In 1928, Clarence and Annabelle Bredlow were married. The next generation of families reflects the heritage of faith, laughter, and love. Now there is another generation, and looking around at the sixty-some of us in Iowa at the family reunion this last weekend, the heritage lives on. The youngest great-grandbaby is nine months, and
the oldest person there was Clarence and Annabelle’s daughter, Nola, who, at 77, has the same fun as anybody. Nola wanted to get her feet wet and walk barefoot into a puddle after it had rained for a while on Sunday morning. Pretty soon, there were a whole lot of them.
It was fun talking with family I hadn’t seen in a while and getting to know family I didn’t know much at all. My mom’s cousin, Judy, is my paper-editor. You know, the late-night, I-need-this-paper-edited-by-8am, college papers. I ask one of her sons which one he is (because keeping track of them is like keeping track of us; hard until you get the names and faces lined up). Then I tell him who I am, and he’s like, “Oh, you’re the one that sends my mom those papers late at night.” Yep, that’s me. “I’ve read some of them, and they’re way over my head. You’re a good writer.” I’m also almost done with college. Interactions like that make me smile.
Many of the related-by-marriage in-laws expressed love at the acceptance of the family. Mom’s cousin-in-law Dave gave a message at our Sunday worship, and comparing being adopted into the Bredlow family to being adopted by Christ. Well, I worded that funny, and that’s not exactly what he said, but let’s take a minute to re-read the previous sentence. It’s awesome being accepted by family, and he was transitioning into talking about being adopted, therefore, receiving inheritance. Nobody can inherit something unless they’re family. Anyway, I’ve heard many stories about first interactions with this family: My grandpa Dennis turning to his oldest’s new husband before a car trip and asking him if he went to the bathroom (car trips didn’t really stop until they got there back then). My mom and her sister creaming her current boyfriend and her brothe-in-lawr at a Sunday afternoon football game, thus getting broken up with the very next day. My great-grandpa Clarence giving a specific mug (one with a frog in the bottom) to a newbie that visited his home. I really like these things. They’re hilarious. So when Dr. Wile E.
said I should ask my family permission if he could come (even though he ended up not), I laid down the perfect set-up (we’ll call it “on purpose”). I winced, but I laughed real hard, too. They were nice. Could’a been worse. 🙂
Fun fact: I was named after Annabelle. However, my full name is “Anna” and not “Annabelle” because apparently, Grandma Annabelle always regretted combining her first and middle names, because her birth name was Anna Belle Carlson. Out of fun, I sometimes combine my first and middle name, Anna Elizabeth, to Annabeth, to be like my great-grandma I didn’t know.
Also to note: a photo does exist of ALL of us (that were there at the time said picture was taken), but I cannot find it. However, I shall share a picture of Dennis’s family (he was one of Clarence and Annabelle’s sons). The only people missing are my sisters, Christina and Laura.
Here’s to a pretty cool family (lifting…coffee mugs high? But not as many of them drink coffee, really. Well, there’s enough of us, maybe).