August 2nd, 2004


Family Strangers

This weekend was spent at my family's Reunion. Which was not, as one might thing, a getting together of people who know each other but have fallen out of touch, but was principally of people who didn't really know each other at all. 150 years ago, my great^4-grandmother came with her three sons from Germany to Iowa, and the sons set forth to marry and have lots of kids. (The one I'm descended from had eleven children, though only eight survived to adulthood). Descendants with an interest in geneaology (such as my mother) have been climbing up the tree and have mapped out a whole lot of descendents, and organized a reunion of whoever wanted to come out to Iowa (which included me and harrock, who got lots of husband points for coming along.

I learned more about combines than I ever knew (which is not saying much), and tromped around a lot of cemeteries, and heard amusing stories about 120-year-old divorce feuds, and met a lot of relatives I had never heard of. Some of them were pretty cool, and some were very different than anyone I currently know (like the farmer, who was fascinating in the same way kirisutogomen is, when talking with great authority about things I have no clue about), and some were just like anybody else. Except that instead of strangers, they were family.

Genealogy may never be my thing, but I'm always struck by the whole "family is where they have to take you in" when it applies to people who have never met me. And damn, but the corn is good in Iowa.
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