Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kind people

Alla prepares for a warm weekend. From 2010-08 California
The picture at the right has very little to do with today's story, but I've found that bare midriffs generate attention among some potential readers.

This has been an extraordinary weekend. We went to a place we’ve never been in California, close to the national forest where my family often summered but surprisingly different. We’ve been at a small ski resort called Bear Valley and at nearby Alpine Lake. We came to attend a reunion of my “former” family, but they’ve been kind enough not to forget me after the passing of my first wife, who was cousins with this gang. We enjoyed hikes, bike rides, meals and music together.

Today was the last day for this family gathering, and everybody gathered at a picnic area beside Alpine Lake to relax together. At the end of the day, we ate together at Alpine Lodge. The folks at the lodge asked us to look at a menu this afternoon and place our orders early because they’d be serving a wedding party inside and us on the deck. They worried that two large groups might be hard to handle without preparation.

As we got started on our dinner, a young man in a tuxedo came to us with a bottle of wine. He explained that he is the groom of the wedding party, the wine was special, and he wanted to share it. The waitress brought out a load of small glasses and everybody who wanted to try the groom’s wine got to have some. Later, after the bride and groom cut their wedding cake, their party invited us to share it. After a certain amount of encouragement, we did. Then they invited us all onto the dance floor, and we capped off our beautiful day with a delightful evening of dancing and appreciation for the kindness of so many people around us.

We also enjoyed a little chat in Russian with two members of the resort staff, here for the summer from Ukraine.

This has been a fantastic weekend, with a unified spirit of easy-going inclusiveness. It’s not just something about the Daley family, but something special about Bear Valley too. We both want to come back.

Cousin Kate wishes everybody well.

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