There were a lot of people missing from this reunion who I would have loved to have been there, but we still had a blast. I always forget I have so many cousins. I’m surrounded by nieces and nephews due to my many siblings, so cousins get lost. But I have many cousins and they are all awesome and so much fun.
My Uncle Gene (who is probably one of my favorite people on the planet) took myself, my sister Missy, my brother Scotty, and my niece Kimi on a history trip around Sauk Centre, MN, which is where this side of my family settled. It was wonderful to hear how my family came to be and see the sites and really feel like a part of history.
My mother died when I was 6 years old so a lot of this feels lost to me. It’s always so wonderful to reconnect with this side of the family and get a feel for her through them.
He took us to the house my mother grew up in.
He took us to the graves of my great, great, great grandparents, Ole and Beret Johnson (not sure I got the amount of greats right). I learned how he came to America, that my families original name in Norway was Christensen, and that he fought in the civil war and was one of the few to make it back.
Great Great (great?) grandfather.
He showed us the route my mother took to school and the church she went to. He told us about her first marriage and how that all shook out (not well).
It was just a wonderful trip.
We then went back to his house and regrouped with the rest of the family and spent the rest of the evening drinking and chatting and laughing and catching up. It was midnight by the time we left.
I have real issues feeling connected to people and this trip really made me feel connected. Family is good.