There should be a boot-camp for surviving the rigors of a family reunion! This traditional way of reconstituting a far flung clan, carries all the challenges of surviving gorilla warfare.
Consider the following scenarios:
You have invited a four member family to reside at your pin-neat home for a period of one week. This grouping includes father/brother, mother, twenty year old son and 12 year old daughter.
This isn't too imposing a number as guests go, but remember, one is an eating machine on legs. His body appears to metabolize food at the same rate as a racing Porsche engine does gas!
So, there is the food issue to prepare for prior to the event in question.
This entails stocking up on every snack known to civilized man, shoving as many varieties of meats and frozen items into the limited freezer space and baking until you're five pounds over weight.
This doesn't reflect the refrigerator that is in danger of blowing the door off from the burden of fresh produce, cheeses, milk...you get the picture.
Now that all is in readiness, the mischievous universe sends a dark cloud over your happy domicile and Zap...a house fire with extensive smoke damage!
Oh really? It all needs to be tossed into your dumpster...?
You have already promised your car to this brother for his use during the week's visit. No way! Need it to cover the fact that no one is at home and the house is now ripe for the plucking. Said brother has a sweet and forgiving temperament and stays with another sibling whose husband rents a house for the group.
The house is not palatial, but suffices in size as it's only for a short time before all move into larger and more comfortable digs.
Only a few odd occurrences to distress them all, now six in number; no air conditioning in a mid-west heat wave; no hot water as the heater went out; only one bed and a sleeping cot available to six bodies...it just hurts to go on...
If only there was some kind of special forces training for anyone contemplating or planning a family reunion! When all hell breaks lose and plans are ripped asunder, some marvelous mechanism would snap into gear preserving your sanity and family ties.
Because let's face it...changing plans at the last nano second can cause loving family members to act like Lizzy Borden sans hatchet, but no less unfriendly.
My advise, which I never take, is not to subject yourself to these times of chaos and mayhem. After all...isn't that the real reason we have email and FaceBook???