Gateway: Living

Slater: Summertime is a time for gathering

Our recent family reunion was a scorcher as far as some of us native Washingtonians are concerned, but others loved it, especially those from California.

We had at least 60 this year, with the inclusion of relatives who’ve never been to one or hadn’t been for many years.

It’s fun to meet new people and make connections.

By the time this hits print, we will have had a special gathering for our family. Hubby and I celebrate our combined birthdays of 165 years. This happened because although our kids gave him a big party for his 75th, I didn’t get one, and he had more celebration for his 80th than I did at 75.

I fussed, said, “When I’m 80, I want a BIG birthday party!”

I only meant out with the immediate family to a nice restaurant. Instead, it’s a big party when all four of our kids and most of the grandkids will be here.

Another couple of reunions come up in September for the first dozen years or so of Peninsula High alums. What began as the Fabulous ‘50s grads (and attendees) expanded to the two ‘40s classes, and as older ones start dropping out, 1960 was added. This will be at the Gig Harbor Eagles’ on Saturday, Sept. 10, beginning 6 p.m. No food is served, but bar is open. A donation box will be available as a thank-you to the Eagles.

Bring your annuals, photo albums and memories to share.

Members of this group also get together every other month for lunch at the Sunset Grille in Gig Harbor, gathering at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 15. Spouses, siblings, parents, children are also welcome at both events.

Sept. 10 is a busy day on the Key Peninsula. The KP Historical Society hosts a yard sale at Shirl Olson’s in Key Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Her home is between Sunnycrest Nursery and Sound Credit Union. There’s plenty of parking and a brief walk across the street from the shopping center. Please do not use the Credit Union lot until after they close at 1 p.m.

Donations are welcome until Sept. 9. Call 253-225-3036 for more information.

The Key Peninsula Lutheran Church hosts a new event: Fall Family Fun Fest that day from 10 a.m. to noon. A day of games, food, music and silent auction for the whole family. Conchord, our women’s small choral group with the Key Singers, will perform, so I will be there. It’s another event where our KP community can gather, get better acquainted and have a good time.

It’s pickle making season here and recently, when I turned a newly canned jar over, I saw the garlic in the bottom had an area that was blue-green. I was determined to look it up but had put it off. A friend commented about her pickles turning blue-green and she was afraid it was some chemicals used on the garlic that was to blame. I checked it out, as this had never happened for either of us before. Turns out when garlic is cut or smashed, it sometimes will turn color in a pickle brine. I knew I’d cut one. Yes, they’re safe to eat, but what a strange experience to see it.

Another strange occurrence with a plant. We set our cactus plants on the deck in mostly shade in the summer. This week there’s suddenly a large bloom on the Thanksgiving cactus!

Son James’s first novel, “Claustrom,” is out! Exciting for us to have the third published author in our family. Sci-fi fans can check it out on