Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Big Family Dinner
My mother and most of her siblings attended a Nyberg family reunion last weekend in Missouri. Since my aunt was flying in from Washington, D.C., she came back to Mom's for a few days. At some point last week, they decided to stop in Rockford and pick up my grandma and her husband, Roy and bring them to Mom's for a few days.
Which led to a flurry of e-mails to cousins and family living within a two-hour-drive radius. "Please come to Mom's for a potluck Monday night to see Grandma and Roy and Aunt Bev. Bring a dish."
(My cousin, Lindsay, ever the over-achiever, brought two fantastically delicious salads.)
Uncle Dave and Aunt Lyn (who couldn't attend the reunion) drove down from Sheboygan just for dinner. They brought Joel with them - freshly home from a tour in Iraq. We were all glad to see him - especially Grandma and Roy.
Tim and Lindsay and Kelsey and Ryan came from the far corner of Lake County. Uncle Neil and Aunt Rebecca decided to take a short detour and stay for dinner too.
We were missing many - Matthew, Pam Gideon & Charis (in Boston); Erik & Meghan (in Sheboygan); Daniel (in Door County); Natalie (at a summer class in Chicago); Andrew (in Battle Creek); Troy, Molly, Elijah, Priscilla, Ben, & Mary (in Chesterton); Carrie (in Chicago).
When I look at the list, it looks like more people missed than made it to dinner.
But what fun we had - laughing, telling stories, taking pictures.
I told Uncle Neil retirement becomes him. He told more jokes last night than I think I've heard in my entire life combined. Then, he washed the dishes. The first time I've ever seen him do that, so of course I had to commemorate the moment.
Over the weekend, my sister recounted a conversation she had about her family. "How do I describe my family? Well, it's so functional, it's dysfunctional."
True. We know, and love, so many of our extended family (my parent's cousins, aunts and uncles) I remember spending an entire hour with a second-cousin trying to put together all the family connections.
(Just don't tell Cousin Dean, who happened to be preaching during that particular hour.)