Nine times out of ten when I tell someone I’m going to my family reunion (which happens every four years) they want to commiserate about how they have to go to their family reunion at some park in some po-dunk Texas town every summer. Everyone argues, no one has fun, and most people go out of a sense of obligation to Aunt Betty Mae, or some such thing. My family reunions are NOTHING like that.
Each reunion more or less has one family branch who is the host and does the majority of organizing. They pick a location by visiting various options and choosing the one that best fits our needs (there are usually 150 of us and we like to do stuff and eat together). They coordinate what events will be options, plan family meals and provide information and hospitality during the actual reunion.
This year was about 45 years since the first reunion, which was held near Banff in Canada. We don’t go to shabby locations for our reunions, which also makes them very special. We’ve been to Jackson Hole, WY; Estes Park, CO; Deadwood, SD; Bend, OR and other equally lovely locations.
The weather for the reunion this year was FABULOUS! It has been unseasonably warm in the Seattle area, but to a Texan unseasonably warm in Washington is always going to be nicer than seasonably warm in North Texas. We did all sorts of fun things together including picnics, tubing down the Yakima River, family history sessions with some of the genealogy experts in the family, a friendly game of family feud, and many wonderful meals shared.
This reunion celebrates my Mom’s side of the family and she has 50 first cousins so you can imagine why there are so many people at our reunions! The reunion this year had quite a few less people than normal, but it made it a lot easier to actually get to spend time talking to people. You see, my family is FULL of fascinating people. From a cousin who pretty much saved a Frank Lloyd Wright home from being demolished, to multiple auctioneers, to urban design architects, to owners of a kids’ theater on the beach in California, to teachers, to pot farmers, to ranchers. There are city dwellers, world travelers, and rural Americans. You can talk about politics, religion, education and people are respectful and genuinely interested in the viewpoints of other people. If you want your faith restored in humanity, then you should marry into my family and go to one of our reunions!
I’m grateful and blessed that I know SO many of my extended family members and through social media and reunions I get to keep up with most of them. We often joke that we could drive from California to Maine and never have to stay in a hotel once!
Cheers to another amazing Schnell Reunion!