This past weekend my dad and I attended the Strohschein Family Reunion in Hillman, Michigan. The last time I went to one I was still in grade school with nerdy glasses and an unhealthy obsession for Disney movies – now nearly two decades, a bachelors degree, husband and a couple kids later, I returned…older and soon to be a bit wiser.
Reunions are funny in that your related in some way to everybody there, but (depending on the family) they may be near strangers to you. I could’ve passed two-thirds of my relatives on the street and never known we were from the same family tree. My dad however was better able to recognize his cousins and catch up with the aunts and uncles while I had a good time getting to know everyone and listening to the stories about my dad when he was a kid.
The food was incredible to say the least, comfort food at it’s finest with fresh summer produce and a whole table devoted to homemade desserts! I didn’t just have seconds I proudly had thirds and for a while, conveniently parked myself next to a tray of cookies. As the afternoon passed everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves when I looked around I noticed something……people drinking and smoking…….DRINKING AND SMOKING?! Don’t they know we don’t do that we’re Strohscheins!
Or do we?
Unbeknownst to me it is just our particular branch of the tree that is baptist. I had NO clue. Apparently my Grandpa Leo was raised on a farm in Northern Michigan, part of a hearty clan who would hunt and farm, drink and play cards with the best of ‘em. It wasn’t until he met my Grandma Sara that he was reformed so to speak. There were even a few snapshots of my Great Grandpa and his buddies;
Here I thought I was from a straight-laced line of city-slickers only to find out Jamie and I may have more in common than I originally thought. Perhaps our story is a bit less Green Acres and a little more ‘ET phone home’!