Family Get Together

By Karen Gershowitz

My family, like many in America, is spread out across the country.  We talk regularly, but mostly one-on-one.  Getting everyone together at the same time, in the same place has been a scheduling nightmare.  We all live very busy lives.

Apart from funerals, weddings and graduations have been the only events that brought us all together, and those were planned many months in advance.  But even they didn’t always work, last year one nephew was living in Australia and couldn’t make it to his brother’s wedding.

That has changed since Covid-19 has taken over our lives.  After a couple of false starts from technophobes in the family, fourteen of us now meet weekly on Zoom for virtual cocktail hour.  Three generations hang out, tell stories, share meal plans and recipes and watch the kids tell jokes and work off energy in far-off backyards.  And, unlike formal occasions, we are relaxed, wearing sweats not suits, and catching up on the minor happenings that are most telling about what’s really going on in everyone’s lives.

While most of the fallout from the pandemic has been devastating, this on-going family gathering has been an unanticipated joy.  I hope we will continue the tradition when this is over and we return to our normal activities, but I suspect scheduling will once again become an issue.  I’ll aim for monthly, rather than weekly.  That we should be able to manage.