Nothing Better Than Being a Sommerer

As promised, here’s Whitni Sommerer’s paper that Danny mentioned last week, and that everyone wanted to read. Nice job Whitni.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a family is defined as “close relatives or a social unit.” I am part of a family filled with closeness and love. I am a Sommerer. Being a member of this family means everything to me. When we are together, good times are guaranteed, and memories are made. The miles between the families do not seem to matter once we see each other face to face. The best aspects of the Sommerer family are the reunions we have every year, the communication between us online, and the uniqueness that defines us.

Every Fourth of July weekend, my great-grandparents’ children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great great-grandchildren gather together for a fun and exciting reunion. Heit’s Point is the name of the camp where the igloo coolers stocked with food are rolled in, and the lawn chairs are set up. The location is a quiet, grand-daddy long leg infested wooden area off the Lake of the Ozarks. Roughly two hundred or more people make up this down-to-earth family, and we are continuously growing every year. No one goes hungry or thirsts here. Scrumptious potlucks, country-cooked breakfasts, and numerous snack foods fill the tables. Sweet ice tea made by my Uncle Mahlon is the hit drink of the weekend. Everyone is so full of sugar; we can’t help but have a good time. While the sun is still shining on Saturday evening, the whole gang goes out to the old ball field and plays a fiercely competitive softball game. Because there are so many people, each team has about twenty to thirty players. Midnight hits, and many people are still awake playing card games, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, singing, and drinking. Following the church service on Sunday morning, we all say our good-byes and head back home.

Following the reunion, pictures and videos of the exciting weekend are placed online. While sitting at home on the computer, the internet allows anyone to browse through our own website, Facebook profile, and YouTube videos. We are a popular family indeed! Pictures, videos, and information about my family can be found on all three pages. The mastermind of the website and Facebook profile is my computer whiz cousin, Lloyd Jr. With his talents, he even posts random videos of the family on YouTube including my Grandpa Ralph wearing a chicken hat while performing on stage. Even though our family is spread all over the United States, we are still able to stay easily connected with each other. “I miss you!” or “I’ll be home for Thanksgiving.” are the quick messages sent between my cousin, Katie, and me.

The road trips may seem long when we travel to see each other, but a simple message online fixes the anticipation of what will happen when we meet again. My immediate family is like no other family; we are unique. One reason we are unique is that we value having a family filled with many kids and grandkids. Also, large, extended families like ours are not commonly seen in the United States. Traditional “get-togethers” for the main holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are at grandma and grandpa’s house. Instead of watching up-to-date movies, the shooting of guns in an old John Wayne western movie are heard. When I think of watching a movie, I crave the salty, homemade popcorn my grandma cooks on the stove instead of popping a bag in the microwave. Keeping close ties with each family member is important when maintaining peace, and we succeed at it. Problems never occur amongst anyone. Everyone is full of love and we are thankful to have each other. A special talent lies within each member in my family. At the young age of fourteen, my cousin, Joseph, is now an Eagle Scout. Vincent plays the piano flawlessly while Aunt Melanie’s voice is breath-taking when she sings. Anna can sing Christmas songs in German, and my brothers can fix any computer or mechanical problems.

Unfortunately, a lot of my extended family lives all over the United States, and I never get to see them. We take advantage of our weekend-long, camping trips at Heit’s Point by spending quality time playing games, singing songs, and eating delicious meals. Even though we are apart, we can still instant message or email each other with our very own website or Facebook. The uniqueness that defines our family makes us special. I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. Their love and support has helped me to become the woman I am today, and I can’t thank God enough for them.

19 thoughts on “Nothing Better Than Being a Sommerer

  1. That’s right folks. I’m a master-mind now (try not to forget it when I say something that appears to lesser minds as stupid). But don’t forget my fellow masterminds: Rachel and Christina. Without them this website would never have gotten off the ground.

  2. Hmmm… Mastermind, I’m not sure I resemble that compliment. 🙂

    Nice essay, Whitni! I’m glad to be part of this amazing family and I thank God for them also. And just so you know, YOU are pretty special, too.

  3. Wow! I want to be part of THAT family….oh, wait, I am! I feel the same way you do Whitni….Just so glad that this is the family God gave me! I love every one of you…..even Pete!

    • Whitni I enjoyed reading your article. I hope you write more. How about life of a college student, or tell us about your job at Lincoln Univ. I love to hear what you are doing in the gardening Dept.Now I got to say something about family reunion. We need a Float trip and a dance and about 10 singalongs( in the daytime)when I am awake. A rummage give away sale to get rid of thing that you think that others may be able to use. We need Mahlon to teach the next generation how to do survival cooking. preparing chicken feet for eating, and while he is at it he could teach us ot make chicken noodle soup.We could all help . Then to finish it off we need Uncle Vernon to tell us a true story of coon hunting in the labrador.


  4. Love the cowboys! Reminds me of li’l Jordan and Ian at that age–right down to the “binky”!
    Say, Southwest Airlines is waiting to hear the dates of the next reunion — is it the first or second weekend of July? The 4th is on a Monday. I like the idea of a float trip, maybe after?? What would everyone say to a square dance on the Friday or Saturday night — if we could get a caller?

  5. Christina, you should love your enemies. Whitni, we love you! You are a wonderful young woman. Remember, there are only two things you are born with your name and your family; and you need to take care of both of them, which you have!!

  6. Whitni, Grandpa and I are very proud of you. That is a fine essay. Continue to be a “light” in this world of darkness for your Lord Jesus. Love always. Gramdma

  7. Miss Whitni! Wow, what a writer you are! You captured the essence of FAMILY in just a few paragraphs! Keep writing and journaling. We are thankful that you are part of this family. 🙂

  8. I am crying, that is so beautiful. I hope if you wrote that for school you received an A+++++. I remember Pete telling me the same thing he told you. There are two things you are born with your name and your family. Now Pete is generally full of shit as we all know. But honestly the older I have become the more that one liner makes sense. Hugs to ALL my wonderful family. I love you all!

  9. Heidi, You always have been a favorite Sommerer, along with your beautiful family, Linda, A Bea and Uncle Willy-Jane-Mere, Matt —-all of you. I remember going to your mom and dads wedding—it was the first time I had ever seen anyone being served drinks at a bar… When was that?

    That really was a great quote by Pete and so true. I think Pete should have been a Lutheran Preacher like his Grandpa Medler.

    I can’t wait to see all of you again.

    Whitni did get an A on the class paper. One of the comments her teacher made was “Reading this paper makes me wish I belonged to a family like that”


  10. I am not going to acknowledge that my little fat baby girl (Whitni) is a young woman as she states in her story about the Sommerer Family. I’ll tell her when she can be a young woman and she will remain my baby girl until I tell her otherwise…..

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