This summer Phil's parents will celebrate 50 years of marriage. To honor them as a family (and so that they could experience where we live), all the Smith kids and many of their assorted family members gathered in Petersburg at the end of June for a very nice (though rainy) reunion.
This picture has a pretty high percentage of good smiles despite the fact that it was taken in a drenching, misty rain (note Tirsa!).
David did an excellent job taking many beautiful scenic shots. It's always fun to look at the place you live through the eyes of a visitor and to be reminded again just how special and uniquely beautiful "plain old home" really is.
The very first day everyone was here was the nicest weather (it got colder and wetter from then on) so we hopped on church friends Jeff and Alana's boat to go out sightseeing with the whole crew. It was a stunningly beautiful day and we got to follow several gillnetters around and watch the whole gillnetting process. The boat was large enough so that some (kids!) could sit inside and do puzzles and the rest could sit up on the fly bridge and inundate Jeff with questions about everything from the temperature of the water to the current price of salmon. Thanks to Jeff and Alana (a longtime commercial fishing couple), we had a wonderful day really giving the family a deeper understanding of life in a fishing town and an up close experience of the beautiful environment around Petersburg.
Another day we went to check out some sea life at low tide. Here's a picture of a starfish with a clamshell it has opened. This is something I'd only ever seen in books or nature films so it was fun to see it for REAL!
Tirsa examines some strange Alaskan wildlife.
Later we took them on a tour of our new church building. As usual, O Boy discovered a "treasure" to take back home with him.
The inside of our new church chapel area.
Another fun (though pretty chilly) activity was heading out to Blind River Rapids to throw rocks (kids), jump and splash (kids), get soaking wet (kids), and shiver (adults).
Of course the main focus of the reunion was the 50th wedding anniversary celebrated this summer by Mom and Dad Smith. One evening was set aside to formally recognize this milestone and church friends prepared a beautiful fish dinner at the church for the whole family. It was a wonderful evening of good food and good fun as we listened to both Mom and Dad Smith reflect on their 50 years together.