This weekend has the capacity to be an epic family weekend. It is Honesdale High School and Wallenpaupack Area High School Graduations, Roots & Rhythm Music and Arts Festival, and Father's Day! So grab your grads and dads, load everyone in the car and head to Roots and Rhythm for some quality bonding time!! There is so much that we can learn about ourselves from being around family. They may drive you crazy, but they are yours and the closer you look the more connections you see. (I may not love being Nana Jr. but I see my family's point.)
When I was little I swore I had to have been adopted (or maybe I just wanted to be) In my eyes I seemed so different from the rest of the family. The story they told me about finding me in a trash bin at Dr. Tully's Office didn't help. (You have to love older sisters and their wretched creativity when torturing the youngest.) Being around family also highlights your differences and what make you unique. It can lead to some fun discoveries. I know where my blonde hair, blue eyes, love of travel, enjoyment of Bob Seger music, joy when reading, and fondness for good food comes from. I only have to look to my parents for the answers to those questions. But where did my weird obsession with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster come from? Why can I sing? What's the deal with my inability to do math? How come certain words put me over the edge? That's why these weekends are so awesome. Talk to your family! Someone in that group knows all the dirt and if they don't they may be able to point you in the right direction.
My mom and nephew recently ordered Ancestry DNA kits to find out more about our family. More and more people through the years have decided to look to the past to find out about themselves. My X-Files obsessed nature will not allow me to spit in a vile and send it off to the government so I haven't done it yet. BUT, I have seen the joy in people's faces when they make a cool discovery. The library offers free access to Ancestry.com on site only. It allows you to do a certain amount of research for free. NOT the full access remote kind you can get on your own device and paid account, but enough. People find all sorts of things: relatives they didn't know they had, timelines uploaded by other family members, and even links to historical figures or incidents. Having seen what the amazing people at the Wayne County Historical Society can do first hand, if you can't find it on Ancestry odds are that someone in your home town can. You'd be surprised at the information which you can access at local historical societies and libraries if you are persistent and don't mind digging through old papers and files.
If researching your ancestry isn't your cup of tea how about sharing your love of music and art. Head to the Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts Festival to see if what your ears love might be the same as your dad's, mom's, uncle's, or aunt's? Talk to your family about concerts they've been to or albums they own. It may be a surprising revelation to find out that your grandma has seen the Stones or your parents saw KISS. All of you can bond over what you love to listen to and what you don't. All day long on June 16th you can compare thoughts on the musicians on stage (The Sadies, Sour Bridges, The Whiskey Killers, Bob Kyle & the Administers) and outside businesses on Main St. (see the list at www.honesdalerootsandrhythm.com). Check out Artist's Row and the art vendors as well to see what artwork makes YOU tick as opposed to the rest of your family.
If you have a Grad, it is the perfect time to bond as they are headed out into the world to discover new things. What a great way to create lasting connections by sharing a love of music, art, outdoor recreation, cars, crafting, cooking, singing, hunting, knitting, sports, or whatever it is that you all like to do. My parents and I talked a lot about all the things we never would've done if not for me or my sisters coming home with some crazy idea and them saying sure let's try that. Let's find out about that. Let's go there. Then we'd discover from some relative we told about our adventure that great uncle so and so loved to do that and who knew? Family connections! This amazing crop of Grads is no different. They will inspire in so many ways. I for one am looking forward to seeing the amazing things they do in the next few years!
Lastly, make sure you take Dad out on Father's Day to do something he really loves. Something with you! Believe me, I know how lucky I am to have had so much time in the car driving back and forth to CA each year when mom and dad would drive with me to and from college. I know all the stories. I asked all the questions. It was a good thing I did, as sometimes you lose them a lot earlier than you ever thought you would. There isn't anything I wouldn't give for one more road trip, but it isn't in the cards. What I do have are some awesome stories to share. Make sure you do too by talking to your family while you have them. Enjoy this long crazy weekend. Congratulations Grads, Dads, and everyone involved in Roots. We appreciate you!