This last two weeks we have had three family reunions, all in Salt Lake or Utah Valley. The Linton Family Reunion was the second one held. The last one took place five years ago. Over 200 people came to the two day affair. The second reunion was the Wessman family with about 80 people present. The last was my own family with 42 family members present for a week of dinners capped by a campout over three days. The reunion with the most logistics and planning was the Linton Reunion. Relatives came from as far away as China. I wrote about this reunion in my last post. For those of you who do not know, Utah Valley lies to the south of the Salt Lake Valley. There are a number of small towns including Orem and Provo, Provo being the home of Brigham Young University.
The second reunion was more informal. The Wessman family got together at one of the houses and had an extended pot luck dinner on one night. The Reunion was in Salt Lake City and many of the attendees had made extensive travel arrangements, coming from Wyoming, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas as well as Utah. Fortunately, all of the main (read parents with children) family members had land lines, cell phones and/or E-mail. Coordination of the food and arrangements were done in advance electronically. During the dinner we set up a computer with our genealogy program running and each of the families came by and we updated the information on each family.
Our immediate family is spread all over the U.S. As they were able to do so, my children and grandchildren also attended the other two reunions. Some of those furthest away flew but some drove long distances to attend the week long activities. Food was a most pressing topic, but all of the arrangements were done in advance using telephone or E-mail. In keeping with the informality of our family, we decided some of the activities at the time they occurred. The biggest part of the reunion was the camping experience held at a Utah Valley campground. Some of our immediate family members had not seen each other for five years.
Reunions are valuable ways to reconnect with family members. Many of the babies born in our immediate family had never been seen by some of the family members. Many of the children could not remember their cousins from previous years. It was important to see the changes in the families and to connect the grandchildren with the grandparents.