Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ketelsen Reunion 2008

Today Melinda and I made the 3 hour trip to DeWitt, IA in central Clinton County. It is sort of "ground zero" of the Selma and Thomas Ketelsen clan, which my dad Alva was born into. Thomas and Selma had 14 kids over a 25 year period, 11 of which lived to adulthood. As long as I can remember we've had an annual get-together, but while the family has grown, they have also dispersed over the country, so while there are 6 generations and hundreds of offspring, there were only about 65 total attending today. Most if not all of Selma's 12 kids had representatives, my siblings having nearly the best attendance with 4 of 6 there. Mostly it was a chance to see and catch up with relatives you only see once a year or a lot less, depending on how often you show up! It was also another chance to sample some of the best home cooking you can run across - and why there aren't many skinny Ketelsens!

The pics are of sibs, nieces and nephews. First are Jeff and Sandy Kreinbring, still newlyweds after 3 and a half years. They are fierce Cubs fans (who clinched the NL Central yesterday!), so we talked a lot about that. They couldn't stay long because they had a volleyball tournament tonight, but it was great to see them - we only saw Jeff and Sandy once this summer, at our wedding in June.

Next up is niece Sarah and her mom Kathy. We see sister Kathy pretty frequently, but Sarah, a schoolteacher in North Liberty is a busy girl and it was only the second time to see her this summer too. You can see some of the beautiful grounds where the reunion was held in the background - Grace Lutheran Church Camp near DeWitt.

One of the highlights of this meeting was the family tree that Carole Eberhart had put together. I think everyone who saw it learned something new about the family. Complete with dates of birth, death, marriages, and descendant children, it is an imposing work, with something like over 500 names in the work. I, for one, didn't know my paternal grandfather was born in Germany (he died in the 30's). Anyhow, in this photo, sisters Linda and Kathy pour over the listings.

Finally, my great niece Alivia was a ball of fire, one of the highlights was when she grabbed a pair of the brownies I had brought and was playing with them like blocks... They were edible, really! Here she is showing off her new pierced earrings. Reports are that she stuck out her bottom lip, but didn't cry during the piercings.

Interestingly, there were 2 relatives missing because they travelled to the Cubs game today in Chicago, but they (a cousin and step-sister) didn't know the other was going!

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