This is significant in my family, as odd years are Reunion years. My first conundrum is that Reunions can conflict with attending the Oregon Gathering. In 2007 the scheduling of each event was such that I could not attend both, and had to choose between them. I decided that Blood is thicker than Resin, skipped the Oregon Gathering, and went to the Reunion, that year held in Ardmore, Oklahoma
. One feature of my family’s Reunions is that now these events are moving targets, depending upon which family member acts as host.
These reunions remind me of how, when I was a child, our extended family used to spend our summer vacations at Grandma and Grandpa’s 160-acre farm, whose cash crops were peanuts and watermelon. Grandma also raised chickens and sold
eggs. In 1961 the state dammed Sugar Creek to build an irrigation reservoir on the eastern boundary of the property, stocking it with fish. Grandpa built and maintained a private road across his fields and charged $1 per carload to use the road, so area residents could swim and fish in the lake and hunt in the woods. My best friend in 3rd grade had a Grandpa who owned a Cabin Cruiser. But MY Grandpa “Owned” a whole Lake!
It is because of my family Reunions that I own a Fiberglass Travel Trailer in the first place. “The Family” consists of the descendants of John and Ina Belle Teeman, of Lookeba, Oklahoma
. After my maternal Grandpa John’s funeral in 1984, it was stated: “Let’s not wait for another funeral to get everybody together again.”
It took a while to get the plan going, but in July of 1987 the 1st biannual family reunion was held.
After a circuit of staging these reunions in overcrowded family member’s homes, we decided to rent the group camp at Roman Nose State Park
every other year. It’s proximity to the family farm made an ideal location while Grandma was alive. But the group Camp’s accommodations, while affordable, were less than luxurious. For the last 2 reunions held at Roman Nose, Robert and I pitched a tent, while my older brother retreated with his family to the Resort Hotel. I plotted to buy a Travel Trailer.
After Grandma died, and the farm was sold
, the venue began to rotate amongst younger generation hosts. The Family decided to upgrade the accommodations to “Vacation Condos” to make older participants more comfortable. To keep costs down, rooms would be shared by up to 4 persons. I bought the Compact Jr. as an excuse for Robert and I to have an affordable private room nearby to the main venue.
The 1st reunion with the Compact Jr. was at The Lake Of The Ozarks, in Missouri. Two years later the reunion was held in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After that I discovered Fiberglass RV. In 2005, we were encouraged by new friends on this website to attend The Oregon Gathering. But the Family Reunion was scheduled for the preceding weekend at Oneida Lake, New York! What would I do? I wanted to go to both!
I decided to reach for the brass ring, and my “Long, Long Trailer Trip” of 2005 was born. We would leave San Diego, CA and go to Oneida Lake, NY spending 3 days there. Then we would leave Oneida Lake, NY and go to Bandon, OR for 2 days. Finally we would return to San Diego, a mere 16 days after our departure from the starting gate!
I “Blogged” about the trip then here on this website. (That thread was lost when this website was hacked later that year.) People jumped in with suggestions on what online mapping services to use, and what were good places to stay along our route. A couple of people invited Robert and I to stop and visit on our way through. We bought our first digital camera, and I had my first laptop, and I thought I’d update the “blog” along the way.
And we were off! And things went wrong right away! But we muddled through and I updated the blog every few days, and we met wonderful people. We even had a “Fred and Robert sighting report” when someone on the way to the Oregon Gathering saw us going in the wrong direction. I had great stories to tell of our disasters along the way when we finally got to the Oregon Gathering.