Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Family Reunions

I remember my mom and my dad separately talking about attending family reunions in their youth. This was before they married- Millcreek Park, Youngstown Ohio was mentioned by my mom but that is it.
I wish I had the foresight to ask each of them about these reunions but my dad has passed on and my mom's memory doesn't remember much anymore...... my loss, my children and my grand children's loss.....

Why is it we seem to think about these questions after the fact when it is too late to ask? This past
year I have really been concentrating on finding living descendants. Maybe some of them might have participated or have some of the stories that their parents or grandparents passed down to them........  I can only hope.

Anyway this year my oldest son Michael has decided he wants to start new family memories and activities. He planned out the FIRST "ABERLE" FAMILY REUNION.......  My last name is BENWARD but my two boys last name is ABERLE, sons of my first husband. I was reluctant at first but then got into the spirit of it. Lots of plans were made, lots of activities and lots of down time planned. Invitations went out, RSVP's came back. AND we were a go........ Four families responded that they would be attending. We talked about what we wanted to do, eat, other activities, who would be coming and when and more. Each of us had a task or two - so we all had a hand in making this a successful reunion.New memories were made this year and I hope that we continue to gather each year.New memories were made this year and I hope that we continue to gather together each year.


Reservations were made at Jenkinson Lake (aka Sly Park Lake). It is located in Pollack Pines, California in the Sly Park Recreation Area. The Resort offers camping with full hookups. It is a beautiful place to bring families and young children.  Michael reserved two camping sites for July 6 Saturday - Tuesday July 10.

                                   This is our first family reunion picture. Isn't this a beautiful place!

l-r ..... Chuck Benward, Sandra (Gardner-Aberle) Benward, Lisa Cole and Michael Aberle, Jason & Krisi Aberle, Leslie and Travis Aberle with Sasha  (Peanuts ran out of picture)
front row l-r.....  Ashlyn Aberle, Aden Aberle and Josh Nickell (Krisi's son)

       Our camp site looked like tent city - large, medium and small tents, lots of coolers and chairs set out
                                                         Jason Aberle trying to stay cool
                                                Leslie Aberle and Ashlyn Aberle playing cards
                        Aden Aberle, Josh Nickell, & Ashlyn Aberle - A little down time with puzzles and coloring

                                      Granddaughter: Ashlyn Aberle with her original tye dye shirt
                                  Grandson: Aden Aberle showing off his original tye dye shirt

Both sites were flat, and plenty of space. Trees for shade, large circular pit for those hot dogs and smore's, a BBQ grill for all other foods. Three Aberle families were camping out overnight (Benward family came in for day to day use- we don't camp anymore unless in a camper or hotel) . The area was great for bike riding so all three grandchildren brought their bikes. Also we brought all types of water equipment. One of the activities was tye dying t-shirts. They did that in the early morning hours before I arrived. They were hanging from the trees in zip lock bags and were taken home in the bags. They had fun. Another activity was a scavenger hunt.......... a child with an adult of their choice - three teams in all. Great time.

                                           Travis Aberle and Josh Nickell throwing the ball
                                 Michael Aberle getting that fire going for the SMORES ....... yummy!!
Grandpa Chuck helping grandson Aden Aberle with a USA puzzle. Ashlyn Aberle and Josh Nickells coloring
                              Travis and Leslie Aberle's dog  Sasha. She is so friendly and loves playing
                          Travis and Leslie Aberle's dog Peanuts. He is so cute & very friendly. Loves the outdoors
Everyone down to the lake and into the water. New blow-up boat for Michael's birthday. Everyone tried it out. They all loved it. Everyone in the water..........

I forgot that the boys took their children out fishing - no luck but they loved it.

New memories were made this year 
I hope that we continue to gather together each year

We are already planning 2015 Aberle Family Reunion.............  
................bigger, better but just plain fun & relaxing 

(I would like to rent a motor home for next year and stay over the weekend....... don't want to miss a minute with my grandchildren)

NOTE: need to document this a little better with more details.
Want to search for newspapers in Youngstown, OH for any news of the family reunions my mom was talking about.
Do a little more research to locate living descendants of the Gardner Family, Little Family, Branfield Family, Bristol Family?  OK this is going to take some time to do this. I am aware of living descendants in the Little Family in another branch but I have not asked them about my mom's branch, they may know. Duh!!
Have not done much research on the Aberle side either, so looks like that is on the schedule too.

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