Tuesday, July 22, 2008

30 Year Family Reunion

Last Saturday was a very special day. Our family celebrated the 30th anniversary of the “Kruis Invitational” best ball tournament. Now it wasn’t special because of my love of golfing. Oh, not by any means. Those of you that know me, know that the only time I golf is this weekend in July. But, it is “family” that makes this so special.

Each year one of my aunts & uncles from the area organizes the golfing. Those golfing register one month ahead and from there the foursomes are set up. There will be one good golfer, an average golfer and usually 2 people like me – non golfers in each group. We never golf with our parent or spouse. We get to spend 2 + hours with members of our family that we usually don’t get to see much. One very important rule is that each group has to take a tee shot from everyone – even the non-golfer. That way it isn’t just the good golfer carrying the group.

I don’t know if you know what a “best ball” tournament is. It means that each person hits their ball and they then decide which of the balls is in the best location. I then go pick up my ball :) and we go on to the farthest one.
Near the end of the course I still hadn’t hit any tee shot worthy of taking. The pressure was on. So my cousin, Mike, loaned me his big, new, Callaway driver. I couldn’t miss with that big head! I actually had a very good hit. You know the sound of a good hit that you hear on TV or when you’re with a good golfer? Yup, that was mine!! We were all so excited. To be honest I did have a few other shots that we took, just not tee shots.

After the golfing we all headed to River Park for the reunion. My Mom organized this part. For the first time ever we had all family members join us. Usually just those 16 & over went to where we ate and had prizes. But this year everyone was invited and we had quite a range of ages, from my Mom’s oldest brother, Hermie – 88, from California to the 2 infants born in June. Name tags were very helpful.

The meal was catered by a local restaurant and afterwards prizes were handed out.
Each of my aunt’s & uncle’s families were asked to stand so that we could see who people belonged to. There were about 110 people at the park and with my quick calculation there were maybe another 50 who could not make it.

Greetings were read from family members who were not able to be there and my nephew, Daniel who is in Iraq, sent greetings through his wife, Donna, who came from NY. My brother, Terry, was “Big Bob” sharing his knowledge of the connection between golfing and birds and giving us each some great laughs.

Cousin, Maggie, led us in a time of remembering those who were no longer with us. They were those who prayed for us, taught us & loved us. There were those whose lives were much shorter than we had wanted.
We love them, we miss them.

Family reunions are a time of honoring our families, to recognize who & where we came from, to get to know our extended family better. It was a time of thanking God for His blessings- for my Grandparents, Henry and Anna, and their love for God and family. I remember Grandpa always ended his journal entries with “All is well”. Years ago I wrote out his diary and learned more of the battles in his life. It was God who he turned to, God who helped him to see that “all is well” even when things were hard.

I am rich – blessed because of my family.

There are many people to thank for making this big event happen:

Mom, Betty and family, Irene and family, Maggie and family, Terry (Big Bob)

God for bringing sunshine out of a rainy forecast.

For His watchful eye through Tiffany and Olivia that kept a young boy's slip into the river from turning tragic.

God is Good!

Oh, yah. In case you were wondering.

Yup, that's me!

1 comment:

Nichole said...

Hello, my name is Nichole Bishop. I am the daughter of Steven Bishop and the granddaughter of Irene Schmitt. I was unable to attend the Kruis Open and enjoyed reading what you had to say about the big event and loved looking at the pics. Thanks. Even though I was unable to be there, by reading and looking at the pics, it kind of made me feel that I was there. Hope you have a good week.