My mom's family has a get-together every year around Christmas. This time it was combined with a baby shower for my sister, who's due in February.
Ben and I drove up on Friday and stayed with my aunt and uncle who were hosting the party. They were having friends over that night, so we hung out with their friends and drank fancy tequila and played pinball. This one
was my favorite.
Saturday we went out to play Ingress a bit (get some unique hacks, at any rate, and captured a couple). It was a lovely nostalgic walk from the house I lived in from ages 10-16 to downtown. We walked past the creek I played in, the covered bridge, my high school, even my elementary school. My home town has a lot more fancy stuff than it used to, more ethnic restaurants and even an Islamic center, but I couldn't live there again, ever.
Mom came to her brother's house that afternoon, and I showed her pictures from Berlin, then we ate dinner and sat around talking a while, playing more pinball and Scattergories. And drinking. (Except mom, she doesn't drink.) Mom got kinda mad when I was doing well, "She's thinking outside the box!" Um, that's kind of how you win at Scattergories...
(She wouldn't accept Slavic Studies as a college major starting with S (because she'd never heard of it), but she didn't protest Proto-Indo-European as a language starting with P. It was the first one that popped into my head, I swear.)
My sister's shower was more about mom than my sister. She's wanted a grandchild since I got married almost 15 years ago, and now my sister is finally doing her duty as a grandchild dispenser. There were a loooot of presents, and mom made my aunt make cupcakes and set up more snacks downstairs where the shower was (which nobody ate because there was ample food from the potluck...) and there were games (which my sister hadn't even wanted really). My sister looked uncomfortable at the quantity of presents.
My sister liked the blanket I crocheted her, so I'm happy with that. Grandma made the baby a quilt. A bunch of people chipped in to get some sort of cloth diaper system (apparently they're "systems" now), which was about 10 packages.
There was a lot of gender normativity flying around, plus all the squeeing over baby booties (I don't get it). Stuff with adorable baby animals on, OK. She got a onesie with a penguin or something, which is pretty cute. But booties? idgi.
After everyone left, we helped clean up then watched a bunch of HGTV shows (which mostly made me want to punch the people buying the houses).
My uncle turned his grandfather's home movies into DVDs (by aiming a digital camera at the screen while running the projector), so we watched some of that (this was before the party). One of them was the European vacation he took around the time my grandpa's brother was stationed in Germany again (according to grandpa, this was around 1975 because Jack left in 76.) My uncle didn't know where all he went, and there aren't really labels or anything, so we're watching and trying to guess where they are. Switzerland because of a flag, then the Alps, then some more stuff, and then there's the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. So I told him I needed a copy of it, and he said he'd make me one.
He also told me that his grandfather/my great-grandfather went back to Germany in the late 30s to visit family and was detained on his way out, for reasons that are unclear. One of his relatives (a cousin, possibly) smoothed things over and got him released. He was apparently an officer in the SS. (This isn't terribly surprising.)