Flying and Fires: The Nordgren Family Reunion

I had my first real break since graduating in June, and the family drove up to Westby, Wisconsin for our first family reunion in quite a few years. It is a solid 19 hour drive, so we listened to a lot of RadioLab (have you heard that one about colors!?) and ate a lot of junk food.

I am having a love affair with the midwest (don’t tell North Carolina). I love it for the big skies, the long farm roads, and the friendly, unassuming people. This rainbow, which we saw as soon as we crossed over into Iowa, was a good omen for the coming weekend.

All the Nordgrens gathered at our grandfather’s homestead outside of Westby. The house is incredible, built in a traditional Swedish style by many skilled craftspeople. I didn’t get pictures of the inside but there are tons of hand painted rosmålning murals, fine woodwork, and Swedish art.

We spent our time having late night jam sessions at the new fire circle, swimming and canoeing, and catching up with family members we missed so much.

Sarah Rose sang while husband Mike played guitar.

 The cousins put on quite the fireworks display

I got to ride while my grandpa flew his AirCam twin engine plane, specially built to fly low over land, or the rolling farmland of Wisconsin. Do you know the best part? He flies over the local Amish farms and drops bags of candy to the kids. As soon as they hear him overhead, they come out with their arms up in the air.

Grandpa Loran, the pilot.

View from above, close to sunset.

There’s more! Check back for Reunion part 2…

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