This weekend, I went to my family reunion. On my dad's side. They hadn't had one in a couple years, and then decided to start up with the tradition again. To a distant cousin on facebook, I had once said that if they had it, I would go. So, when it finally did roll around, I had no choice.
It was held in Superior, Nebraska. Don't bother looking it up unless you want to be bored to death. It took us a little over 4 hours to get there, driving through the boring Kansas plains and passing numerous swaths of farmland. We drove through many small towns, and came to the conclusion that all small towns have a Pizza Hut. They also have shitty wi-fi. By the time we got to Superior, none of us had a signal, so we couldn't call anyone to let them know we made it safely. A zombie attack could have occurred and no one would be the wiser.
So, family members show up, some of whom I haven't seen since my father died. My Aunt Mary was still aloof, her kids (now grown up) are still snobby, which is funny because they have no reason to be that way. My Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary (who have been married longer than I have been alive) still don't like each other. Why they are still married, I don't know.
My cousin Rachel lamented that she is not liking on her husband, so that marriage might be in trouble. She may want to divorce him.
My Aunt Lois stated that her husband is a colossal prick. She wants to divorce him.
Aunt Mary and Uncle Dennis hate each other. They really should get a divorce.
Notice a trend?
On the other hand, my cousin Chip is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, and she was pretty cool. They have a son who is severely autistic, and I was amazed at the patience they both show towards him.
Standard family reunion fare as far as food goes. Someone brought moldy buns, and someone else just happened to have more in their car. Surprisingly, no one brought any Pizza Hut.
The distant cousin who organized the event brought with her a family history book, and I learned that I had family members that were here pre-Revolution. No mention was made if they took part in that. However, some family moved from Virginia to Tennessee, and fought for the Union army during the Civil War. The family members that stayed behind in Virginia fought for the Confederate army.
I'm sure that made for awkward Thanksgiving gatherings.
The Civil War information is interesting, so I plan on researching it further because there was a metric shit ton of family members who fought in the war on both sides. We also have our own cemetery, also in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure I won't have a cell phone signal there either, but it would be interesting to go there and check out the dates on the stones. The family history book has pictures of the stones, but the book was made with a typewriter and a really crappy camera.
It's kinda nice to know that my family has a history. It's kind of exciting to find out what that history is. Up until now, I've only known Dad's side of the family to be a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics. I also got an idea to start writing brief blurbs about current family members, and encouraging others to contribute.
The reunion only lasted as long as it took for people to eat until they popped. We, having come the farthest, hung around and visited with some other people. Redneck Brother and Aunt Lois getting into a water fight as some point. Honestly, we spent more time in the car than we did at the reunion.
It was decided that next year, it would be held a little closer to everyone. As all the old people who had once wanted it to be held in Superior had since passed away, there was no reason to gather there anymore. My only criteria for a new location would be a decent signal to make outgoing calls and update my facebook status. Maybe even live tweet the whole reunion, which would still be pretty boring.
Overall, it was nice to be around family...even if they are strange.