Look out Black Hills..thar’s a whole herd a Lund’s a headin’ your way and we’re fixin’ to do up all the touristy things you can put in front of us.
As I write this, it’s late on Friday night June 12th and I’m supposed to have Big Red’s trunk all packed and ready to go so Linda, our granddaughter, Ella, and me can be headed West by 7 in the morning. We need to be in Rapid City to meet up with Desert Daughter Christy who flew in to Rapid from Arizona and son, James from Oakland, California last evening.
Also on the road in the morning will be daughter Suzan, husband Joe and granddaughter Zoey from Lincoln in one car along with daughter Patty, granddaughter, Allison and grandson Michael of Sioux Falls in another. Daughter Brenda and her beau Bob of Crooks will be in their RV and bringing the Harley. Grandson, Tucker, Julia and great grandson Jack are heading West too. We’ll all be rendezvousing at Palmer Gulch resort where my kid brother from South Carolina, Tom Lund, his wife, Ilene their three kids, Kim from Hawaii with her husband Ryan and three youngen’s. Bradley from Atlanta with wife Susan and three daughters and Erin from Chattanooga with her husband Tate and three beautiful little ones arrived Thursday so should have a good start on the reunion.
Also hitting the road Saturday are my sister-in-law, Judy of Sioux Falls along with son, Mitch, wife Jody and three of their kids, Joey, Nichole, and Tyler. Plus Denny and Judy’s other boy, Jayden Lund from Hollywood rounds out the group.
I know that listing all those names and lineages sounds like the beginning of the Bible with all the boring begats..but I wanted to give you a sense of how getting this thing to actually come to fruition has been sort of miraculous.
It’s not the first time we’ve done this.
For many years, whenever the three Lund brothers and our wives have talked during quick trips home, the discussion always came around to how sad it was so many of our kids and grandkids live so far apart they’ve really not had a chance to get to know their aunts, uncles and cousins. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could arrange a Lund family reunion?
Well, it finally happened 3 years ago, when Tom and Ilene invited everybody to their new lake home in the beautiful woods of South Carolina. Somehow we all managed to round up enough money for the flight to Greenville and had one of the most memorable few days of our lives.
Linda and I had never met any of Tom and Ilene’s grandkids. When it was time to return home, it was like saying goodbye to our own.
Everyone agreed that we must do this again and it wasn’t long before Judy and Denny were making plans for the gathering to which we now go.
As long as everybody wanted to visit the Hills, I suggested we look into leasing a bus and having Denny the bus driver do the honors behind the wheel. We laughed at the idea but didn’t totally rule it out either.
Then, Denny’s heart arrhythmia started giving him fits again; losing energy losing weight.
We all talked like everything was still a go for the reunion but the way my brother appeared to be wasting away, I think we all were wondering if he’d be up for the trip.
Well, as most of you know, he didn’t make it. The patriarch of the Lund family did have a reunion of sorts last August as so many of us gathered around his hospital bedside..made roomier after the nurse, at his request, disconnected all the noisy machines; rolling them to the side..leaving only the morphine drip that would soon send him painlessly off to his maker. “I love you all” was what he said bringing sobs from those of us unable to comprehend life without him.
I initially thought that Denny’s death would put the kibosh on this Black Hills assembly but on the contrary, everybody was 100% in favor of going forward. In fact, it’s become like a quest and a tribute to his memory.
The forecast is calling for rain Monday and Tuesday. No matter, I’m just anxious to see all those loveable Lund’s sharing lots of memories, loads of laughs and maybe a few tears but most of all just the joy of sitting back to watch and listen as the next generation of kids get to know each other and, hopefully learn the importance of family forever.
I’ll likely be close to a WiFi and will post a few pictures of this gathering..be it mayhem or monumental so check back soon.