Jan and I both come from large families. Jan has 5 siblings; I am the youngest of 7, with 3 of us still above ground. My parents had 28 grandchildren, many of whom also have children. We are scattered “from sea to shining sea” and family gatherings are not easy to arrange.
Last month the Boeglin Clan assembled in my hometown of Ferdinand, Indiana. Ferdinand is a small town of less than 2500 population, nestled in the hills of Southern Indiana. Its skyline is dominated by a large Catholic Church and a Benedictine monastery overlooking the town, which has become known as the “castle on the hill”.
About 120 family members attended the dedication of a pergola to the memory of my parents. The pergola is on the grounds of an old Swiss villa that was once the home of the first town doctor in the mid-1800s. It has been restored by the Ferdinand Historical Society and is a gathering place for concerts, re-unions, weddings, etc. The pergola will definitely be a regular stop on our annual summer trek to Indiana.
It seems strange to me to be a part of the oldest generation in the family. As the youngest of 7, I was always a “youngster” at gatherings. Now, along with brothers Bob and Tom, we are the “last of the Mohicans” so to speak. Talking with nieces and nephews and subsequent generations at the family re-union, it reminded me just how important it is to stay connected with family, no matter how geographically scattered we are.