Sunday, July 1, 2012

Swimming Back in Time

I wrote recently about what my life was like growing up with two older brothers. And, today, we somehow, suddenly traveled back in time to those moments.

My family is always making up excuses to get together and eat and talk about funny stuff. At Christmas, even after the holiday celebrations have come and gone, we have Christmas in January and all get back together and do it again. We have joint birthday celebrations twice a year to celebrate the birthdays that have passed in the last few months. We cookout for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and sometimes even Arbor Day (okay, that last part isn't true). We just love hanging out with each other.

How we are in pictures

How we really are
Also, when we get together. It's all about making fun of each other, pulling some kind of pranks on each other, and somehow, some way, the discussions inevitably turn to poop. I can't explain it, but it's like clockwork.

So, today was our fourth of July celebration. We all got together, grilled, drank beer, and swam. We're in a bit of a drought, and so there was thankfully no mention of fireworks. No one wore corny USA shirts, and there was no birthday cake for America. But there were plenty of Clarks and plenty of antics.

A few weeks ago, the boys purchased an above ground swimming pool. Again, not everyone gets to live in the lap of luxury like us Clarks. I know how jealous you are. But it's perfect for family gatherings when it's 106 degrees out.

The ones who aren't technically related learn to fit in quickly
(I should take this time to say that Kevin and Chris live in the same house. Kev and Em have lived there for years--upstairs--and Chris, April, and Jack moved into the downstairs about a year ago. They wanted me to move in next door, and I replied, "You people are crazy!")

Jack was ready to begin the entertainment at a moment's notice
It was as if as soon as our feet touched the water, we were back to being kids again. Kevin was using the noodles to blow water rockets into people's faces or, in my case, into my crazy crack eye. Everyone was making inappropriate comments about the phallic-like noodles, and anytime anyone could pants Jack, there was at least an attempt. At one point, Kevin and I challenged each other to an in-water crab race, but soon realized we'd need the function of our arms tomorrow and stopped. People were getting startled by a blast of freezing cold water from the hose, and I think Chris successfully sprayed every person in attendance in the tookus with a spray bottle. It was nothing but fun.

We, of course, had enough food to feed a small army, and Jeff and Joel joked the whole time about needing more hot dogs (because the 45 we grilled simply weren't enough).

It may be America's birthday we're celebrating or our independence or the people who graciously fight to give us that, but when the Clarks get together, it's always a celebration of each other. Young or old, big or small, related or not, no one is immune to wise-cracks, practical jokes, or discussions revolving around poop. We are the Clarks: party at your own risk.

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