Connections: Family Time

What an event it was

Thirty-eight members of the Cory family, if you count spouses who may or may not use that surname, arrived at a Pennsylvania resort at different times from different places in the country for a reunion last weekend — and what an event it was.

Here’s how we got to 38. Five siblings in the oldest generation came with five spouses. They accounted for nine kids, now adults or young adults as the case may be, and they came with seven spouses and brought 12 children, if you count one who attended on Facetime and another in utero.

The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort is on the Delaware River in the Poconos, near the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap recreational area. The landscape is beautiful. A golf resort would seem an unlikely place for this generation of Corys, and indeed not one went onto the links. But the resort was large enough so we could be provided with a banquet room of our own to congre­gate in, look at memorabilia, watch slide-show images of old and new family photos, have one dinner by ourselves, and even do a little yoga.

With so many who had not seen each other in a long time, there was a lot to hear about:  Bob and Joe’s new house, Josh’s new job, Daniel’s new school, Ezra’s first days in college, Rebecca’s role in “The Nutcracker,” that sort of thing. Accomplishments were noted and praised. The memorabilia and scrapbooks were carefully perused, and old documents read.

The Shawnee Inn is huge. In addition to the 27-hole golf course, it has a restaurant, a café, a brewery, two brew pubs, a spa and salon offering treatments galore, and a wide, old-fashioned veranda lined with wood and wicker rocking chairs. The weather was sunny, perfect for relaxing there or taking walks on the many trails. Two outdoor weddings — not Cory relations — took place on Saturday, and some of us stole a peek. Others enjoyed the great big swimming pool, but too busy catching up with each other, none took the resort up on its river or waterfall trips.

As for me, the youngest generation drew lots of my attention, and I quickly learned all their names. I had recently seen the littlest — who is not quite 1 and not quite walking — and was pleased that she was wearing a dress I had given her. I enjoyed watching cousins make friends, a girl who just turned 10 and a 13-year-old boy, for example. 

On the afternoon most of us departed, the Corys, and it seemed to be every last one, engaged in a hug-a-thon, children included, creating an almost impenetrable mass in the hotel lobby. Electronic devices, which for the most part had been set aside, appeared for last-minute photos, with lots of bing-ing and pinging. 

I am sure that everyone will long remember the comfort they found in simple togetherness. We were a group of privileged Americans, to be sure, but there would be plenty of time when we got home to face, and do whatever we could about, the grim inequities of the world we live in.