Like thousands of other families, ours wasn’t able to have an in-person reunion this year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we chose not to risk travel across provincial borders to the usual meeting places in the Georgian Bay area this summer. We managed though to get many siblings, offspring and offshoots to show up for at least one of the five virtual sessions.
Since it was the five-year marker for our family reunion, it was important to me that we have some form of recognition. I delegated three young people to research something suitable for virtual gatherings, for sharing photos and text for the five year status updates (if so wished). We chuckled nervously at the name of the one they chose.
Discord is a community platform developed by video gamers so they could chat and display screens while playing and sharing tactics. Go figure since quite a few of the family tree offspring grew up playing video games. Some still do to pass the time during pandemic lock-downs.
At every monthly session, someone experienced problems with logging in, connecting to our server, or activating their cameras. If we had more than five users on the video channel, there were delays and spinning wheels.
The phrase “You’re on mute” came up often. It’s not just a Zoom thing.
At least with the other channels the young people set up, we could chat in text mode, share photos and links to external content.
Some of us shared current photos of the nesting grounds, and some from years gone by.
The young delegates set up a games room channel on our server. Not many of the Boomer parents and grandparents are into video games but we like puzzles. I created word search puzzles with content representing our heritage, our shared status and feelings. Below are a couple of samples.
We are looking forward to the day the various vaccines will protect us from COVID-19 (and its mutated variants!), when we can safely gather in small geographical groups or one large family reunion come 2025.
I wrote a poem minutes before our final session last weekend and read it aloud to the captive audience on the video channel.
How about you? Have you been able to acknowledge family reunions or gather virtually over the holidays?
Thanks for stopping by. Stay well. Stay safe.