Looking forward to a week in California with my daughter and her family in June when I also will be going to the Schoettler family reunion. Our son Jimmy is also flying out for the gathering - in fact he booked onto my plane. 

In Madera at Tom and Ila Schoettler's home there will be a cacophony of sounds as there always is with lots of kids of all ages, loud conversations, and hugs - many hugs. And, just like at all family gatherings - there will be stories. Stories to catch up with what has happened during the past year for most  - - - longer than that for us. This is not my first trip to visit the family since Jim died but it will be the first time I have made it to the reunion.

When assembled this is a large bunch even though there are many missing now. I guess that evidence of the ebb and flow of life is also a familiar reality when families gather.

Jim always loved it when we made it out for the annual gathering.  Jim was the second of six, four brothers and two sisters. Jim's baby sister stands for his sibship now. Everyone realizes how lucky we are in having a special and well loved matriarch - who married Jim's uncle in the 1940s. She spans about 6 generations. I am counting on a visit with her with my sister-in-law who organizes things.and brings it all together at her home. The family is blessed o have her strong glue for keeping everyone together.

Most everyone was there for this shot in the 1980s - when the family gathered for Loretta Schoettler's 80th birthday. Those little ones are grown up now and today their children will be the little ones seated in front making --- even with the attritions it still a house-busting group - 

Hope you have reunion gatherings with family or friends in your plans this year. 

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