Wednesday, October 24, 2007


According to Jeff Foxworthy, "You might be a redneck if you go to a family reunion to get a date."
We went to a family reunion Saturday. I was looking around, and realized that for my grandchildren (ages seven, three and three months), they could at some point go to the family reunions and look for a date because the lines of being related are really stretched. Their generation would be something like fourth or fifth cousins in some cases! I guess that would certainly make them rednecks!

We now have the fourth generations coming to this reunion. This is my father-in-law’s family, and the reunions began about 35 years ago. There were originally ten children in that family. It was five boys followed by five girls. There are only two of the boys left now, the oldest is about 91, and there are four girls left. The youngest is in her 70's. The first reunions were predominantly first and second generations (if we begin only with those 10 children).

When the reunion began, their children (us, in other words) were either newly married or not married. Many of them were still in school. Now we all have children, grandchildren, and one who married at 16 (!!) has great-grandchildren. Those children are fourth cousins. And there is a bunch of them!
It is interesting watching the family grow. With that growth, I find myself wondering if our children and those of their generation will want to continue this tradition. Back 30 years ago, I would have never dreamed that I would look forward to these gatherings. I thought when the previous generation was not able to organize them anymore, they would cease.

My generation has slipped into the organization role. Of the ten children, only five procreated. And of that only four had more than one child who is interested in this type of thing. The fifth family remained rather aloof, so their little chick didn’t interact with the cousins at all. These four families have picked up the gauntlet, and for the last 10 years, we have taken care of planning the reunions. I wonder what will happen with our kids (the "grandchildren" in this cast of characters) are of age to step up.

Lady Bug was busily playing with her distant cousins before lunch. She was having a great time. At lunch she rejoined us and her parents. She exclaimed "I’m related to all these people!" She was so amazed at that prospect. Her horizons suddenly broadened. Perhaps there is hope for this little family reunion!

This year she has been to the German hill country family reunion occurring in July. It never struck her that she was related to all those people also. Perhaps that is partially because there simply weren’t as many younger kids there.

I have become fascinated with researching our families. I have most branches of my family traced back many, many generations. It is a subject that has me addicted!

I hope Lady Bug really begins to appreciate family ties!

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