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.