Name Tags at a Family Reunion?

My family has a ‘family reunion’ every year.  It’s basically a family party with extra people…. and we do have a BIG family.  The party has moved around to different houses throughout the years and been hosted by different people… The earliest I remember were at my grandfather’s pond, then on to my Uncle Franks, my cousin Buddy’s, my Aunt Margaret’s, and on to my cousin Don’s.

Who comes to the events also changes and as time Karla, Kevin,Margaret, and Linda Richter Family-1640goes on we have gained and lost family members.  This year though I caught myself having to ask my mother more and more to identify people (and I am afraid to admit, she had trouble on several).  I still know the family that I grew up with, and I so want my kids to know their kids, but as time goes on and we meet once a year – it becomes harder and harder to keep up.

I should also mention that for us the trip is 6 hours each way, always now on a Sunday during a weekend after school starts up here in Kentucky.  The longest we can stay and still get home for bed time is about 1 or 2 hours.  This last year I literally had to run from a conversation as I saw my husband and son heading to the car to leave without me (I’m 98% sure they wouldn’t have).

I remember one of my children replying that it wasn’t a big deal to miss a family trip as he wasn’t familiar with the people we were visiting.  To me these family are only distant in location…..  I so want my children to have that close tie to family, yet with miles between us all, how do you maintain that?