I love this picture from the reunion. It might be my favorite. To someone who doesn’t know our family it looks like nothing but a picture of a group of 60-70 something adults. But for those of us who know these people, there are some things that might make us look a second time. 

 The fifth from the right is my Dad.  He is surrounded by his wife, sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, and their spouses. Oh, and his sister-in-law. This picture started as one of those spur of the moment, grab a group of chatting people, make them line up, and take their picture photo-ops.  I think we started with five or six. Then we started noticing more from their generation in the room and called them over. There are several pictures in the series and each has one or two more people. My dad’s brother, Jim had already left to go to the fair so he is missing, but his wife is there.

My favorite part is that they are mixed up. With the exception of two couples they aren’t standing with their spouses. I love photos that give different groupings. I like the unexpected twist. Here we have a group of people who have grown up together, their spouses have been part of the family for ten to 56 years, and they are family. They have differences of opinion, differences of belief, differences of interests, but they are family.

Another thing I like about this picture is the fact that none of these people have been divorced. A couple are on their second marriages, but that is due to the death of a spouse. These folks are in it for the long haul. They had a good example in my grandparents and their parents, all who stayed married until death parted them. In this day where families are so transient, ours stands out. I can truly say I have been surrounded by great examples.

At a store in Broken Bow I saw a plaque. It read. . .  “a good marriage is a union of two great forgivers.” I’m thankful for this generation and their determination to stick it out and make their love grow instead of letting it die. I love you all! I understand why you aren’t quite ready to be called “the older generation” but I’m thankful for the wisdom and strength you bring and I really think you are up for the challenge. Your parents were proud of you and we are so grateful.

We’ve wrapped up another reunion. It was the usual mayhem. 3-6 year old’s discovering each other and forming best buddy relationships. Older children reveling in seeing their cousins from previous years. The teens congregating around table games, and the adults, well we cooked, ate, talked, laughed, and remembered. It was wonderful to see everyone who was able to come and we missed those who couldn’t. There was, however a huge hole in the reunion, a gap. It was the generation gap. We all felt it, the missing link. Our parents were feeling a little buffeted by the realization that they are the “older generation” and all of us were waiting for the main event – when Grandma came which of course, never happened.

But, life goes on and  the other side of the coin was the stepping up of the next generation. Several of the  great-grandchildren are adults with families of their own. Some of them were there and I thoroughly enjoyed and was impressed by their participation. A family can only continue something like this great thing we’ve had going for the past 20 years if each generation coming up has interest in continuing the process. I was so excited to really see that happening.

The goodby’s seemed a little more abrupt but we did see a few cousins, siblings, and parents today. All in all, it was an awesome reunion and I can’t wait for the next one. An added perk is that I found all five books I had left at a local drug store had sold, and I sold ten books to another store in town today! Yipee!

Tomorrow I have to do the tough part, leave Nebraska. Maybe this time I’ll sing the state song as I exit the state.