At a recent reunion, my Mom, her ten siblings, their children and their grandchildren formed a spiral, standing in order of appearance in the family. Tall, short, gray, and towheaded, we took our places, centered around numbers 1 and 2, empty chairs representing my late Grandpa and Grandma. Mom was #30; I was #37, and my daughter numbered 114. The total number of family members is projected to reach 127 by the end of 2010.
A slide show of my great aunt's photographs with narration including excerpts from Grandma's diary gave us another peek into the past. Mom and all her siblings posed in imitation of a photo of Grandma and Grandpa, aged 40 and 41, surrounded by their 11 children, ages 1-18.
Next, they all found nieces, nephews, grand nieces, or grand nephews nearest to the age that they were in the original photo, substituting themselves with the next generation. Two of my cousins represented my grandparents.