The great triennial gathering of the clan is in full force. As frequent readers know with a family that is domiciled around the globe, getting everyone together is a challenge both logistically and economically. Add to that the needs for married children to spending time with all their relatives and we feel very fortunate that we've been able to get everyone together just about every three years. With the #2 sub-clan heading out to Hong Kong in January for two and half years, it will definitely be at least 3 years before this gathering can happen again.
Of course no matter how much the love we have for one another, getting this many people together with all their individual preferences and styles of living is going to have stresses associated with it. In some ways it has been good that it didn't happen all at once. We had #3 and family in from Amsterdam last Wednesday. They have the biggest time zone difference/jet lag to deal with. Then on Saturday Honorable Pu #2 and sub-clan arrived. This is actually their way station between moving from the DC area on to Hong Kong. So they arrived with massive bags in tow and the stress of being in transition. Finally #1 and family arrived last night.
With each addition you have to figure out a new pattern of room use, eating, bathing, sleeping, etc. We can't fit everyone in the Tower anymore with the comfort We'd like them to have, so we rented a house nearby. Wife and I kept the four five older kids from sub-clans 1 and 2 with us. That would be grandchildren 1.1 (9 yrs old),2.1 (15 yrs old), 2.2 (9 yrs old), 2.3 (7 yrs old), and 1.2 (5 yrs old). The teenager is self-sufficient. The two 9 year old girls were with us during the summer and are best buds. So one question mark was how the 7 and 5 year old boys would hit it off. Answer - famously. That's great for both of them. We're still working on getting 3.1 whose 3 and a half integrated so she doesn't feel left out.
Sleep has been in very short supply. the #3 sub-clan is staying here. 3.2 doesn't sleep through the night yet and our house is not that well sound proofed so it effects the older, less flexible in their sleep patterns types (that would be Wife and I). Then when the #2's arrived, 3.4 was sick so he was crying most of the night. The result has been a light of bleary eyes and people a bit more cranky than we would prefer to be. In spite of that, everyone is managing pretty good.
As Logistical Officer of the Eldership, the mass influx of people has really taxed my ability to purchase enough good for everyone. It can be breath taking after one has been an empty nester as long as we have to see the amounts of food that are consumed in just a day or two.
We are all ready to head into the big Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events and everyone seems ready for it to be a very good time.