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Three days after hosting my mom and aunt for their sister’s (my Auntie Jo’s) wake, we hosted 19 friends for the long President’s Day Weekend. We’d been planning this get together of 21 people (plus one dog) for months, and before my Auntie Jo had passed away I’d been overwhelmed with excitement for this weekend. But the death, the sadness, the wake, and the crowds of family that I hadn’t seen in years had really drained me emotionally. I was still incredibly happy to see and visit with each and every one of my good friends. I just felt much more mellow, more exhausted, and less enthusiastic to plan outings and meals than I would’ve been otherwise. All that said, the weekend was wonderful and I was really happy so many of us could make it.

The occasion for the get together was our yearly personal college reunion. Of the 21 present, 18 of us (as well as the dog!) had gone to Houghton College. Last year’s get together was at Eric’s cousin’s place in Argyle, north of Albany, NY. Since we had the space for it, we offered to host this year, welcoming people starting in the early evening on Friday, February 14. We had people sleeping in practically every room in the house and 9 cars squeezed into our driveway (not really easy to do with over a foot of snow and more falling all weekend).

Just like last year lots of board games were played, but fewer really long, nerdy, complicated ones and more chill, party type games, with socializing and catching up being forefront (which I liked. Eric may have been slightly disappointed). We didn’t do many out-of-the-house activities, mainly due to the weather and my enthusiasm being lower (as mentioned), but we did take a group down to Niantic to wander around the Book Barn and explore the beach. Eric’s cousin Jesse taught us all a couple really fun full-group party games, there was lots of drinking (we literally have a wall of recycling in our entrance way right now), and sometime after midnight on one day there was a very unexpected dubstep dance party (I’m so glad we don’t live in an apartment).

Although I tried to do lots of food prep before everyone arrived, I still found myself spending a huge amount of time in the kitchen (between breakfast cleanup and starting lunch was usually less than 2 hours. Feeding 21 people is exhausting!) and if we host again there are definitely a bunch of things I would do differently.

After the last couple people trickled out on Monday afternoon, February 17, Eric and I collapsed exhausted onto the couches and basically didn’t move for 8 hours. After this cold winter we all unanimously voted that our next big reunion will be in the summer of 2015. I’d definitely be up for hosting again if no one else wanted to, but hopefully not less than a week after a death in the family. I just feel like I need to rest for a solid month.