The Tradition Continues

2021 Springer Family Reunion in Two Harbors, Minnesota

In 1988, when I was twenty-nine years old, my parents started a family tradition still going strong today.  We just completed our twelfth Springer Family Reunion in the last thirty-three years.  We have typically held these gatherings every three years.  Only twice has our routine changed.  In 1999, we decided to have the reunion a year early to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our parents, Paul and Virginia.  Last year, we had to postpone the 2020 edition because of Covid, but we made it happen this year. In 2014 and 2017, we decided to hold back-to-back reunions in Trinidad, California, knowing that it would be hard for Mom to travel.

1988 Inaugural Springer Family Reunion at Woman Lake in Minnesota.

Our parents always taught us the importance of family, which is the overriding connection that keeps the tradition alive.  Over the years, families change because of weddings, births, and deaths.  Mom and Dad have since passed, but I’m sure that they’d be pleased to know that we’re carrying on in their absence.  One way the reunions have grown the most in the last few years is with the birth of my grandnieces and grandnephews.  Last week, there were five children anywhere from five years to six months old.  There is also another baby on the way. 

As my three brothers and I grew older, we managed to get ourselves thoroughly spread out across the country with one brother in each of the four continental time zones.  This is significant because one of the brothers typically plans the reunion somewhere near his area of the country.  From west to east, we live in California, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Jersey.  Here is the historical information about our reunions:

Springer Family Reunions

  1. 1988—Woman Lake (Minnesota)
  2. 1991—Buck’s Lake (California)
  3. 1994—Lapland Lake (New York)
  4. 1997—Breckenridge (Colorado)
  5. 1999—Arcata (California) Mom and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary
  6. 2002—Paynesville (Minnesota)
  7. 2005—Luray (Virginia)
  8. 2008—Steamboat Springs (Colorado)
  9. 2011—Lake Tahoe (California)
  10. 2014—Trinidad (California)
  11. 2017—Trinidad (California)
  12. 2021—Two Harbors (Minnesota)

This year we stayed at the Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, Minnesota.  It was a lovely spot right on Lake Superior.  As always, it wasn’t about what we did as much as it was about being together.  There were hikes, a visit to Gooseberry Falls, butterfly outings, golf, games together most evenings, and lots of good food.  Each family unit prepares dinner one night for everyone, and that’s part of the experience.

Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, Minnesota
Gooseberry Falls
Gooseberry Falls
Pete and Debbie at Gooseberry Falls
My brother, Jim, is the vice-president of the North American Butterfly Association. One day we went our in search of butterflies and captured this photo and many other shots.

My brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Nancy, started their own tradition as part of the reunions, marking each occasion with some article of clothing for everyone.  I won’t remember everything they created over the years, but I recall hats, t-shirts, regular sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, and grilling aprons. This year my nephew, Tim, and his wife, Anna, supplied everyone with hooded sweatshirts to mark the occasion.

I don’t take the luxury of coming from a good family lightly.  We had the most stable and loving upbringing.  I knew that we were fortunate, but I learned to appreciate this fact more as I got older and saw the many fractured families from which my students came.  There is no substitute for love and stability.  Children raised in a home with love and discipline are more likely to be happy and successful. 

The Springer Brothers (Jim, Pete, Bill, and Tom)

One of the many things I learned from Mom and Dad was the value of money.  They were very thrifty people who believed that there was no need to replace something if it was still usable.  I remember many old clothes remained in their closets because they always said, “You never know when something might come back in style.” At their 50th wedding anniversary party, one of the mementos on hand was the original toaster that they got as a wedding gift.  Being environmentalists, Mom and Dad encouraged us to recycle something whenever we could.  They never tossed out food unless it had spoiled. Mom and Dad taught us the value of hard work, and each one of their four boys modeled this same behavior.     

I make mention of their habits because they passed on many of their positive traits to us.  It would be easy to mistake our parents’ thriftiness as cheap, but it was the complete opposite.  Mom and Dad were generous with their money, and more importantly, with their time.  They often made substantial donations to many organizations anonymously, but they also volunteered in their church and community.  They did it for no other reason than it was the right thing to do.

One of the reasons I decided to write this post is because I have seen others who have had a falling out with other family members.  I am aware of people who have not talked with a brother or sister in decades.  In some cases, this situation persists because people can become quite stubborn.  It seems it’s more important for them to be right than to think about the long-term consequences their actions are having on those around them.  Children see these behaviors in their parents and may model them. 

I taught elementary students for thirty-one years, and I often said that adults could learn a few things from watching children interact with one another.  One beautiful quality that I admired in my 2nd and 3rd-grade students was their ability to forgive each other.  It was more important to them to have friends and to get along.  When they were upset, they wanted to make up with their friends right away.  Forgiveness is one of the most important human traits.  It is a model the rest of the adult world would do well to follow.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for teaching us that family is essential.  We will always look out for each other, and we will carry on the tradition you started for years to come.

Mom and Dad

106 thoughts on “The Tradition Continues

  1. What a beautiful tradition 😊. Your parents and family sound wonderful, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 7:54 am

      Because we live so far apart, it’s a good way to ensure that we regularly see one another. Like many others, we discovered and started utilizing monthly Zoom meetings during the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a splendid idea. And you bro loving butterflies… a man after my own heart. My father bred both butterflies and moths to improve stocks so as a kid we were surrounded by muslin cages full of whatever. I try and continue by cataloguing the moths in my garden and taking part in the Butterfly Association’s annual count. Covid permitting we will also visit the Amateur Entomological Exhibition in early September where the lepidoptera will be to the fore. If Jim is ever in the UK…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 8:05 am

      My parents were birders, so it’s no wonder that some of their love for nature rubbed off on us. Jim and his lepidopterist friends have traveled far in seek of new butterflies, so a trip to the UK would not be out of the question. One of the other things that we were looking for on our outing was tiger beetles. https://images.app.goo.gl/WAvcpR57EHC1rQVu7 We managed to find a few, and it was fun for me to see my brother excited in his element. Jim looks at my blog occasionally, and I’m going to make sure he sees your comment. Thanks for dropping by, Geoff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sure your parents are proud to be watching you continue this great tradition, Pete! Wonderful story and loved the photos. It is never too late to reconcile with a family member, and few things are more important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 8:12 am

      I think it’s great that you and your sister share such a kinship, Brad. I notice her supportive comments on your blog. People can get pretty stubborn at times, but if Covid has taught us anything, it is that life is a precious thing that should not be taken for granted. I hope others who have gotten disconnected from a sibling consider that they can put all of that in the past by apologizing and reaching out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is no time like the present to renew old bonds. Thank you Pete!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely tradition! You and your brother Tom look very much alike. Sam and I get together with our sons and their families quite often for barbeques, but not so much the extended family, who we tend to visit on separate occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 8:55 am

      Tom was the other teacher in the family, though he lasted longer (40 years) than me. People do say that about us quite often.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful tradition, Pete and such a lovely family group. You parents would be very proud of the legacy they left. Their wisdom continues to shine through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 8:58 am

      I think so, Norah. I still meet people whose lives crossed with my parents at some point. It’s comforting to know that they were so respected by others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post. Family togetherness is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 8:59 am

      A strong foundation is everything in a family. Thanks for stopping by, Pam.

      Like

  7. I was going to say that you are lucky to have such a family, but luck has nothing to do with it. It’s a culmination of many generation of well-intentioned and good-hearted people raising more of the the same. This was very heartwarming and I am sure that your parents are glowing with pride!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:02 am

      There’s truth to what you say, Margie, but luck is a factor. It used to break my heart when I taught children who I knew would do well in life if they could overcome being part of a dysfunctional family.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. this gave me chills, Pete, for so many reasons. what a wonderful tradition, and such wonderful wisdom and love that your parents passed on to all of you. great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:05 am

      It’s a pretty cool tradition that I hope our son and his cousins will carry on long after we’re gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing your family tradition with us, Pete! I got a kick out of the photos. Everyone was having such a good time! The thriftiness of your parents struck a chord; you could have been describing my parents’ thriftiness. I, too, don’t take the luxury of coming from a good family lightly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:11 am

      I’m sure that you had the same experiences I had as a teacher, Liz, seeing promising students who were trying to overcome family dysfunction. It’s an interesting case study trying to understand why some people have an amazing amount of resiliency while others can’t break the cycle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I did. I remember one kid in particular whose family dysfunction included alcoholism, and he was following in their footsteps. He was a bright, artistic kid. I don’t know whatever happened to him.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What a special post and family tradition! You have a beautiful family! I hope to do this with my family too! Your parents did an amazing job raising four young, successful men to go on to be thriving human beings!

    I believe in forgiveness. I always say you don’t have to like what someone did, but forgiveness is the only way you can fully move on from it because harboring resentment only holds you back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:15 am

      Great philosophy, BB! Being able to forgive is such an important human quality. We all make mistakes and thank goodness for second chances. It is heartbreaking when I hear of others who haven’t spoken to a sibling in years because of some falling out.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for this beautiful, heartfelt post about our reunions, Peter!
    I am very proud to be a part of this tradition and the Springer family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:19 am

      You and Tom should be so proud of your amazing children, Ann. I love seeing them with their own children, setting a great example. I’m proud to call you my sister-in-law.

      Like

  12. beautiful post, Pete. Such a wonderful tradition that your family has. It seems as if you and your brothers are passing down the same values that your parents taught each of you. Here’s to many more happy reunions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:22 am

      The next generation of Springers is pretty great. I suspect that they will carry the mantle into the future. I love seeing my nephews and nieces in parenting roles raising great children who will be a positive force in society.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. how nice to see the circle of life continuing on…

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great post with a real heart warming story, Pete . Yes, your parents would be pleased, and very proud!
    Kent

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:23 am

      Thanks, Kent. I often wonder if my parents knew that this would become a permanent thing when we held our first reunion.

      Like

  14. What a heartfelt post, Pete. Your family bonds are special. Your Mum and Dad would be so proud of you all. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:25 am

      I think so, Jane. I was fortunate enough to live close by my parents for my entire life. I still run into people who knew my parents and have the kindest things to say about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so lovely, Pete. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful tradition. Obviously something that your family enjoys and looks forward to. Families can be complicated at times. It is nice to see one that knows how to get along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:26 am

      Yes, many families are not so lucky. Complicated is the right word for many family situations. I don’t take it for granted at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This is a great post, Pete. It is super that you have these wonderful family reunions. My family all live relatively close to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:29 am

      One of my future goals is to take a cross-country trip (3,000 miles) and visit each brother for a few days along the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. A beautiful post, Pete, and that is a tradition which carries real meaning. Your parents have created a kind, loving family in their own image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 9:34 am

      It’s hard to come up with many positives during a pandemic, but I think one is that it reinforces the idea of how important our family and friends are to us. I think the hardest part of all this for me was not seeing those close to me for such an extended period. My brothers and I started our own tradition with monthly Zoom meetings, which I hope to carry on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right! The Zoom meetings sound like a worthy addition to your family traditions. Funnily enough, I had been thinking about family today, and have been reworking a couple of older posts on the theme into a new one. Coming soon…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 1:56 pm

        I’ll look forward to that. Your posts are always insightful and informative.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you, kind of you to say that. It should go up tomorrow if I can finish the fine tuning.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Aww, Pete. What a lovely post. That last photo is just amazing. My family is tiny, but we get together regularly. It’s important to me, and I moved across country to have more regular contact with everyone as well as to have a role in my grandson’s life. I’m so glad that you and your siblings have carried on the tradition of reunions. They’re the source of wonderful memories. ❤ And it looks like those sweatshirts came in handy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:03 pm

      It was a wonderful week and such a great feeling to be able to gather again. I think we’re probably settled here as our son’s job will likely take him many places. We’re kind of soft because we don’t like it too hot or cold, and the climate is perfect where we live. Even though I know we’d make new friends, I’d sure miss the old ones.

      We are that family that doesn’t mind all looking dorky by wearing the same clothing. One good thing about aging is we tend to worry less about what other people think of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a bunch of those dorky photos too, Pete. Everyone in the same T-shirt mostly. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 4:22 pm

        We’re professional dorks.😊

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Love this Pete! How lucky you are to be part of such a close knit family. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tradition!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:06 pm

      Yes, I don’t take my family for granted. I know that many others are not so lucky. I’m sure we had our share of brotherly battles when we were young, but my brothers are all solid men who I know I can count on.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a terrific record of reunions!
    And that pic of mom and dad… How special!
    I think every three years is a wonderful goal. It feels selfish to say, but with so many trips on a bucket list, an annual reunion can become a burden. (And three years seem to go by in a hurry anyway)
    Glad you enjoyed your Minnesota get away!🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:10 pm

      I don’t look at it that way, probably because we rarely see each other in the interim because we live so far apart. The other thing is three years in our lives is not that significant, but it is huge from the kids’ perspective. I don’t want to miss them growing up. If I recall, you’re from Minnesota. My brother and his wife live in the small community of Litchfield, MN, about an hour and a half west of the Twin Cities.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Pete, of course… Living far apart does make a difference. I am very fortunate in the fact that the couple of family members I am close with live nearby and we see each other whenever we want to. Sorry to be insensitive to your very different situation. (Especially with how fast kids grow and change!)
        That’s right. White Bear, MN 😊 (just north of the cities) The winters are too long for my taste, but it is a beautiful state. The lakes and forrests have so much to offer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 12:52 pm

        You weren’t being insensitive. As you said, your situation is much different. I’m familiar with the climate as I lived nine years in the Dakotas growing up.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yes… You are quite familiar!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:12 pm

      Not sure where we’re heading next. It could be back to Minnesota as many of the young parents live around there, or we might make it out to your neck of the woods on the east coast.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have a great trip! So much to see and do and being able to get together with family and friends again is a breath of fresh air itself. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Great post, Pete. Thanks. You are right about being fortunate having your family. Love the shot of your mom and dad in the rear seat of a 1949 Ford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:13 pm

      Isn’t that a classic photo? Good call on the vehicle! It’s one of my favorites of them. Do you live close to any of your children, John?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just the yongest daughter. She lives in Austin about 24 miles from us. We see her everyweek. The others live in the mid-west. Wish they were closer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 4:13 pm

        I know the feeling. Montana and California are too far apart.

        Like

  22. BTW: Gooseberry Falls is very pretty. My wife and I have a thing for falls.
    The nearest thing to a family reunion on my paternal side is trips to cemeteries for grandparents of my father’s siblings plus some holiday get togethers for that generation. I now have no living parents, aunts or uncles and only a very few cousins (most of whom are much older than me) so unlikely to be any more. Did go to a couple of my father-in-law’s family reunions 20 some years ago–700 people! Yes, an extended, multi-generational reunion. On the other hand, if I ever find time to do more genealogy, it’s possible I might hook up with some like-minded but unknown people for a meeting of relatives who are strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 2:18 pm

      One of my sisters-in-law is quite interested in genealogy. 700 people—whoa! Now, that’s quite a gathering. A few years back, somebody contacted me from out of the blue (no one I knew) who started a Springer Facebook group. Everyone in the group shares the same last name. It was a short-lived experiment.

      Like

      1. I can imagine the quick end. With the perils of identity theft genealogy research result sharing must be done carefully. Like starting with who you know, going back in time, sideways and then forward to find some folks one has never met but really are relatives. Arduous, time consuming work.

        Like

  23. What an amazing tradition you all have, your family sounds lovely Pete. Nasreen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 4:15 pm

      Thanks so much for recognizing that fact, Nasreen. I think I’ll keep them instead of trading them in. 🤣 We are a pretty tight-knit group. Do you have siblings?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes 3 sisters and 2 brothers very tight-knit too. A positive impact during this COVID pandemic. Stay safe and we’ll!!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful tradition! Our family continues to loosely discuss a reunion…but there always seems to be a reason to delay. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 4:21 pm

      We typically try to get accommodations that are near each other. That is nice to easily gather while also having our own space for some downtime when we need it. The parents of young children are on duty almost all the time, so it’s nice if they can get some relief.

      I’d encourage you to go for it. If meeting every three years is too expensive or unrealistic, look for alternatives. Make some great memories!

      Like

  25. An absolute delight – especially since you guys **don’t** take it all for granted.
    Amazing family, you Springers are!
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 5:22 pm

      It’s been a great ride so far. Let’s see what the next chapter holds. Thanks for your comment, Laura.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. That is a good looking family, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2021 — 7:12 pm

      I don’t know about good-looking, but we’ve got intelligence and character on our side.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. This is a wonderful post, Pete! Your family tradition is precious. We don’t see too many of it these days. You must be proud of your parents, and they, you. So good to see your happy family with lonely photos.

    Like

  28. Like you, our parents always taught us the importance of family, the overriding connection that keeps the tradition alive. In my youth, the Metzlers got together every summer at Lititz Springs Park in PA. With our parents gone and our brother too, we sisters get together in the fall, the last time in northern Pennsylvania when the leaves were pretty. This year also we had a meet-up in April after more than two years apart.

    Yes, there is no sense in holding onto grudges. Sometimes we have to “clear the air” so we can move ahead. The funny thing about families not speaking is that often they can’t remember what the beef was about–so silly, and so sad.

    I hope our family of ten can gather for a group photo later on this year. By the way, among your brothers, you look the most fit. Yay!

    Lovely post, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 8:47 am

      Families should most definitely work past that stuff, as we need to remember that family should trump all. It takes the next generation to keep reunions going. That’s why I was so grateful that my niece and nephews were and their spouses could attend.

      I sure hope that your family gets to gather this year, Marian. I got a sense from reading your memoir of how strong your family bond is.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Lovely photos and a lovely post about family and tradition Pete. You have referenced these reunions in the past, it’s fun to see one in “real-time.” It’s also fun to see the number of people in the 1988 photo and then the 2021 photo. Clearly, the Springer reunion tradition is stronger than ever and is a real testament to your parents belief in keeping those family bonds…no matter where you live. Some families may have “skipped” the reunion cycle this round because of Covid, but your family made it happen. And that says everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 8:51 am

      We’ve talked a lot about the importance of our families on each other’s blogs, Melanie. I’m sure, given what you’ve gone through with your health challenges, you savor every precious moment with yours. You are looking so healthy, and it makes me happy to hear that you’re feeling well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I’m in the middle of making travel plans to see my son in September and I can’t wait!!! It’s been since early March 2020. And thank you for your kind comment about my health. I am definitely enjoying jumping into life again and being strong enough to do fun things. I feel very, very fortunate about that.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 2:47 pm

        I’m so glad that we have connected in blogging over our experiences with our moms. I literally am wiping away a few tears just reading that you get to see your son soon and feel stronger. I’m sure your husband and family have given you plenty of support, but I’m also convinced you are getting better because of your heart and desire to get back to living again. So happy for you, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, thank you Pete! 😭😊 You are a good friend. Since we have shared so much about our moms, I wanted to add this. My mother is STRONG. And she 100% passed that strength to me. (I had never really looked at it that way before.) So yes, with that important strength and my family (and heart too!) I’m living my life again. Thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Terrific photos – thanks for taking us along!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 12:54 pm

      You’re the one with the terrific photos. I love some of the places you’ve taken us. I also have some interest in ghost towns.

      Like

  31. Oh, this is really awesome, Pete! I love how you managed to get a great photo of everyone. Family values are evident throughout your blog. It is wonderful how you found a spot right on Lake Superior. The diverse ages and generations make it extra fun and of course, setting a wonderful example for the children. I wholeheartedly agree how there is no substitute for love and stability. 💕

    You make a great point about thriftiness and generosity. Your words about forgiveness share your wisdom. I enjoy seeing all of the photos. I especially like the Just Married one! Thank you for a feel-good post along with many gems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 12:57 pm

      The little ones you see in the first reunion are now today’s parents. I think it’s wonderful that they’re now sharing this experience with their own children. That “Just Married” photo has always been one of my favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Those wonderful smiles say it all. It’s easy to see the love you all share. Wonderful, heartwarming post, Pete.
    I love the photo of your parents at the bottom ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2021 — 12:59 pm

      Something to look forward to every few years and witness how much the little ones have changed. One thing I didn’t comment on was how busy the airports were compared to a month ago when we first traveled.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. What a lovely tradition, Pete and your parents would so happy to know that you are keeping it going…so many lovely memories and images a great post of happy family time 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 18, 2021 — 9:34 pm

      Great family times, Carol. I enjoy seeing you spending time with your granddaughter. I’m looking forward to those days too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Pete I know you will love it those times are so special and different from your own children in a way I cannot explain maybe I have more time and have learnt what children really like to do if that makes sense…:) x

        Liked by 1 person

  34. petespringerauthor June 20, 2021 — 10:52 pm

    Thank you, Phylis.

    Like

  35. What a fantastic tradition, Pete – and I love the sweatshirts! That should be compulsory for every family. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 21, 2021 — 8:28 am

      It is a great way to remember each specific reunion. The memories of each reunion start to run into one another. This is one way to help keep them straight.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tradition. Family is so important, and those who don’t have a close family lack an important lesson. What I think people who are not close to their families don’t understand (and you write about some of this in your paragraphs about forgiveness) is that no family is “perfect” or “easy” or without drama or challenges. Yet, to keep a family bonded and bound, we accept each other’s foibles and love each other despite/because of them. Just lovely, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 21, 2021 — 8:33 am

      Every family has its challenges to overcome, whether it be divorce, death, addictions, health issues, etc. We need to lean on family when these things occur.

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      1. For sure!!! LOVED your photos and your sentiment here, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. What a lovely family tradition Pete! Thanks for sharing it with us!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 22, 2021 — 12:34 pm

      My pleasure, Janie. I’m sure you have some of your own traditions with your kids. I hope you enjoyed your alone time on Father’s Day.

      Like

  38. Another great post with great life lessons Pete. It’s wonderful that your family all put the effort in to make these reunions keep happening. I know they are work to even schedule. My husband’s family did (does) a family picnic every year, except these past two, and they rent out a legion with a huge park behind to let the games begin, then the potluck picnic with food everyone brings. The good old days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 23, 2021 — 7:36 pm

      I’m a big traditionalist, Debby. The advantage of having four of us is the organizing only comes around about once every twelve years. I hope your husband’s family continues with their tradition and you remain a part of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Pete. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  39. This is wonderful! Your family tradition is a role model for all families. It doesn’t have to be a big shebang, it’s making the effort to all be together that matters. The values definitely transcend to children. They see, and they begin to have the same values. What a shame that stubbornness can get in the way of being together. You said it well, that children can easily forgive and move on. We can definitely learn a lot from children. Thank you for sharing your family reunion, Pete. I love the photos!! I hope you printed out a copy of this post to send to your brothers and your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 6, 2021 — 12:19 pm

      My parents have since passed, but I have a feeling they were there in spirit. My brothers are supportive of whatever I’m doing with my writing, and they follow my blog.

      I love many things about children, but I think perhaps my favorite qualities are their willingness to forgive and not be judgmental of others. They just want to have friends. Isn’t that such a sweet thing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was looking for your parents in the photo and should have realized they had passed. Oh, how proud they must be to see all of you gathered together! I think the phrase ‘forgive and forget’ must have come from children. It really is what they do best.

        Liked by 1 person

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