|Official MakiPalooza 2014 tee shirt|
"Because we don't look nearly as crazy next to our relatives"
This reunion wasn’t the first. While my hubby’s grandfather Emil Maki (1885-1978) was alive there were annual family gatherings over Memorial Day weekend that coincided with his birthday. Emil’s five children and their families would gather round for an afternoon of fun, games and of course great food.
|Gen X in training for their turn at hosting a family reunion|
Occasionally there would be another family get-together during the summer at Emil’s youngest daughter’s cottage on Seneca Lake. Besides the usual laughter, chatter and picnic, family members had a chance to enjoy the lake.
Alas, those gatherings became less after Emil passed and as his children aged and then faded away.
|One of the last Maki family gathering with Emil's children|
Mecklenburg, New York
A few years ago the baby boom generation hosted a gathering at the Baptist Church hall in Newfield, NY. Although great to see everyone, the gathering didn’t have the same ambiance as in the past when kids could run in the yard, and we would feast on Uncle George’s barbeque chicken.
Many years has passed until this summer when the Gen X family members took charge and hosted a hugely successful reunion week on the shores of Lake Champlain. The setting was spectacular, the food delicious, and games of CornHole keep everyone laughing as beanbags flew through the air to yells of success and groans of defeat. From 4:00 to 8:00 we were serenaded by the lovely voice of American Idol Season 9 contestant Ben Bright. He sang happy birthday to several of us … including moi.
Our immediate family has grown and with marriages and partnerships we had at least eleven surnames representing nationalities including Finland, Ireland, England, Poland, and the Virgin Islands. It was rewarding to see millenials who met for the first time and immediately became best friends.
Another MakiPalooza reunion is scheduled for 2016, and I know everyone is excited to get together again.