Monday, June 25, 2007

Family Reunion 101

In California and Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri... somewhere in the "middle of America", the Rohrbach family gathered for their semi-regular family reunion this past weekend. Family in from all over the country including Florida, Minnesota, and the DC-area, came back to where it all started... for a weekend of memory-making and remembrances.

And what did I come away with? A renewed appreciation for family gatherings, in some form or fashion... and I certainly learned how the pros do it.

I also learned a lot about the Midwest and really liked it! We flew into St. Louis and drove just over 2 hours towards the middle of Missouri and the Lake of the Ozarks. Throughout the drive, we were very intrigued by numerous "lettered" signs - such that I started recording them in an attempt to figure out what they stood for; it turns out they were just very small local roads (such a disappointment) but they kept me amused (and awake!) for the drive!

Our first order of business, however, was up in California, about 30 minutes north of the lake. Talk about small-town USA!

We spent the afternoon strolling down memory lane and learning about all of the different relatives who once lived or now live in many of these homes. I was only sad that they weren't able to come out and give us a live history lesson!

Did someone say history lesson? The matriarchs of the family had something in store later in the weekend after much pool time, fun on the go-kart paths, and a dive-in movie or two. The grandmothers dressed up like American Indians and Mennonites to tell the family history dating back way past the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Everyone had a good laugh and learned something, too!!

Sunday morning, though, the fun was over and everyone packed up promising to do this again sooner than later. It's such a rare occasion when you can bring together so many people with nothing but reminiscing on the agenda!

We had some time to kill as we headed back "east" to St. Louis so a quick tour of the city was in order. Chris has a now famous picture of him and some friends beneath the Arch that we vowed to replicate but it wasn't meant to be as the skies opened up during our first lap of Busch Stadium, with a Cardinals' game in progress.

Every moment of the weekend was a wonderful new memory. Thank God for family and the occasion to celebrate them!!

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