairs to any of her siblings that want to help her start preparing food for the barbecue that we’re having later. I glance down at my watch, only one o’clock, she must want to get on top of things. Although, I guess there are quite a few of us to feed. Anya wasn’t adopted let along born the last time we had a family reunion.

                                                      Quietly sneaking out of the room, I walk down the stairs to find that aunt Petra has already given up on anyone who might be upstairs. I’m about to head out the door when I hear Dominic asking anyone if they want to go spend some time outside doing something. I head in the direction of his voice and find him standing in the living room. Petra is asking him about if he has seen his mother lately. When she turns towards me, I shake my head. “No, I haven’t seen them since breakfast.” It doesn’t take Petra long to give up here either and head into the kitchen.

                                                      When she’s gone, I turn towards my cousin. I don’t get along exceptionally well with Dom, but dad seems to like him, so I try my best not to rip his head off, most of the time. “I could go for the money, but going down to the beach might be a brighter idea.” I answer his question from before Petra asked him about his mother. “I need to change into my swimsuit, but then I’ll be willing to go down to the beach with you. I should find Anya and see if she’d want to go down with us too.” He add looking around the room to see if I can find my sister. I haven’t seen her since breakfast either, but I figure that she can’t get too far away, she’s only four after all.
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                There are certain categories of people, at least in this kind of situation that's how my mind sees' it anyways. Those that 'want to be here' and 'those that don't'. There might be a bit of a gray line wedged in there, somewhere, but it might not matter as much. As for me, it's quite simple - how else would I get to see everyone else? Someone else may think that it's probably cliched or even a little out there, perhaps, but it just feels right to me; despite not showing it on my face. Whatever, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts.

                My thoughts fall away completely once the cool spiraled spine of sketchbook grips into my skin. Oh, forgot about that. With eyes dropping down to look at handiwork - why did I even attempt recreating this place? I can't draw 'normal' things worth anything. Biting lip to hold back a laugh from a random outlined sketch of a scene from a favorite movie of mine adorning bottom half of page. Lovely. Outlines are fine, until they start looking like a little kid did them, which, sadly, half of mine look like unless there's a random comic strip splattered across some page. There are, just not many. Weirdly enough since arrival all ideas have fled and normally there are just so many in my head that not all can be put down, so half are written and half sketched - sometimes each are forgotten.

                Drawing hands away from sketchbook to inspect the damage, there's the ring imprint on the side of my right palm with left hand partial left in silver lead. Even my writing habits go into drawing, tilting notebooks of various kinds sideways for better elevation or it might just be out of some weird habit that sprouted up when I was a child. Half shrugging thought away without bothering a second glance at ruined sketch, at least bottom half of the page has some amusement etched into it. Time to go and socialize, no sense in being a 'recluse' especially since I sort of bolted after breakfast this morning. Fingers slipping over necklace before giving one small tug, for good luck, I guess.

                Even before reaching out towards door knob, I can hear my mother call up the stairs asking for help with the cooking. For a split second there's hesitation - should I go down and join everyone else, or most of everyone else? Or stay tucked away in this room until someone comes and drags me out? Shaking head, no, that wouldn't do, after all I've spent half of my day cooped up in this room and there really aren't any ideas flowing right now; which means with the idea well screwed shut then leaves me with that final second option - might as well go and be sociable. Besides, there wouldn't be much hurt in helping. Maybe. Hand finally grasping the handle and slightly easing out of the room sideways and for a split second there's Katrina's back, or so I assume. If assumptions are being made, right or wrong, then it really is time to get out of this room.

                Heading downstairs there're a few faint voices that reach my ears upon hitting the bottom step. Instinctively reaching towards necklace once more before pausing. It will only be a matter of seconds before movie quotes, particularly of the Phantom of the Opera kind start spouting from my lips and with that it suddenly seems as though coming to join whoever is with Mom in the rest of the lake house seems like a bad idea. Unfortunately, my mind doesn't get the memo and before there's even a chance of taking one step back up stairs it seems that my feet have made the same decision and before I know it, the kitchen is in sight. "Hey," giving a nod to my parents and small wave to my brother. "Anything in particular I can help with...?" trailing off before another thought alarmingly snaps into my head. "Where's Andrew?" If we're all in the kitchen then where's my baby brother? Hoping - rather vainly - that he might be taking a nap.






    { ooc ; kind of bleh post. e ne
    Andrew Scott Barton
    The Youngest Son


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    I already woke up once this morning for breakfast. I was hungry at that time so I ate breakfast. After breakfast was not sleep at all so I went to color in my coloring book. I can color petty good but still go out of the lines at times when I color something. I am her with my mommy,daddy, older siblings at this place. As of right now i don't remember any one I was to young at the time I came here last or I don't remember them.

    I wish i remembered them but i don't said to say. After a while I soon grew tired as I guess it was my nap time. I fell a sleep coloring as i laid my head down on my coloring book as I was fast a sleep. I Took about a couple hours nap or so I can not still seeing as I don't know how to tell time. As i woke up I could here talking going on I even heard someone yell. I jump some to the yelling i heard as i wounder who that was.

    As I stay were i woke up I here voices again. It sounded like his family as he smiled. I then got up as I walked to the place were hid family was. As can in the kitchen he stood there as he saw his parents, siblings. "I am right here he said to his sister question. I then went over to his daddy as he saw him as he hugged his legs. As he was there he saw what mommy was doing as he then asked her. "I help too?" I liked to help if I could but most of the time I was to little to help with most stuff people cooked.
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              unnecessaryspace
              | elisabeth anya gilmore
              fillerfillerfillerfillerfillerfillerfillerfillerfillerfillerCHILD TWO'S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER


                                                    You gotta be careful outside when you play by flowers. They're really pretty, o'course, but I think that's sort of a disguise. I learned that big word at pre-kindergarten last week, from Amy Lee. She's real nice to me and always knows a lotta big words, 'cause her momma's a big kid teacher and teaches Amy lots of stuff I don't know. Anyway, I think flowers are disguises for nasty bugs. They're real pretty on the outside with their petals and leaves, but when you try to pick them to smell them, a fat bee comes out and tries to sting you on the nose. So, I like flowers, but sometimes, I just don't wanna be close to them. That's why, right now, I'm sitting close enough to look at them but not too close to be stung. They're pretty to look at.

                                                    Daddy and Papa are inside, I think, with Kat and all the other people whose names I don't know. I don't wanna go in there. Last night, I fell 'sleep on the couch after watching the TV. I didn't mean to or nothing, but I was sleepy. When I woke up this morning, I had a blanket and a pillow and everywhere around me was people I didn't know, sleeping, too. I. Was. Scared. Really scared. I don't like new people and I wish Daddy had taken me to where he slept and let me sleep there too. I don't think I've ever run out of a room so fast in my life. I didn't come back around the people -- my family, I guess -- until it was time to eat and I sorta had to.

                                                    But, now I'm out here with the flowers and my favorite doll and waiting for Daddy or Papa or Kat to come get me because I'm not gonna go inside around all of those people just yet. Daddy told me that the really old people are my grandma and grandpa and I think that's kinda cool, but I don't know too much about grandmas and grandpas other than they're Papa's parents. Grandma's nice enough, I think, but I don't know what to do around mamas or grandmamas. Papa and Daddy aren't girls and Kat's my sister, so...

                                                    Speaking of Kat, I hear her voice coming from inside the house. She's pro'lly downstairs and now I can go say hi to her and get away from the bees. There's a lot out here and even the flower's disguises aren't hiding them anymore. I pick up Katia -- my dolly -- and go inside, pushing open the door just a crack until I can see my sister talking about something to someone. I don't really mind who she's talking to and just take a deep breath and go inside. There's some people around and even though they're all family, I still feel pretty scared. I go straight to Kat and grab her hand, holding it tight in both of my smaller ones. I look up to see what she's talking about, playing with the edge of my pink shirt and rocking on my heels just a little bit. Where's Daddy and Papa?

                                                    (( Still getting into her character, so excuse any weirdness with this post. Didn't like it too much. ))
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    When Life Gives You Lemons,

    I had claimed a chair in the corner of the den early last night, mostly because it had a plug right next to it, and I often slept better sleeping curled up in chairs than I did on couches or air mattresses, or worse, the floor. The chair was comfortable, and despite my tall frame, I managed to curl up into a ball and sleep soundly through the night, waking to the smell of breakfast being prepared. I had quickly dressed, collected what I would need for my day down by the lake, and headed into breakfast, which was just as crowded and annoying as I expected it to be.

    After breakfast, I would disappear, heading down to the lake, where I would find myself a spot in the grass, not too close to the water, and set up my things. My computer only had so much battery life, so I decided o save it for when I got some good photographs taken and would make a collage, as I did every year, just to mark the change in the landscape. Which, to be honest, in five years, had not changed all that much and left something to be desired. I supposed, however, that it was better than nothing and that if I really wanted to see a change in the landscape I would have to cause it, but I am no farmer or landscaper, only an artist who enjoys observing the natural and unnatural world around her.

    Hours would pass, and my computer would die, leaving me to only my iPhone and sketchbook to entertain myself, which, truthfully, was more than enough. I set out my art kit and open my sketchbook to a new page, debating lying on my stomach in the grass, but my shirt is a light color and I actually like it, so I decided against it. I then began to draw the lake, as I had done multiple times before, but this time, it was barren, no family members creeping in, no random sayings floating in the air, and better yet, only a few wispy clouds to add to the sky.

    Most people would likely be back at the house, getting ready for lunch, or for the Barbeque tonight, but I was neither hungry, nor in the mood to help, thus, I sat on the lakeside and continued to draw. My iPhone was playing all my favorite songs, into my headphones of course, because I would hate if someone interrupted me just because they heard my music playing. I would sing along to the songs, my voice low, mostly because I cannot sing that well, also because I hate interrupting the peace that overcomes the lake when no one is on it.

    OOC:: Sorry about the quality of this post, I dropped from 80 - 90 % down to 70 - 80 % before writing it. Outfit in top half of saying, music in bottom half.

    Do The Impossible...Make Apple Sauce!

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    xxi see the { light } surrounding you
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxSO DON'T BE AFRAID OF SOMETHING NEWxx
    xxx xxx 'cause I see the light surrounding you
    SO DON'T BE AFRAID OF WHAT YOU'RE TURNING INTO

                                                      I’m grateful that my husband and children come into the kitchen shortly after I have begun preparing food. “I want to get everything prepared for tonight. I know it’s still a bit early, but when it comes closer to the time we planned, we’re going to have to take everything down and get started cooking. I figure that it’s better to get everything prepared ahead of time and start cooking on time.” I explain to my husband when he asks if I’m cooking. Camden isn’t far behind his father in entering the room. “Cam, do you want to fix lunch for your younger brother, and anyone else who might be hungry? Or you could help out with preparations for the barbecue, and I can make lunches for people.” We had breakfast earlier this morning, and I’m sure that some people are beginning to grow hungry. “I need to find mom and dad and see if they want anything to eat.” It seems I’ve already lost track of everyone in the family. Most people are old enough to wander off without telling anyone where they were going.

                                                      Handing the chicken over to my son, I explain to him how to prepare them. “These are going to be kabobs. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. We’re going to marinated them for about an hour before we thread them onto the skewers.” I trust that he’ll be able to do a simple task of that sort. Part of the constant travelling when he was younger, he was forced to be in the kitchen when his father was out and I was preparing a meal. I didn’t like to have my eyes off him when he was a young child. That was, until his sister came along, then my time was split between the two. I was able to calm down and relax knowing that he was in the house, and I didn’t have to be constantly watching him.

                                                      Merissa is the next to enter the kitchen, first asking if she can help, but then bringing my attention to where her younger brother is. Again, I’ve grown used to just needing to know where my children might be instead of being in the same room with them. “I put him down for-” I begin, before Andrew interrupts me to claim his presence. Then he questions if he can help with preparations as well. “Hey big boy,” I say, kneeling down and planting a kiss on his cheek. “are you getting hungry?” The last time he ate was during breakfast with everyone else. “Mommy can fix you something to eat for lunch. What would you like?” I tell him, hoping that lunch with keep his interest long enough to not bother his siblings while they help me out.

                                                      Standing up straight, I turn my attention back to Merissa, so she doesn’t escape before helping her brother out. “Meri, will you help your brother. There is a recipe on the counter over there for the marinade for the chicken.” I hope that she actually wanted to help and won’t complain about making the short recipe.

                                                      I’m going to find your grandparents and then make something for lunch.” I tell my children, bending down to Andrew again before leaving the kitchen. “Andy, why don’t you sit down in the living room and play with some toys until I have lunch ready?” I offer him, and then head up the stairs for the room my parents have always stayed in at the lake house. Knocking lightly on the door, I call through. “Mom, dad, I was wondering if either of you are getting hungry? I’m preparing a little lunch, is there anything specific that you might want?” I wait outside the door for the answer. Hoping they are on the other side of the door, and that I haven’t made a fool of myself.
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    ρeʀcινaʟ ɢιʟмoʀe
    X
    █████████ ██ ██ █████████


                              Sometimes I wonder if my mother is actually possessed by some sort of satanic spirit. These thoughts usually occur after she decides that we all need to do something as a family. You know, things like forcing all of us to stay under one roof and therefore giving us the chance to murder each other. At least, I assume that's the real reason behind this gathering. I'm still not sure how she even talked me into coming to this stupid family reunion. I remember telling her no multiple times, along with ignoring some of her calls, and then suddenly I was agreeing to drag my family out to the lake house.

                              While I did agree to come, I don't remember making any promises to be happy about it or to even speak to anyone outside of my family. The one that only consists of three other people, I mean. I'm sure nobody expects me to be happy about being here, anyway. It's safe to assume that anything involving large groups of people will not bring me any joy. I honestly don't know how people find socializing fun. I've never been big on anything involving actually speaking to other people. Hell, I can count the number of relationships I had before meeting Lewys on one hand and have fingers left over. Of course, those types of socializing involved speaking to strangers, which I avoid at all costs. Family reunions shouldn't involve strangers. Well, there's a few unfamiliar faces here, but that's really just children I don't recognize and that friend of Dominic's. Supposedly his girlfriend or something, but I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to spend that much time with him, considering he's the Antichrist and all. It makes sense that if there were two creatures from Hell in this family, it'd be Mom and my youngest sister's offspring.

                              I went to breakfast because it was expected of me - and because my dear mother wouldn't let me sleep through it, which I think is further proof that she's evil - but as soon as it was over, I went into hiding. Wait, does it count as hiding if you have company? I think it does. Besides, it's just Lewys. He's like a faithful dog and just sort of trails after me sometimes which is...sweet. At least I don't have to be miserable alone. Well, I seriously doubt he's miserable here since he seems to like socializing and my family well enough. He might have been miserable earlier when I was kind of sulking like a moody teenager, but that lasted barely ten minutes after breakfast. Now I'm sort of just screwing around with Lew. We're pretty much just wandering around, but it's done wonders for my mood. I no longer want to go back to sleep or stab someone with a fork or stab someone and then go back to sleep, so that has to be a good thing. I've got a pretty strong feeling that I'll return to grumbling and/or glaring as soon as we get around other people, though. That's usually how it works.

                              Speaking of people, when the hell did she get there? She wasn't there a second ago, was she? Actually, I haven't been paying much attention to where we were going, so it's entirely possible that this poor child was already here before Lewys and I showed up. I'm still surprised that we ran into someone else, despite the fact that we're not far from the house, and I'm getting ready to make up an excuse to leave, one hand already gripping Lew's wrist so I can drag him away when I make my escape. When it finally hits me who the girl - well, she's really more of a woman now, isn't she? - is, I relax. Blair is possibly my favorite out of all of my nieces and nephews, so fleeing from her won't be necessary. For now, at least. "Uh, hi," I greet her awkwardly, taking a step back. "Sorry if we're intruding. Didn't see you there. We can go, if you want to be alone or whatever." Can she even hear me over her damn music? I hope so because I'm not repeating myself.
    bby in a trenchcoat's avatar

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                              You know, I'm starting to think that my husband might not be so thrilled about being here. Maybe it's because we've been together long enough that it's easy for me to tell what sort of mood he's in, or maybe it's because he's spent the morning pouting and complaining. Personally, I prefer to think that I acquired this knowledge through some deep bond the two of us have rather than guessing based off his sulking. Either way, the fact remains the same: Percy's not happy about being here. I'm not really sure how to deal with that, especially since I have no problem with being here. Why would I? I like his family well enough, even his scary little mam, and I'm happy pretty much anywhere. Plus, I think it's important that Anya eventually meet her grandparents and aunts and uncles, even if Percy's not too keen on seeing them himself.

                              If I hadn't already known that he was unhappy about being here, Percy dragging me outdoors would have cleared things up pretty quickly. Well, I wasn't necessarily dragged. I came willingly enough, after all, mostly because he asked if I wanted to. I'm not really sure what we're supposed to be doing, but whatever it is is pretty fun, I guess. We haven't really done anything but wander around, so I guess it's more of the being outside and being with Percy part that's making it fun rather than what we're actually doing. It's probably a good thing that I came out here, 'cause I most likely would have fallen asleep if I'd stayed inside. I'm wide awake now, though, and it looks like my husband is done being grumpy. That's good, even if I'm sure he'll revert to grumpiness sooner or later. I just hope that his mood doesn't affect the girls when he does.

                              Wait, did we even tell the girls we were leaving? I can't remember, but I hope that we did. If not, I'm going to feel really bad. It's not like we technically left, and we're not even very far from the house. I mean, I can see it from here. Besides, Kat's a big girl, and I'm sure her sister's not far from her. They'll be fine. We have been gone for a while, though... Maybe I should go check on them.....or not. I guess they don't need me looking in on them all the time. Even if they're both still babies to me, one's almost a legal adult and it's not like they're completely alone. They're in a house full of other people. That should probably be a comforting thought, but it's really not. Beth's shy and a runner, and right about now I'm starting to feel real bad for leaving her in a house full of strangers. And it's not just a few of them. It's like a small army of people she's never met before, even if her sister has, and we just left her alone in there. Poor kid's probably going to be scarred for life.

                              Holy Mother of God and all her whacky nephews! How long has she been there? I swear she just appeared out of nowhere. Percy must think so too because he's got my wrist in a death grip. Guess he planned on dragging me away or something, like I'm too dumb to follow him if he leaves. Honestly, at this point, I think it's pretty clear that I'd follow him damn near anywhere. Why else would I be letting him drag me around outside like this? We aren't leaving, which is weird. I expected him to run for it as soon as he figured out we weren't alone. Maybe we aren't leaving because it's just Blair - at least, I think that's her. Hard to tell, five years is a long time. Either that or Percy magically developed a need to socialize after forty-odd years, which is highly unlikely. "Hey, kiddo!" I say, giving her a small wave with my free hand. Percy starts talking, and I nod. "Yeah, we understand if you don't want a couple of geezers invading your space. Real sorry about that, by the way. Guess we weren't watching where we were going."
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                                            Aunt Petra is the first one to answer me, although I have no clue where she came from. She asks if I've seen Mom, and I shake my head. "Nope! I have no clue where she's gone," I admit with a small shrug. Did everyone disappear after breakfast? They must have since Aunt Petra is asking if anyone knows where their parents are. Well, that's pretty odd. Her suggestion makes me laugh, but I quiet down once I realize she's being serious. "Eh, I would, but I'm not much help in the kitchen. I would probably just get in the way. Sorry." It's true, I really wouldn't be much help. I would probably end up getting asked to leave, so it's easier to just not help.

                                            When she ruffles my hair, I make a face and wrinkle my nose, even though it doesn't actually bother me. "I went on a jog," I explain. I run a hand through my hair in an attempt to get it back to normal and c**k an eyebrow at her comment about Steph not wanting me sweaty. I'm about to comment on that, but she beats me to it, so I end up laughing instead. She heads for the kitchen, and her husband shows up next to slap my face with his palm and ask what's up. "Not much." Uncle Vince heads into the kitchen after Aunt Petra, and a younger person finally makes their presence known.

                                            Katrina and I aren't exactly close, so I'm a bit surprised that she of all people answers me. I don't hate her or anything. We just don't really talk. Her dad's pretty awesome, though - Uncle Lewys, that is. I think he's pretty funny, and we play soccer together sometimes and stuff. However, her other father is a completely different story. I get the feeling that Aunt Leslie doesn't really like me for some reason. I'm not going to hold that against her, though. It's not her fault that one of her dads is a d**k. So I smile at her, trying to be friendly. "Yeah, the beach is probably a safer idea. I mean, there's less of a chance of us getting arrested if we go swimming." Sweet, she's going to come with me. At least someone in this family wants to have fun. "I need to change, too, so that's fine." Anya? That must be the name of Uncle Percy and Uncle Lew's younger daughter. I almost forgot about her.

                                            s**t, where did that kid come from? And more importantly, who is she? Since she's holding Katrina's hand, I'm just going to assume that she's Anya. "Hey, kiddo. Do you wanna go swimming with me and Katrina?" I give her the friendliest smile I can manage. Can she even swim? I hope so. If not, then that's what all those weird flotation device things they make for kids are for, I guess. Assuming she wants to come with us at all.
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                                                                  xo they say you don't know what you got
                                                                  xothey say you don't know what you I DIDN T
                                                                       my mind was s o m e w h e r e else
                                                                         WANTED T GET T THE TP i couldn t
                                                                          ( control yourself ) you start to loose appreciation when you fall from what greed brings
                                                                       FRANKLY, I WAS MISTAKEN BECAUSE I FORGOT ABOUT THE little THINGS.


                                                                        I sat in a chair in the corner of our room. Our as in my and Beverly's room. It was nice and quaint. Green walls, homely bed sheets, all that jazz. It was a lot cozier than I remembered. Or at least I think it was. Honestly, I don't remember this room at all. But don't tell my children that, they'll probably make some kind of scene about how my memory is going down the gutter. I swear, I can remember the names of my children. Vaguely. Their grandchildren... well, that's a whole different story. And one I don't really want to talk about. I just refer to them as son and sweetie and hopefully, the right one answers. Maybe if I'm feeling confident, I'll give a try at their names and hope not to embarrass myself. It doesn't matter, I'll probably forget the moment anyways. They won't completely hold it against me- their eighty-eight year old grandfather. I don't remember what I was doing five minutes ago, really.

                                                                        I looked around the room. I could see the sun and assumed it was probably somewhere around noon or something like that. Where's the darn clock? Not too far away from me I found a plate of food. What was that for? It looked good and it made me hungry. Could it be for me? Nah... I would have eaten it by then... But it's one of my favorites... Oh well. I'll just wait for my next meal. All of a sudden, I heard a knock at the door. "Come in." My throat was hoarse. I coughed to try to clear my throat. After that, I ended up grabbing for my cane and slowly treading to the door, opening it up to a light red headed female. It was Petra. She was my daughter. How can I not remember her? She had...two children, right? Those twins. They were getting so old... I think. They're married now, aren't they. Kids just grow up so quickly. I'll ask about that later.

                                                                        "Lunch? I'm starving." I chuckled. "I'll have whatever the kids are."Ie said, taking in a deep breath and staking my cane to the ground with each step forward. "Better yet, I'm going to help." I started to go faster, each foot shaking with each step. I was fine. I could hold up my own wei- Gah. I gasped and caught onto a nearby railing before the up stairs stairway. See? I can do this. I just needed to get the kitchen. At least I didn't have to go up or down any stairs, right?

                                                                        I found the kitchen and sat down on a chair, gasping for air. That was an exercise. I looked at the people. Who were these people? Why were there so many people here? But I had one mission: to cook. And with the knowledge I obtained when I was a chef, I could whip something up. I know I can. "Ok. So who wants some gourmet food? He owned a diner back in his day, but same difference, right?

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