family reunion ~

We attended the Donner family reunion this weekend.  This would be on my husbands side of the family and it was descendents on his paternal grandparents side of the family.  It was held on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage by his cousin Bobby's cabin by Donner's Bay. 

It all started out rather quietly ... as family members were coming in ... claiming their little niches of space under the two tents for some shade and relief from the heat ... chit chatting away and starting to catch up with each other. 

Some of the younger cousins were doing their visiting on the little beach, on the edge of Bobby's yard, playing in the water and having fun swimming with the ducks.

My granddaughter, Brooke, was getting lessons from her Great Uncle Rod on how to cook turkeys and pork roast on the big charcoal cooker.

It was a nice start to a wonderful day ... or so we thought.  Then Momma Nature showed up ... it starts to rain ... and the wind is starting to blow.

Aunt Jan is not happy with Momma Nature raining on her party.

Within minutes ... the wind really picks up ... gust up to 60 miles per hour we heard ... every able man ... grab hold of the tents to keep them from flying.

There is thunder.
There is wind.
There is rain.
The family is together and we're all having a really good time!
Trying to stay dry.

and not get blown away ...

Talk about a bad hair day!! LOL

About 20 minutes later ... the weather starts to settle down; but there's still a drizzling rain.

My daughter Staci shared a story with the younger kids about something that their grandparents used to do on the flowage when they were kids.  They would have a scavenger hunt with ribbons; but they would do it in the winter months when the flowage was iced over.  They would hang hundreds of ribbons of different colors, sizes, textures, etc... out by the 'big island' of the flowage and then the people looking for them would take their snowmobiles out to find them.  It was an all day event. 

Well... since it was summer time and we didn't have any available snowmobiles or snow ... we just hid some ribbons by the trees along the driveway for the little ones to find. 
They had to pull a piece of ribbon from a bucket then head to the woods to find it's match.

Off they go on the ribbon scavenger hunt ...  a little rain didn't stop them.

Even the big kids got into it :)

There was even a visit by a clown ... who was passing out hugs and gifts.

Dear Hubby even got "leid" from the clown.  
I know ...
I'm bad :)

The weather cleared up ~ the geneology chart was spared from getting soaked.

This family has dealt with bad weather before.  
Do you recall reading in your history book from school about the story of the Donner Party? The ill-fated wagon train of travelers stranded in the Sierra Mountains and acts of cannibalism to survive? I won't go into that here; but if you aren't familiar with the story, you can Google it and you'll find out.
There were five brothers, John, Jacob, George, Philip and Frederick who immigrated from  Hamburg, Germany.  All five of them settled for awhile in Springfield, Illinois. 

Of the five brothers, four of them headed west for California.  It was on this trip that two of them passed away, John and Jacob.  George and Philip settled in Nevada.  One brother stayed behind and settled in Wisconsin.  That would be Frederick, my Dear Hubby's Great Great Great Great Grandfather.

Here's a photo of the bloodline remaining from Frederick Donner

This was the first reunion that the family has ever planned.  It was so much fun and it certainly won't be it's last. 

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. Oh --you can only imagine how much I loved this post. Since I love Family History--I am always interested in hearing about family trees... That is a great group--and it looks like you all have some great info on your ancestors...

    I love my good friend, Susan, to cancer on Thursday. It's been a hard weekend. I wrote a blog about her on Friday. Check it out when you get a minute.

    How are you feeling?

  2. I LOVE family get-togethers...big or small! You have a great one pictured here. And how interesting to read about the Donner's and their progeny. Looks like the descendants of Frederich Donner still know how to deal with the elements!

  3. oh, looks like you made the best of the bad weather! :)

  4. Looks like lots of fun in spite of the rain. It would feel good to have some here since "Don" failed us.

  5. Glad the weather didn't stay bad! One of those pictures looks like it has a flying soda can in it. I'm sure that wasn't the only thing flying!

  6. What a great time. Yep the bad ones weather wise are the ones that make the best stories. Love the game. (Okay I know it is old but not to me, there was Donner and Blitzen, they do get around)!

    Okay I know Slim said it was about time!!!!

    Hope you are doing well yourself, and didn't do any straining to hold the tents.
    Good story great pictures and wonderful ending.

    LOve it.
    Night from Sherry & Jack (down here)

  7. That is a lot of people, or I should say family.. Hope all is well with you.. It looks like a lot of fun.. Keep those pictures coming.

  8. Wow, Mel, looks like you had a great turn-out. Glad you all weathered the storm OK and played hard. Sweet game for the kiddos...leave it to StaciGirl. What a bunch~~~~GGGGGrandpa Fredrick is responsible for starting.

  9. LOL that look on Jen's face is priceless.....

  10. I tried leaving a comment earlier but was having trouble with them showing up. Anyways... great post! Glad you had such a wonderful crowd!
    'love & hugs from afar' See you this weekend:)

  11. I did see
    a show on
    PBS about the
    Donner party
    I'm glad Frederick
    stayed behind

  12. I just came back from my husband's family reunion. His father had 11 brothers and sisters. It was a huge reunion! It was great fun. We had sun, but no rain thankfully. Loved your post. Thanks for swinging by the porch.