Following two family reunions, back to back, one a small event with seven people, the second a huge event with 95 people, I found myself reflecting on family.
Our road trip started out three weeks ago with a visit to our son and daughter-in-law in Big Pine, California. They will soon be adding another member to the family. Then on to Salt Lake City where we participated in a shower to honor our daughter and her husband, expecting their first baby. Two grandchildren to be joining the family in the next two months. Then on to Rancho Jacoma near Santa Fe where we joined my brothers for a reunion with spouses and a great aunt. We spent five days, eating together, hiking, and reminiscing about family. We stayed in the Butterfly House, with four bedrooms, enough to accommodate our group. My brother Arlen proved his culinary skills, creating gourmet meals for dinner. Our first evening together he cooked salmon which was exquisite. What was missing from our gathering was the younger generation, nieces and nephews. We’ll just have to hope we can get them all together at a future event.
Family at Butterfly House. Rancho Jacona
Then on to Phoenix where we joined the Sundt Family reunion. With 95 people the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass resort was an appropriate venue. Dinner was catered at the nearby Rawhide facility. Duke Sundt, the family story teller took to the stage to tell stories and to serenade us.
The next day following breakfast, my wife Joann presented a tribute to her mother who was part of the Sundt clan and who had passed away recently. Joann also took on the job of maintaining the scrap book for her tribe. No small task. The scrap book is huge, and this is only one of the scrap books representing one of the 12 tribes of Sundts.
Duke Sundt entertaining. The Sundt Family Reunion 2018
The Sundt Family Reunion 2018
Joann paying tribute to her mother. The Sundt Family Reunion 2018
Joann with the Bertie Tribe Scrapbook. The Sundt Family Reunion 2018
My experience of the Sundts is big hats, big belt buckles and big hearts. I always feel like I belong when we gather.
Family at Kurt and Beth’s place on Whidbey Island. Treve, Kurt, Beth, Arlen, Ann, Merrick, Toland, Serena, Aaron (kneeling), Sue, Joann, and dogs, Oscar and Winston.
Serena making Pizza
Arlen enjoying a pedal power kayak on Holmes Harbor
Moss at Putney Woods County Park
Pedal power kayaking with Arlen in the red boat.
The road through the woods
Kurt showing off some young oysters.
Ann serves up some fresh vegatable soup with ingredients from the garden.
The woods at Kurt and Beth’s place
With a father that’s now 95, I think my two brothers and our families are realizing that we need something more than visiting dad to keep us together. We recently got together on Whidbey Island where my brother Kurt and his wife Beth have a house. A perfect setting for a reunion, with 28 acres to play in, including beach, woods, meadow, and hiking trails within a short distance. With a bountiful garden fresh seafood we had a lovely time. Dining on fresh crab caught in the harbor, oysters from Kurt’s oyster garden. We managed to get most of the kids, and Aunt Sue in on the festivities as well. Each of the brothers, Arlen and Kurt and myself each have two kids and we managed to get all of them to join us, with the exception of two, my daughter and our foster sister Laurie, both of whom were not able to get time off of work. I think we tend to be an independent clan, we have varied interest, and it seems we’d rather go our own ways most of the time, so getting the group of us together is a challenge, and I think the two years we spend in dialog and planning paid off. If you want to see a few more photos from our get-together click here.