Monday, June 29, 2009

Sister Reunion 2009

Sister Reunion 2009

This year my two sisters and I were able to travel and meet in Fargo, North Dakota (the home of out late father) for our yearly reunion. We often crossed the Red River into Moorhead, Minnesota and back again, as we visited family members and places important to our father. He was born on the family farm in 1916. The farm is near the former small town of Durbin and the Maple River. He was the first child of Selma Lebus Powers and Ralph Powers. After his brother was born, his mother died of influenza. His father later married her sister, Marie. Together they had six more children, making my father the oldest of eight children. So of course, we went to visit the family farm.

About all that is left of the town of Durbin.
The Maple River near the farm.
Approaching the farm, photo from car.
the farm house
the barn
Sisters, Clover and Pat in front of the chicken coop.
Heading toward the back door are Jim Powers,
Pat Powers/Ridgway and Clover Powers Edelman.
front of farm house

We also stopped to see the family church, where his mother, father and several relatives are buried. My father’s great grand-parents helped found and build the church, and contributed two stained glass windows brought over from Germany.

Canaan Moravian Church
Twin sister, Clover in front of the church.
doors to church
A lost, extremely friendly although, slimy and muddy, pig rapidly approached us.
I call this one: "Sausage Patty"

Photos of family members belong to the church.

cemetery behind the church

The nearby town of Casselton, is another place my father spent much of his time. While attending school, he lived with his aunt Esther and his grandmother ,she was his “mother “until she died when he was 15. Returning to work at the farm on weekends and vacations. photos here After high school he attended North Dakota State University. We found his fraternaty and drove around the campus.
Welcome to Casselton Flag

The former home great aunt Esther Lebus, though
now they have enclosed the amazing porch.

My late father, Charles Powers

Although my sisters have been back there more recently, I had not visited there since I was 13. So it was great to see and even (for the first time) meet family members. Did you know that FOOD is the middle name of Moorhead (FOOD) Minnesota? Believe me...we were well fed and often!
Incredible edibles!

Jane's wonderful brunch.

Delicious omelet made in a bag!
Have you ever tasted cinnamon swirl bread with cheese whiz?

We all visited Emily Thronson (my dad’s cousin) at her assisted living residence. There we shared a meal and I met her side of the family. It was fun to see some of the other residents having a “milking contest”. It was also good to see that the facility had a bird aviary similar to the one at the village where my parents spent their final years.

Sister Pat with father's cousin Emily Thronson (92)
Sister Clover speaks with Emily.
A resident plays a "cow" milking game.
A bird aviary at the facility, much like the one
where my parents spent their last years.

One evening our Uncle Earl took the whole family to dinner! What a treat! Great food and conversation. I reconnected with Uncle Earl, my cousin Brian and cousin Lori. I had met my cousin Jane, her husband and children a few days earlier. We really laughed when her young kids brought out “napkin man” and even the adults joined in. Good thing we were in a private room!

Adult "napkin people"

My father's sister, Marlys and her daughter Lori.
Cousin Lori and Uncle Jimmy (Dad's brother)
Mark Skunberg and son Erik
Aunt Marlys, sister Pat and cousin Lori.
Annika, Cousin Jane (mom) and Anders Skunberg
Aunt Dorothy Powers and sister Pat Powers-Ridgway
Cousin Brian Powers and Uncle Earl Powers (his dad)

Another family time was our visit to Marlys and Lori’s home, (my Dad’s sister and niece). We had a wonderful time seeing old photos and hearing stories about the past. They were extremely hospitable and generous, giving us many family photos to take home.

Cousin Lori, Aunt Marlys, Claudia and Clover

Marlys, Claudia, Clover and Lori

What a week we chose to come...cousin Jane had just had a birthday, her twins had their 4th birthday, on Father’s Day and we were there! Also, It was great to see everyone’s homes (especially the Swedish influence from Aunt Dorothy’s side of the family).



Twins Anders and Annika turn 4 years old.

Swedish table setting

Apple boy, etc.

It was an incredible trip of a lifetime. We could not have had better hosts. I know my mom and dad would be thrilled that we had gone there.

Enjoy the extra misc. photos below:

Erik, Annika and Anders playing instruments

Annika and her Moor Moor (grandmother) Dorothy Powers



Mom Jane and Annika doing a silly dance.

Grandpa (Moorfar) pushing Anders

Kids with birthday presents

Skunberg Family: Anders, Jane, Erik, Annika and Mark

thought of the day: You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to
them. ~Desmond Tutu


patty said...

Hi, my name is also pat powers and i have a brother named jim, what a small world!

Ed Zylman said...

My name is Ed and I knew twins Claudia and Clover from church. They went to North Hi School in Riverside, California and had an older sister named Pat. I bet you is them and I always wondered what happened to you guys.
It would be nice to hear from either Claudia or Clover.

Ed Zylman

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Annette said...

Hello, You & my husband (Mark Rockeman) are third cousins! You both "start" at the SCHARBOW family. I have been working on family history for nearly 25 years. Please visit our web site (family history portion) to see how you & Mark are related. I have enjoyed the only blog entry that I've read (so far). About your trip to ND in 2009. Thank you for taking the time to do this for all of the relatives.


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