Monday, August 31, 2009
I'm back in my office after a whirlwind week that included a family reunion in Gananoque, Ontario, and a leisurely detour through upper New York State to get back home. Now, it's time to catch up on all the work that inevitably piles up when I am away.
The family reunion was great. Some of us hadn't seen others for many years. My brother hadn't seen one cousin for decades and had never met another. My son met two of my cousins for the first time.
My cousin Friedhelm, an archeologist from Berlin, did a presentation on the origins of the Peddes. I can't remember much of it because there was so much detail, but the presentation was fascinating. Friedhelm has promised to formalize the information so that I can put it on the www.pedde.net website for other Peddes to enjoy.
We had a truly great time. We talked, laughed, jammed with guitars that my brother and I had brought along, and the time went very quickly. Occasions like this allow some introspection and I realized in discussion with others that I had three Pedde cousins named Horst. What are the odds? One Horst is son of my uncle Gustav who disappeared in World War II. Another Horst is son of my uncle Eduard who died at age 98 in Kelowna, B.C., a year or so ago. The final Horst is son of my aunt Wanda who lived in Poland until she died several years ago. There are two Richards, sons respectively of uncle Eduard and aunt Wanda. There are three cousins who have 'fried' (Friede means peace in German) as part of their names. There is Wilfried, son of my aunt Maria, Friedhelm, son of my uncle Adolf, and of course yours truly, Siegfried. The desire for peace was strong among rational Germans during and after World War II.
We are planning another Pedde reunion for 2012, probably in some part of Germany significant to the family. If we are lucky, perhaps my sister Wanda, and some cousins from Poland and Germany who didn't make it to this reunion might attend.
It will be fun.