Family Reunion 2015

Summer is a time for picnics and family reunions. On a recent mid-July Saturday, our family gathered at the home of our daughter in southeast Iowa for day 1 of our weekend reunion. It is a big family. Mom and Dad, no longer with us, raised nine children. They took us to reunions when we were kids. We felt their influence this time. Here is the family portrait, over 80 of us, except for one or two taking pictures who are not quite considered ‘family’ yet.


Preparations were monumental. There was plenty of delicious food brought by many. Two men worked furiously in heat and smoke to grill the burgers, hot dogs, and brats. Kids of all ages were running around having a great time playing. The weather was sunny and bright after an early threat of rain that did not materialize.

Some came from the midwest, while others traveled from Maine, South Carolina, Washington, Arizona, and Louisiana. A good time was had by all.

The location for day 2 of our reunion was about an hour farther southeast in western Illinois. My brother lives in a small town with a park across the street from his house. He reserved the pavilion for us. Early that morning a very slow moving rainstorm dumped over 3″ of rain on the town in about an hour and flooded the park and street. Fortunately, the firehouse next door was available. Two trucks were moved out and parked in the driveway. We set up our reunion party in the firehouse. Food was in the back room. Tables and seating were in the truck bays.

The weather cleared out. The rain stopped. Water drained away. Kids headed for the park to play. We posed for group pictures of families in front of the big red fire truck. There were almost as many in attendance as the day before.

Earlier Sunday morning, mass was said at the small country church where my folks attended all their lives. It was founded by great-grandparents on my mother’s side. After mass, a graveside blessing was offered for those who could attend. Mom and Dad would have loved this weekend party.


14 thoughts on “Family Reunion 2015

  1. Mrs. P

    What a wonderful event, even exciting with the rain. I really liked your church services honoring family.

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      Thank you. Last time we had a big reunion was in the summer of 2012. The location was on the gulf coast. Then we had over 60 attend. I wonder what is next.

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      I wonder if it is due to the agricultural economy with big families for labor, people of similar backgrounds, and how farmers cooperate to get certain harvests done quickly.

      1. jimfetig

        Good theory. It’s definitely cultural. Sadly, for my family, none of the core group of cousins, who would be expected to carry on the tradition, lives in Iowa anymore. We’re scattered from Massachusetts to Oklahoma and points beyond.

        1. Jim in IA Post author

          We had 5 sons in my family of 9 kids. The husband of my oldest sister farmed with Dad for several decades. I think part of our lack of motivation toward farming was that Dad didn’t actually own any of our land. It was seen as too hard of a life for the meager financial gain of the renter. We all have fond memories of the place of growing up. Just none for the demands and risks needed for the reward.

  2. Quilt Musings

    That is quite a big family! My dad was an only child, and my mom’s family was on the other side of the country. Now my son has grown up an only child on the other side of the world from his cousins, and it has been years since we have been able to get my siblings and their kids together. I bet my son would love to have a family reunion like yours!

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      It is a good thing to have family with which to grow and share common parts of life. We talk about and re-live so much when we gather. It is almost always a good time.

      We aren’t immune from dischord. Some of us are more opinionated and willing to express our views. Because of the large number, there are some representing both sides of many issues. Familiarity can lead to some heated exchanges. One has to be careful to not let that be a wedge. Those differences should not drive people apart. We should work to resolve them and reach better understandings.

      I hope you and your family can get together some time soon. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Debra

    That is just beautiful! How wonderful it must be to get your family together like that! I did not know you were related to Superman 😉 How cool is that?


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