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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Cope Reunion 2020

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

We are deep into the Cope family reunion right now, and I am composing this post on my phone while lying next to a sick little Merritt boy, so I may have to keep this brief.

Monday was mostly tying up loose ends and finishing packing. Kira had 4 clients scheduled for the afternoon, but one by one, three of them postponed until after our trip. That was sort of nice, because then she wasn't gone half of the day, but she would have preferred to get out of the chaos and earn some money.

Avey got a little escape, too, because one of her friends had a little get-together for his birthday. His house took a little finding, but she had a good visit that wasn't very long.

We got to bed too late, and Tuesday morning came around quickly. We finished last things to have the house go into hibernation, and got on the road around 7:15.

The kids did well, helped by having all these electronic devices that I never had when I was young. Poor Apollo found little places to try to sleep, as it was pretty tight with 7 humans.

He, of course, couldn't understand why we were all in the car, where we were going, how long it would take, and if we would ever come back.

We arrived at our hotel around 7, and the boys bounced on the beds until Kira couldn't take it anymore. I realized I had left my toothbrush at home amid the morning rush, but Kira made the fortunate move of accidentally bringing an extra.

Hannah, Carver, Avey, and Apollo shared one room and the rest of us shared the other. Merritt and I shared a bed, but he kept inching closer until I had no room to move around. Nobody slept that great, but we were on the road by 7:30 in the morning.

The second day was much worse, mostly because we were all tired of driving. Our nerves were shot, so we did the best we could and made it to Kira's sister's home by late afternoon.

They've had a very nice setup for us, and the cousins are getting along swimmingly. Merritt is especially good buddies with his same-age cousin, Hunter. The youngest in the house has a deep interest in Apollo: although he is just saying a few coherent words, we can all clearly understand his "hi, Apollo!" whenever our dog is in the room.

Apollo has really enjoyed wrestling with their dog, Robin. She is a boxer, about twice his size, but very well-tempered thanks to the excellent training Kira's sister does.

On Thursday, we took a quick look around Temple Square (just outside the gates) and then got together with my siblings at my elder brother's home for an unofficial Ricks reunion. It was great to see their new house they bought in March, and their girls have grown so much, it makes me feel old. We played our family favorite, "He Said, She Said," and had some good laughs. We also enjoyed a delicious meal, thanks to our mother.

Friday was the first day of the Cope reunion, which began with meeting at her brother's house. They are just about to move, so we got a quick tour of the house and then most of the kids walked to a park 2 miles away with Kira. I drove so we wouldn't have to carry all of our crap. The others who drove also set up some shade and chairs for when the others arrived. After we ate a picnic lunch, I pushed Merritt and two of his cousins on the swings for a long time, then we all played in a stream in the park. It felt amazing in the hot weather, and we were glad to have accidentally brought our water shoes along. Kira let the kids get their clothes drenched, though we wished we had known to bring their suits.

After that, we all drove to Kira's other sister's house to feed our kids and get them occupied. It's a big house, with plenty to explore and do. We adults then left the kids watching a movie in the theater room, and went to get takeout and take it to a nearby park. We got caught up until dark, and then went back to wake up our kids and drive an hour back to the house at which we are staying. Of course, they'd closed off a section of the highway, so that added a detour and several minutes to our commute. We got in bed close to midnight.

We all awoke feeling pretty wiped out on Saturday. Merritt was homesick, and Carver was weak and complained of a sore throat. The day's plan was to go back to the big house and swim in their pool, though Carver and Merritt were not too excited. We drove the hour and Carver Carver immediately napped on their couch. The rest of us ate lunch and went straight for the pool. It was a lot of fun. Hakan stayed in the pool longer than the rest of us, and Carver finally felt better after the nap, so he joined in.

We also enjoyed barbecued burgers and had some good chats with everyone in between events.

During the night, Merritt was squirming around a lot, so Kira and I let him get in our bed. He woke up seeming in a bad way once the sun was out, and started to dry heave. We hoped it was just because of the stress, lack of sleep, and small dinner he ate, but he's thrown up everything we've tried this morning. He is now napping, and waking up to heave in waves that are getting further apart, at least. We are sure it will pass in a few hours.

Today was supposed to be a picnic at a park, but we are adjusting for Merritt, so that I will probably stay with him.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a get-together for Kira and one of her cousins, and we haven't decided what to do with the kids. We will then head to Idaho on Tuesday to see my dad, his wife, and his mother. Three of my kids have not met their great grandma Ricks, so that will be good to do.

Hope you are all well! Send positive vibes this way!

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