Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Richer Than a Rockefeller (Relatively Speaking)

Michael and Alma (Lauver) Wert offspring, from left to right: Alma Jean (my good wife), Lloyd, Ruth Ann, Freda, Harold, Orpha, Gladys, and Alene

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”   - Jane Howard, “Families”

I feel especially blessed having been with some great kinfolk over this past weekend.

On Saturday we gathered with all seven of my wife’s siblings at Landis Homes north of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to spend some time with her oldest brother Harold, age 87. I’ve always felt fortunate being a part of this tight-knit family, who are truly some of the best in-laws a person could have.

From there we headed west for a reunion of some of my Nisly cousins held on the campus of Rosedale Bible College north of Columbus, Ohio, beginning Sunday evening and continuing through yesterday morning. What a trip, in many more ways than one, meeting with fun-loving and warm-hearted offspring of Eli and Fannie (Troyer) Nisly, my mother’s parents.

There is a grand total of 70 in this generation of relatives, but of course a number of these cousins are no longer living. Nevertheless, there were folks present from as far away as Florida in one direction and from the Nisly ancestral home community of Hutchinson, Kansas, in the other.

A core group of eleven of us cousins made this happen this year, all members of a “circle letter” that has made its rounds for 58 years now. For those of you who don’t know, a circle letter is one that when the letters arrive, you remove your last post, add a new one, and send them all to the next of the eleven. We who are members of this pre-facebook circle are around the same age, are from seven states, and represent nine of the Nisly familes. 

All of the original members of this circle letter group are still living, and this is the fourth official reunion we’ve enjoyed together.

If wealth can be measured in terms of the love and support you feel from your family and extended family, I feel rich indeed.

Thanks to brother-in-law Lloyd Wert for the above photo.
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