Welcome to Clara City, MN, population 1307, one of the many small Minnesota towns founded because of the railroad depot. Both my parents were born and raised here. While the majority of my extended family lives other places, Clara City is still the town that represents them all to me.
The Freislebens: My mother's side of the family. The matriarch of the clan is my grandmother, Velma. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver about a year before I was born, and my grandmother got remarried a few years back to Stanley Thein. My mother has three sisters and two brothers. My uncles, Mark and Bobby, live outside of Minnesota, so they don't come home as often (okay, Bobby does), so usually it's just the sisters, Jean, Mom, Mary, and Barb, who get together. They're a lively bunch who play whist and squeal a lot. (I love you all... the squealing's endearing.) The latest edition to the family is my cousin Tracy's son, Joshua Jeffrey Payne, born March 24, 2002.
The Rhode/Beckers: My father's side of the family. This side of the family is smaller. My grandmother, Marian Becker, is a retired teacher. When I was younger, I spent a week every summer staying with my Grandma and Grandpa Becker at their house in Clara City. This usually included a trip out to Minneota, MN to visit my cousins and aunt and uncle. My aunt Ruth followed in her mother's footsteps and teaches in the Minneota School District. My uncle Scott is a lawyer, but we don't usually hold that against him... he has cute kids.
Pictures of my family: The Rhode/Beckers The Freislebens