I thought family reunions were all about eating fried chicken and visiting, but Gloria had to plan a scavenger hunt, of all things. She claimed it would give the kids something to do, and said we older folk needed to participate, too, just to show we werenít a bunch of reunion poopers.
She got up in front of the group, looking like an old lady trying to look young, which was, in fact, what she was. I think that after a certain age it ought to be illegal to show any cleavage. Gloria was way past that age, but there she stood in a low-cut blouse passing out lists.
According to her, we werenít supposed to collect the scavenger hunt items, just photograph them. We would divide up into teams and have an hour to get back to the park. The team that returned first with all the items photographed would win.
The Paulson clan began teaming up in groups of four, with no thought to age. Thatís how I found myself, Liza Paulson Whitley, on a team with Gloria, and our two elderly cousins, Jesse and Pete. What was the point? It would take us an hour just to find our bifocals and read the list. I was trying to be agreeable, though, so I studied the items.
Scavenger Hunt List:
1. Blue jay
2. Stained glass window
3. Pine Tree
4. Stop sign
5. Red Ford truck
6. Screen door
7. A black dog
8. French fries
9. Picket fence with missing pickets
10. Police officer
It didnít look too intimidating. The four of us left to photograph our treasures, with Jesse designated as the photographer, because he was the only one with a digital camera.
The first stop was Burger Heaven where we found the French fries. There was a stop sign on the corner, so we got a picture of that, too. Jesse ate the fries, but not before he took the photo.
Gloria suggested driving down by the lake to photograph the pine tree. Pete was driving and headed the wrong direction, but we happened to pass a church. Jesse snapped the stained glass window. Getting back on course, we saw a black dog with a white patch on its left side. We took the picture from the right. Presto, a black dog.
When we got to the lake, we got a picture of a pine tree and a blue jay fairly easily. We even got a picture of a red Ford truck. We drove around the lake, looking at the cottages. Pete stopped the car and we got out, deciding we could do better on foot. Some of the cottages had picket fences. I had my fingers crossed, hoping we could find one with missing pickets. Jesse saw a screen door on one of the cottages, so he marched right up the walk and shot it. The rest of us stood at the end of the walk and waited on him.
We were about to leave when I noticed a loose picket in the fence. Iím not proud of myself for thinking it, but I did see that it wouldnít take much to push that picket out and take a quick photo. Weíd actually be doing the home owners a favor, because we could hammer the picket back in and make it stronger that it was before. Besides, it didnít really look like anyone was home. The owners would never know.
I pulled Jesse along with me and examined the loose picket. With one kick, it was lying on the ground. Pete went to get his hammer from the trunk while Jesse took a photo of the fence, missing picket and all. Pete had just returned with the hammer when the police officer arrived.
The officer didnít want to hear our explanation; especially not after Jesse got right in his face and snapped a close up of him. At least we got photos of everything on the list.
We lost the competition, though. By the time we had explained everything and been let out of jail, several hours had passed. Next month, weíll all be doing community service for vandalism and trespassing by picking up trash in the park. If Jesse brings his camera, Iíll kill him.
Gloria has promised at the next family reunion we wonít have a scavenger hunt. However, she has mentioned going to a water park. Evidently that low cut blouse didnít show enough cleavage to suit her.
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