Two months ago, my dad forwarded me an email about a family reunion on my paternal grandmother’s side. My dad learned of the reunion after he had been in touch with a distant cousin, who lives in Washington, after matching on Ancestry.com. My paternal grandma died when I was 8, and I really didn’t know much of her side, aside from her one sister and a few of her sister’s kids and grandkids. So when my dad told me he wanted to go to the reunion, which was an hour away from my house, I decided it was a must. The flier listed four names with the color to wear to represent which family you descended from:
“PETER wear RED
JOHN wear BLUE
MATHIAS wear WHITE
BERNARD wear YELLOW”
My dad told me we were yellow. He said Bernard was my grandmother’s grandfather. So the Friday before the reunion, I went shopping for yellow clothes for my family. Saturday morning, we all dressed in our yellow, and trekked down Interstate 94 for Clearwater, MN. We met my dad, my step-mom, paternal uncle and aunt, at the reunion; they drove in from North Dakota. When we showed up, I was quick to notice how most people were wearing white, to represent Mathias. Within 5 minutes of being at the reunion, a woman approached me and asked if I would be interested in planning the next reunion. Mind you, I had no idea aside, from my close family members, who any of these people were. The reunion was a potluck with so much food. People had brought in old photos, that decorated a table. Stacks of binders with family information lined another table, which were made by my great-grandfather’s first cousin. My great-grandfather’s first cousin was still alive, and he was at the reunion. Apparently, his dad didn’t have him until his dad was 60.
They, also, had sign-up sheets to place your contact info. You were to put your name under the family member you descended from. My dad went to put his name on the contact sheet, while I took my kids to the park outside of the pavilion we were in. About 10 minutes later, my dad comes outside and tells me, “we are in the wrong color; we were supposed to wear white.” I responded, “What do you mean we are in the wrong color?” Apparently, my dad got the generation of the reunion wrong. Although, my dad did have a great-grandfather named Bernard, we were at a family reunion for my dad’s great-great grandfather, Mathias. I just laughed and laughed. I don’t think my dad thought this was as funny as I did because he immediately wanted to know if he had a white shirt in the car. I told him he had to wear yellow like the rest of us. We stayed at the reunion for a few more hours and parted our ways in the mid-afternoon.
Later in the evening, I decided I needed to share with my sisters and my paternal cousins the funny mix up with the color yellow. I was visiting my best friend, so I wasn’t paying too close of attention to my phone This was the following conversation:
Me: “Funny story. So I go to this family reunion on the Ritter side. My dad told me that we needed to wear yellow for Grandma Agnes’ dad’s side. Went to the reunion….we were suppose to wear white. Apparently it was a reunion for offspring of our great-great grandfather and my dad go the color wrong and the person we were representing wrong. Omg. But we did meet a 1st cousin of grandma Agnes. Miss you all. XOXO”
I received a response,
“Oh my. Look like a bunch of minions! Hilarious.”
Without looking who sent the text, I thought based on the text itself, my little sister had written it.
My cousin responded, “Hahha damn had no idea anyone was going but parents”
Then, I looked closer at my phone when I got the following text:
“You know, I’m pretty sure I’m in this group chat by accident, but I’m happy to be apart of the family”
This is when I realized I had not entered my little sister’s phone number, which I know by heart, into the text.
Me: “Hahahahah. Omg. Totally typed my sisters number wrong and you answered. Even better.”
Me: “But to everyone else… no one knew about the reunion. It was a last minute thing and ancestry match to my dad.”
“You guys look wonderful. Minus the guy in a boot. What happened man?”
Me: “Poor guy broke his foot. He didn’t know he broke his foot after a surgery that made his foot go dead. Thank you for entertaining me tonight. So funny.”
“Hey just for the laughs. Hope the foot gets better. And nice yellow shirts. I hope I get an invite to the next reunion.”
There was a series of a few more texts, then this afternoon I get a text, “Im Easton by the way, never introduced myself.”