Family reunions are great, but I could do without the photos.
A few weeks ago, we gathered in Norfolk, Neb., for a family reunion on my father-in-law's side.
I have to hand it to my wife's family, they always find time to get together.
My family hasn't held a family reunion since I was a kid.
The last time I remember my extended family getting together was when I was a kid in Iowa.
It was a Sunday, and we were visiting my grandmother, and I begged my mom to let me go back to Grandma's house to check out the Steelers game.
I'm sure I promised I would just catch a score and come back to the reunion.
Of course the game went into overtime, and I lost track of time. I remember my mom walking into Grandma's house, and I thought I was going to be in trouble.
Apparently I wasn't missed at the reunion because it wasn't a big deal.
The game ended (with the Steelers winning), and we went home.
Not sure if that would officially qualify as a reunion, or if we really ever had official reunions. It was just my mom, her sister, their families, grandparents and probably a few others getting together for a few hours.
I only remember one time that there was a gathering with my dad's side of the family.
It was on a farm, I was on a horse, I fell off, and I thought it was going to step on me.
That was the first of two times I was on a horse. I think I fell off the second time, too.
For the record, I have never fallen off or out of a car.
Those are my memories of reunions. Not sure why there weren't more.
Maybe we were too spread out.
Maybe no one ever said, "let's do it."
Maybe my family just didn't.
My wife's family is the opposite.
I don't know if it was an official family reunion, but the first time I met my wife's aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, you name it, I felt like I was dropped off in the middle of a foreign country, except all the food was recognizable and good.
We were on our way inside some relative's home and inside were what seemed like dozens of people.
On our way inside, my wife was intercepted by one of her cousins, so I walked inside.
Everyone was foreign to me except for Kelly's immediate family. I remember my one-day-to-be mother-in-law introducing me around and trying to make me comfortable, but for a shy kid that was a tough chore.
Eventually — and it seemed like several hours later — my wife came in.
By then, I had learned that I needed a new brand of antiperspirant.
The rest of the evening must have been OK because I don't remember it.
Over the years, I have been to many reunions, too many to remember.
The best part is always the food. Everyone brings good stuff, and I eat too much.
But the one thing I could do without is the after-dinner photo session.
I know how I look, and I don't think that needs to be documented over time. I'm getting older, and I really don't need to look at photos to remind me of that.
I wouldn't mind it so much if it didn't take so long.
After years of taking pictures of kids and adults, I will take the kids anytime. They are so much easier to organize than adults.
Kids are kids and actually do listen or at least make cute faces.
Adults don't listen and really shouldn't be making faces.
But you have to take the good with the bad.
If my family had had a few more family reunions while growing up, I would have more pictures of my family.
There will be more reunions for my wife's family, which means more food and more photos. So you take the good with the bad. Just hurry up and take the pictures so I can go back for seconds.
Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.