Ten Tips ‘n’ Tricks for a Terrific (or at least Tolerable) Family Reunion

White Room!

Come on down! It’s fun for the entire family here at Fire Station THX-1138!

Every year my wife and I attend two family reunions, both of them on her side. My family reunited exactly once about thirty years ago at some public park two hours away from home, where two cousins and I were the only attendees under 35, and the overall average age was somewhere in the lower 60s. That trivia and the crushing boredom are the only takeaways I remember. If they ever attempted an encore, I wasn’t informed. I’m fine with never knowing.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, we shared photos from the 2016 edition of Anne’s dad’s side’s reunion, once again held the Sunday after Labor Day at the exquisitely sylvan, rugged, sprawling, visually arresting Turkey Run State Park in western Indiana. It’s a compromise between us central-Indiana Hoosiers and a healthy, distant branch of cousins and cousin-like hangers-on who live out in eastern Illinois. It’s a bit of a drive for all of us from our respective directions, but everyone agrees it’s pretty and non-boring.

This past weekend was the other reunion.

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Thinking Like a “Chopped” Contestant Can Save Any Dull Pitch-In


The picture and my plate both looked too plain, so I added Crow for garnish. Maybe it’s not something you would do, but I’m an otherwise reasonable adult and I’m perfectly happy with my garnish choices.

Pictured above is my newest creation, inspired by frustrated circumstances. It’s a stale Marsh donut sliced in half bun-wise, filled with one layer of chipped-beef-‘n’-cream-cheese from the best kind of cheese ball, one layer of Ritz crackers, and one layer of plain cream cheese. I dubbed it the Good Afternoon Burger. It would’ve been even better if someone had thought ahead and brought in some rich, creamery butter to use as dressing. They had veggie dip, but that’s the absolute opposite.

And this wasn’t the worst thing I tried today…

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