Greetings from Seattle

Monday, September 1, 2014

The 41st Annual Phosie-Gertie Picnic

For you people new to this annual Labor Day weekend family event, it is named after two women, sisters, who were grandmothers, great grandmothers, and now great-great grandmothers to the members of the Foster-Reeder-Fuller clan that created this three cabin enclave on Sunlight Beach Road, separating Useless Bay and Deer Lagoon on Whidbey Island. 

Our old cabins have given way to new, modern constructions, and they are filled with family members who each take their vacations here in the summer, and find chances for get-aways during the rest of the year.

Each Sunday of Labor Day weekend, we gather together as many as are available to join in the a big-end-of summer party. 

Tom and I came up for the day.  Here comes our ride. While driving on to the ferry, we saw three other members of the gang who were walking on, and gave them a ride to the cabin.
Preparations got underway in the afternoon. Tables were set up.
 Kids collected other kids and played here, there and everywhere.

Lots of cooking was underway.

 Water balloons were filled.
 And a little after 3:00, as the last arrived, we began with the raising of the Phosie-Gertie flag and the singing of the song.  

Next up, the official family photo. I'm pretty impressed that I actually caught everyone looking at the camera on only the second try.  There was no chance of a third try. That front row scattered quickly.
The next event was the water balloon toss.  Everyone, young and old, had their name in the hat and awaited the drawing of partners. Jill and Jan are the event coordinators.

 The ranks slowly dwindled as balloons broke and water splashed. Now we were down to a few.

 Onlookers awaited the final results.
 And there is is, the winning catch!  ME!
 Marli and I were the winners!  But Marli had little time to savor the victory because a whole corps of kids were ready to take aim with just-filled balloons.  She got wet, but no one dared hit a Grandma. 

It took a while to get people moved to the next event, over at the beach, because everyone was too busy visiting.

Finally we regrouped for the sand castle contest.  Teams were selected by counting off, and some of us chose to sit this out.  My excuse is that I am the official photographer, and one of the judges, as it turned out. 

 Everyone decided to build on the sand bar, which meant that my shoes and socks had to come off in order to do my duty. Unfortunately the tide was coming in and the island was fast disappearing. 

 Sports seemed to be a frequent theme. There was the Super Bowl and the World Cup..

 And a soon to be swamped Seahawk.
 There were some pretty interesting story explanations for the creations.
 and a few washouts.

 These rebels were the instigators of the next, unscheduled event, as we decided to use this lovely seating area not being used by one of the bay front owners.
 We recorded our unlawfulness for posterity.  
 Here's why.  A recently new owner of an older cabin that is next to the public access broke the beach rules.  He decided to stake a claim to every stick and grain of sand he owned. In all the decades that families have been coming to this beach, this had never been done before. We have invoked his wrath on too many occasions and since he and his family were not there,  we staged a little sit in. Someone photographed us and sent the owner a the photo as a joke.  He was not amused.  He called the sheriff. We were all very amused, and have added a new chapter to the family lore.
 Taking time to get my shoes back on, I missed the candy hunt, but the kids were busy bartering when I got back to the cabin.

 Time to fire up the grills.

 And to visit some more.
 And to play some more!

 Tom has taken over the role his father used to play, as grill master. The chicken was being grilled on the deck of the brand new cabin.

 And then there was eating! Sorry I didn't get a photo of the dessert table with peach-blueberry cobbler, peach pie, rhubarb pie, blackberry pie made from wild berries the gaggle of kids picked earlier in the day, chocolate cake, cupcakes and cookies, and ice cream.
 There were presentations, here Tom fuller surprising Dean foster with a blast from the past.

 And the presentation of the Saddle Shoe Award (No, I can't explain this, it's a family secret.) to Jim and Marli.

There was more visiting, and as the day cooled into evening, a fire warmed us olders
 as the kids played on!
Happy September, everyone.  I hope you sent summer out in style.  We did.