The Knitting Elf

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Family Reunion (part 2)

- Day 4 (Thursday) -
After breakfast Daddy and I went to the lake together, just the two of us (Baby Sister and Brother got so bored at the lake the first day they wanted no part of it). We fished for about an hour and then tried to hike all the way around the was WAY too big. We hiked for about 5 hours and only made it about half way, I think. Coming back we found a better trail and it was a lot faster.

While we were at the lake we missed the "war". The "war" is a natural occurrence whenever Aunt Crazy and Aunt Psycho are together for more then 72 hours. The "war" is not your usual fight (Crazy and Psycho had many other little fights each day of the reunion); the "war" is an all out screaming match that usually ends in either Aunt Psycho making herself faint, Aunt Crazy leaving, or the two of them vowing to never speak to each other again. Daddy and I thought it would actually come on Wednesday, causing Aunt Crazy to go home, and we would have a peaceful rest of the week. But they surprised us and were able to last an entire extra day (they arrived at Alice Lake on Sunday). I guess Aunt Crazy didn't approve of Aunt Psycho's recent divorce and told her she was a terrible person for marrying the guy in the first place (Uncle Star Wars, actually a very nice guy, a bit odd, yes. He and Psycho fought constantly so it was good they split). Aunt Wishy-Washy took her side and told Aunt Psycho what a bad mother she was and that her kids were horrible brats (mind you, they were saying all this in front of the poor kids). Aunt Crazy, Aunt Wishy-Washy, and their families left. Then came the task of building up the self esteem of Aunt Psycho's kids and trying to explain to them that the things Aunts Crazy and Wishy-Washy said weren't true.

It was odd to talk with Aunt Psycho later and hear her account of the "war". All of the things Aunt Crazy said to her (not counting the whole divorce/bad mom thing) were almost word for word what she had screamed at me last October. Aunt Psycho didn't know about that but felt better after I told her about it. I mean, she felt better that Aunt Crazy had used the same script which meant that she hadn't thought up all those insults just for her. My theory is that Aunt Crazy just doesn't know how to express anger/worry/frustration/fear in a healthy way. Uncle Controlling (Crazy's husband) had forbidden her from coming and I think she was scared to go back home because he gets mean (and abusive, though she won't admit it to anybody). I think she looks for someone else to blame all her life's problems on. Last October she was upset that she had taken her kids out of school so they could come to Disney Land and they weren't having as much fun as she had hoped they would so she accused me of ignoring her daughter. I wish someone could convince her to get help but I doubt that will ever happen.

- Day 5 (Friday) -
We left at about 12:30 and got home around 7. Mum had thought we were coming home on Thursday and had literally worried herself sick thinking we had been missing for a day (she tried mine and Daddy's cell phones but we didn't get any reception up there). When I got home the first thing I did was take a shower. It feels soo good to be clean again.

- A couple of other random things -

  • To get to the Camp Site you have to drive for 30 miles on an extremely rocky/bumpy dirt road (it was soo bumpy I couldn't knit!)
  • There were about 23 billion flies at Lake Alice; I'm certain they had not eaten for an entire year. We would drench ourselves in 3 different kinds of bug spray and we were still bitten.
  • I finally told Daddy's side of the family about the possibility of them all being gluten intolerant

One family member in particular (Cousin Zelda, daughter of Aunt Crazy) I'm pretty sure has it. She's been tested for everything under the sun and they can't find out what's wrong. A lot of her symptoms are similar to what mine were. When I started telling her what she needed to look out for I started to feel really bad for her. Aunt Crazy kept interjecting favorite foods of Cousin Zelda's saying "oh, that means you can't have ____ anymore! How awful!" You could just see all hope draining from Cousin Zelda's eyes.

The first 3 months of trying to rid your diet of all gluten are soo hard! It's common to become depressed because you start to feel like you'll never enjoy food again and everything that tastes good is off limits. When I started eating gluten-free (GF) I was severely depressed; I've always been, well, a happy person; and it was really hard for me to feel so awful all the time. I don't think I would've made it if it were not for my parents. They treated each discovery of a new GF food as something to celebrate and were constantly on the lookout for GF substitutes of my favorite foods. At my lowest point my sweet, sweet Daddy went and found a TON of GF pastas, soups, bread, and a cookie mix! I cannot tell you how incredibly happy that cookie mix made me. I know it sounds stupid that a cookie mix could make such a difference but to me, it brought me back to reality and made all the difference in the world. Now that I'm used to it, I'm perfectly happy eating GF! Yes, there are still a few things I haven't yet found a substitute for (like licorice, ice cream cones, and good hamburger buns) but life is a lot better now.

Once in a while I'll be "glutened" (meaning I've eaten something containing gluten without realizing it); most recently it was Powerade. While camping I get really dehydrated so we bought a bunch of my favorite powerade (Arctic Ice) and I drank a lot of it during the reunion and when we got home. All that time my stomach was really touchy and I had a hard time making myself eat or finding things that I thought my stomach would be able to handle. A couple of days ago I was randomly reading the label of my powerade bottle and I discovered it had gluten in it! I should have checked before I started guzzling it but who would've thought there would be gluten in Powerade!? I gave the rest of it away and feel a lot better now.


  • reading about your family is a scream! it makes me feel less alone. . .how did you turn out so normal? for that matter, how did i?


    oh. nevermind.

    By Blogger green-eyed grrl, at 9:23 PM  

  • I have no idea how I turned out so, well, I'm not sure how "normal" I am, but I have no idea how I didn't turn out like the rest of them.

    I bet it's all the knitting/sewing/crafting I do; it keeps me somewhat sane :o)

    By Blogger Melannen, at 9:34 PM  

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