August 1 - 3 2008 in Borden, Saskatchewan was the fourth Reunion of the grandchildren of Katharina and Jacob Rempel. Katharina's mother was Elizabeth Niebuhr of the Aron line. In 1999 in Hepburn, Saskatchewan, in 2002 in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, in 2005 in Victoria, British Columbia and this year in Borden, the grandchildren gathered, and until this year, one of our elders as well. Those of our elders still in this world are no longer able to attend, consequently the oldest of the cousins who attended, my sister Mary Crane, reluctantly accepted the mantle of "Elder."
You know you're old when you are the oldest person at a family reunion.
And I'm only fourteen months younger than Mary.
I have written in a general way about family reunions in an earlier blog. A month since I returned from the latest one, I find myself "written out." I have written a couple of hundred emails and 43 letters in the last month, and the well seems to be running dry. Perhaps time will offer perspective, and more words...and perhaps not. Suffice it to say for now that it was - as always - a great experience.
The Borden Reunion was fun - more fun for me than the recent reunions have been because my responsibilities for ensuring everyone else had fun this time were minimal, unlike most of the earlier reunions. As always, the best part of it was the visiting - getting reacquainted with seldom-seen cousins, meeting their younger generations, collecting family history from the people who have married into the Rempel-Thiessen lines. In addition there were many activities and presentations and events which placed all of us into different configurations conversationally, and this offered new perspectives on old ideas.
Our Mennonite ancestors pioneered in the Borden area, as did my Quaker forebears, and our roots there are deep.
We are hoping that the 2011 reunion will be in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and if it is we will have yet another mix of the descendants of Jacob and Katharina.