Friday, August 24, 2018

Reunions Forever by Pat Simmons

The unofficial close of summer is less than two weeks away, and it wouldn't be August without our annual family reunions. Hundreds of Croft/ Sturdivants come together to celebrate family. This year’s theme was Back to Our Roots and took place in St. Louis. The attire was African garb. The vibrant colors of head scarfs, skirts, dashikis, and dresses formed a perfect rainbow. Family members who couldn't attend, missed a good time, including me. This year, I was away at Romance GenreCon in Kansas City, Missouri. I had a great time with authors and readers, but every chance I got, I spied photos posted on Facebook. Through those pictures, I was right there with them. I had a chance to see my husband sporting his outfit I sewed for him. Kerry looks like a king. He's posing with our cousin Debbie.

When our president of the St. Louis family reunion picked an African theme last November, we had no idea a few months later the movie Black Panther would be a blockbuster and inspire a movement across the world of people appreciating their ethnicity. So for a few hours earlier this month, my family entered the make believe world of Wakanda Forever.

A few years ago, Detroit hosted the reunion. The attire was hats for the ladies and bow ties for the boys/men. Again, it was great. Themes make the difference at the reunions.
Here's another theme reunion in 2013, in St. Louis again. As you can see everyone dressed for the "All White Affair" family reunion except for my son who waited until the last minute to show up. We loved on him anyway.

I can't begin to show you the many pictures from picnics and family members decked out in our T-shirts that boldly proclaim family unity and roots. How many family reunion T-shirts are in your stuffed in your closet, or have you worn them thin? 

Can't wait for next year! If it is the Lord's will, Kerry and I will attend a minimum of three reunions in 2019: Chicago (my mother's side); Buffalo, NY (my father-in-law's side); Atlanta (my mother-in-law's side). I'm also hoping to connect with my father's side too. Check out more family reunion pictures throughout the years on my website: Select a year and search for the months of July and August.

That it for now. Make your Labor Day a mini-reunion with family and friends.
Pat Simmons has penned more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit her at

Her latest release is DRIVEN TO BE LOVED. Three sisters who pray together, stay together. Dr. Brecee Carmen is going to need backup when she meets Adrian Cole.

It doesn’t matter how many years go by, love will always find a way….

On the surface, Brecee Carmen has nothing in common with Adrian Cole. She is a pediatrician certified in trauma care; he is a transportation problem-solver for a luxury car dealership (a.k.a., a car salesman). Despite their slow but steady attraction to each other, neither one of them is sure that they're compatible. To complicate matters, Brecee is the sole unattached Carmen daughter when it seems as though everyone else around her—family and friends—is finding love.

Through a series of discoveries, Adrian and Brecee learn that things don't always happen by coincidence. Generational forces are at work, keeping promises, protecting family members, and perhaps even drawing Adrian back to the church he had strayed from. Is it possible that God has been playing matchmaker all along?

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  1. These gatherings sound like a wonderful time. There's nothing else like family and celebrating who we are.

  2. Family reunions are such fun, Pat, and your photos definitely prove that. Thanks for sharing!

  3. You are fortunate to be able to have family reunions. What fun!

  4. Thank you for sharing these great photos from your family reunions, Pat! I've attended two this year. We don't do t-shirts or themes, unless you count FOOD as a theme. :)

    1. haha... Yeah, that counts. What about dishes from around the world?

  5. Thanks for sharing! I love family reunions too!I love the themes chosen.