Family Reunion 2018
Every year on the last weekend in July my family gets together for our family reunion. This is a special thing in our family, as we have been doing this for 49 years! Five generations ago, my great-great-great-great grandparents settled in the Tillamook forest area. They were the second family to have a homestead there! The land has been handed off between the state and the family, even serving as a fire camp during the Tillamook Forest Fires. Now it houses Reeher’s Homestead, which holds several family cabins, a playground, a rec center, and more. We have our own personal stretch of river and there is even a waterfall and shooting range! There is no cell service and limited internet, which makes it a great place to get away from the world. It is my favorite place on Earth and I look forward to being there every time. We are blessed enough to live fairly close, so we try to get down a couple times a year outside of reunion weekend.
The original grandparents had 12 children- obviously that means we have a really big family! Often our reunions average over 100 people, with a lot more scattered across the globe. This year there was an official count of 184! Though I know my “clan” (the people from the same original child as me), I go every year not knowing the majority. Over the years I have learned a lot of names and faces and am really starting to put them together. For reunion day, we start out with doing various activities- some help set up and there are hikes and history walks. The potluck lunch always starts at 1 pm and ends with an activity for the kids- usually BJ the clown! The afternoon is spent usually in the river or playing games. This year they brought back an old tradition of doing a parade before the evening activity- a hot dog and s’mores roast! The theme for the parade was red, white, and blue. The kids really enjoyed it!
During reunion weekend, my close family (mom, dad, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles) have a tradition of going to the beach on one of the days as well! Our favorite place to go is Cape Lookout State Park. This year we went on the Friday before reunion day. Every year we arrive and it is cold and usually cloudy. This year, with the heat streak we have been having, it warmed up fairly fast- even enough so for the kids to get into the water, which, of course, they were thrilled about.
Reunion weekend is a date I hold close to my heart and love to be a part of. Our family is incredibly blessed by the forethought that our ancestors gave toward us. It is really cool to know so much history and be a part of such a close family. I am grateful for them all!