Family Gatherings

Every three years, for the past thirty years we’ve gathered. It started with my parent’s generation, young families meeting at my great-aunt and uncle’s cabin in the Colorado Collegiate Rockies. Over the years, families grew and the decision to meet at the YMCA camp became tradition for years.

Now, we meet all over the country. At the end of each reunion, a new committee is selected to find a location, plan meals and activities, and coordinate communication. Frank and I helped plan the last one, at Zion National Park in Utah. Being on the committee gave me a new respect and understanding for the commitment my parents and their siblings and cousins had to keeping family together. (It is a lot of work planning a retreat for 70 opinionated people!)

Dancing with cousins at evening worship
Dancing with cousins at evening worship

I wonder if, when they started meeting all those years ago, they imagined it’d still be going strong thirty years later. If they saw their own grandkids running and playing together. If they realized that their kids would keep planning and looking forward to these gatherings.

Not everyone has come to every reunion. (Though I do have one cousin who has never missed!) I took a break in college and in my twenties. But, after Frank and I got married and as we started talking about traditions we wanted to instill in our children, reunions became a priority. Our last gathering was Bea’s first. It was worth the time, effort, and expense to see her interact with her second cousins once removed, to see them play as though they saw each other daily, and to see a new generation make similar memories to those I had growing up.

Does your family gather regularly? What do reunions look like for you?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.

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5 thoughts on “Family Gatherings

  1. Annie, I love that your family is intentional about gathering every three years. It weaves the threads of hearts together, entwining them closer when you do that. My side of the family gets together to celebrate birthdays and holidays (we don’t live too far apart). My husband’s side of the family is spread out. His parents live in Hawaii (I know, bummer), so we get over there every couple years and all meet together. It’s been good. Especially with the cousins getting older. Two are now in college, and I cherish the times I can spend with my nieces and nephews.

    1. Hawaii definitely isn’t such a bad place to gather. 😉 I love seeing how our relationships have grown over the years. One of our closest friends is my second cousin and his wife. Never would have guessed that growing up!

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