Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jul 10, 2006

Hepps on Parade

Last Wednesday through Friday I went to the Hepp-Ewers family reunion at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, which turned out to be highly enjoyable. Events included:
  • Receipt by yours truly of nine (count them) mosquito bites on my left foot within thirty minutes of arriving at the park. These are all the bug bites I got during my stay. The park REALLY needs to get a new welcoming committee. It reminds me of this song by the Scared Weird Little Guys.
  • Breakfast Buffet that included: Fried Biscuits. No, seriously. I didn't know biscuits could get any less healthy. Apparently they can. Live and learn.
  • A hike through the park, where, assisted by some less-than-stellar navigational attempts on the part of my mother (hey, it wasn't my fault, I was just following her) we ended up taking a completely different trail than the one we intended to take. It was all right, because the trail was still cool, however it led into (don't ask me how, I don't know) a Very Rugged Trail. My mom decided to bail, however my dad and my brother Gareth showed up as I was attempting to estimate just how rugged, exactly, this Very Rugged was, and I wound up walking the ENTIRE TRAIL (after already doing another one!) and climbing more stairs than I EVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. Why, you ask? Because I was NOT going to let my dad and my brother think that I couldn't climb some piddly stairs just because I happen to be fat and out of shape, thank you very much. My brother Gareth does Cross Country and he RAN up the stairs, leaving me at the bottom gasping for air and exclaiming: "I'll be along soon!" However, I got to see the chipmunks and he missed them, so I'm not miffed.
  • Philly Cheese Steak. Mm mm talk about your health food here!
  • Watching my male family members try to get the wireless internet working.
  • Swimming. Well, I say Swimming, but the pool never got deeper than three feet so it was more like Dunking My Brothers Repeatedly. They, of course, returned the favor. They're taller and more tenacious than I am, but I'm bigger and meaner so I think it was more or less a draw.
  • Smothered Grilled Chicken while I attempt to explain to Madeline and Lily what the difference between "second cousin" and "first cousin once removed" is. For those of you that, like myself, have enormous extended families and might want to have some method for keeping track of them, it's a fairly simple distinction: Your parents' brothers and sisters are your aunts and uncles. The children of your aunts and uncles are your first cousins. Your grandparents' brothers and sisters are your great aunts and uncles, their grandchildren are your second cousins. The children of your grandparents' brothers and sisters are one generation removed from you, hence they're your second cousins once removed. Got that?
  • Gathering with family to take photos and look at other photos.
  • Attempt by yours truly at teaching my dad, brothers, cousin-once-removed Ollie and his girlfriend, whose name I hope was actually Julie because that's what I remember, to play contract Bridge. Attempt was mostly successful, or at least fun.
  • Breakfast Buffet.
  • Canoeing down Sugar Creek. Ooo rocks! Trees! Tire! The creek was, how shall I put it, less than deep, and since I was in a canoe with my dad, we scraped the bottom several times and decided to go right OVER the submerged log instead of maybe AVOIDING it like some kind of sane people. We also almost swamped the canoe, although I didn't actually see this happening so my response, when my dad was trying to remedy the situation, was, and I quote, "Geez, Dad, don't panic." Neither of us is really bad at steering a canoe, the problem was that Dad has a tendency to steer very forcefully, which meant that I kept trying to correct his over-corrections, and he'd correct my corrections, with the predictable result that at any given time we had little or no idea where we were going. Communicate? And spoil the fun?
  • Hummingbirds. This was sort of a trip-addendum, as I happened upon six or seven of them when I stopped to get gas before leaving the park. The gas station attendants had put out feeders for them, and they were quite used to people. I don't think I've ever seen a hummingbird that closely before.

So, overall, a fun trip. We'll have to do it again some time.


Myrhaf said...

Sounds like you had a blast. Whenever I come upon something like fried bisquits, whatever they are, I remind myself that one meal cannot kill you. If you ate fried bisquits daily for years, then maybe you would have a problem.

Jennifer Snow said...

I just noticed that I managed to make a mistake in my "explanation" of the whole first-second-once-removed-cousin thing. Heh.

But, yes, it was a good time.

Nancy said...

So glad you had fun...

And, yes, the children of your grandparents' brothers and sisters are one generation removed from you, hence they're your FIRST cousins once removed (not second). It all has to do with how many ancestors you share. I'm probably one of the 0.01% of people who would know this (or care).

I've always said I'm not smart enouth to drive and navigate at the same time. Now I see that I'm not even smart enough to HIKE and navigate at the same time!

Toiler said...

"Watching my male family members try to get the wireless internet working."

Excuse me? You must have either added an extra word to this sentence by mistake, or you left out two little letters. Hah.

Jennifer Snow said...

Nope. My dad and brothers, all of whom were male the last time I checked, although I submit that I could be wrong about this, could not get the wireless internet working. Supposedly, the Turkey Run Inn only had WiFi installed like 2 days before we arrived, and the person who installed it, apparently the only one that knew how it worked, had gone on vacation.