Ancestry

If you’ve ever thought about researching your ancestry, DO IT!  

If you have not thought about researching your ancestry, DO IT!

A few years ago, I thought I’d search for a few names at ancestry.com to see what I’d find.  I really wasn’t expecting much as I have, or so I thought, a small family.  Both my parents are only children so I have no aunts, uncles, or first cousins.  My father’s mother was an only child, his father was one of two.  My mother’s mother was one of two, but her father was one of 8 or so.  I had met just one cousin of my mother’s but that was it.  I just wasn’t expecting to find anything.

Was I ever so wrong!

I discovered that my grandfather [my father’s father that was one of two] had 35 first cousins.  Yes, thirty-five first cousins.  So that gave my great-great-grandparents 37 grandchildren.  My g-g-grandmother Lena was alive for all their births.  Actually, there were a total of 43 grandchildren for her, but I’ve discovered 6 that didn’t make it past their 2nd birthday for one reason or another.  Who knew!?!

Lena’s parents came to the United States when they were just 22 and not yet married.  Three-and-a-half months after their arrival they were married in Wisconsin.  Five months after the wedding, Lena was born.   Yeah, do the math.  If you do, that means she was conceived while her parents were sailing the ocean blue for the new country, the land of opportunity.  I thought those passenger ships were too crowded for anyone to have any privacy.  Who knew!?!

One of those 35 cousins of my grandfather’s, at the age of 17, married the local country doctor/abortionist in 1910 in a rural farming community.  That country doctor/abortionist was about 55 years her senior AND a former slave who had escaped from his master near the tail end of the Civil War, fled to Tennessee and fought in the Union Army.  Who knew?!?

My father’s mother’s line, from England, apparently have been in Connecticut since 1653.  One ancestor fought in the Revolutionary War.  His grandson fought in the War of 1812.  That soldier’s son fought in the Civil War in the Union Army representing Connecticut.  Who knew!?!

While the research over the past few years has been tedious, it has also been the most rewarding, fulfilling and emotional experience of my life.  I’m so very glad I started looking into where I came from.

I can’t wait to see what else I can find.

So, do yourself a wonderful favor and start researching.  You just might find something truly amazing.

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My Friend “T”

I first met “T” about 16 years ago.  We both worked for the same company – me in the home office – he out in the field.  He was previously in the U.S. Navy and we  got to know one another.  Great guy.  Great friend.  Crazy like me.  Workaholic.  Fabulous sense of humor.  And married.

In the time since, we’ve both left that company and have worked other jobs, but still managed to keep in touch from time to time.  “T” even spent five years working for a security firm in the Middle East.  During our first visit with one another after he left the firm, he told me incredible stories of his time there.  I’m amazed he didn’t get killed with all the close calls he experienced.  I was hearing the stories his wife didn’t want to hear.  Can you blame her?  So many close calls.  “T” definitely has a guardian angel watching over him.  Lucky bastard.

I do care a lot for “T” and know nothing will ever come of it since he is married.   I love talking with him, even if it is once a year, as he is always able to make me laugh my butt off.

But I also feel sad after we hang up — because as much as I enjoy talking and laughing with “T”, I just serves as a reminder that I don’t have the special someone in my life.  Not that I want it to be him, necessarily, but I’d like it to be someone like him.  Someone who makes me laugh, makes me feel attractive, and someone who really does care for me.

His wife is a lucky woman to have a man like “T” in her life.  Is it so bad I want the same?

Content

The dictionary defines “content” as “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else”.  For the first time in my life that I can remember I feel content and at ease with life on a mental and emotional level.  I feel a positiveness and calmness in my soul that I have not felt in a very long time … if ever.  It feels really good.  I like it!

Yes, I have had happy times in my life.  But, this is different as it goes to such a deeper level.  It’s hard to explain the peace and the feeling of being “at home” with myself.

I can honestly say I am a happy person.

How lucky is that?

It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile since I last wrote anything here.  Life certainly kept me busy in 2011 and I am very glad it is over with.  However, it did give me a new appreciation for life.  It also made me realize what fantastic friends I have.  I love and appreciate them all.  Their support means the world to me.

I’ve gotten 2012 off to a good start – I’m eating healthier and am feeling fabulous.  That old saying “you are what you eat” is so true.   I’m eating a lot of fruits and veggies and whole grains.  Today alone, I’ve had blueberries, cherries, and grapes.  YUM!  The grapes were actually more delicious than a handful of m&m’s.  Better for me, too.

My next focus is to exercise at least 3-4 times a week.  Challenging, yes, but not impossible.  I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again.  It’ll be harder now that I’m not bowling anymore, but it will all work out.  I’m just not the gym-rat type.  Gyms have a weird smell.

I’m hoping that once I get in better shape other things will fall into place.  I’d like to find someone to share my life with.  We all want to find that person.  I don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet for me, but it is what it is.  The last guy I met turned out to be a freakazoid so I don’t want to make that mistake again.  Just so hard to find someone you like AND that likes you back.  I know he’s out there somewhere.

 

 

 

What goes around comes around

Last night as I was entering DC’s Metro subway system, there was a tourist standing to the left on the escalator.  One rule all veterans of the subway system know is that you stand to the right and walk down on the left.  There was a man stuck between me and the tourist and I could tell that the man hadn’t/wouldn’t say anything.  So, in my persuasive and commanding voice, I said “Please stand to the right.”

The tourist moved and those on the left side were able to continue walking down the escalator.  The woman who was behind me thanked me.  The man who was in front of me informed me that asking people to move doesn’t always work for him.  I should add that he is Black.  I told him I thought that was unfortunate, but was glad I could help him out.

Tonight after work I decided to have dinner out.  Towards the end of my meal I had a klutzy moment and knocked over my almost empty glass of sangria.  When the bartender worked his way back to my end of the bar, I told him what had happened and apologized.  When he finished cleaning up, he gave me another glass of sangria – FREE.  So, 2 for the price of 1 at Happy Hour prices – I wasn’t complaining.

When I asked him for my bill, he inadvertently gave me the wrong one and was one that was less than half of what I expected mine to total up to.  I called his attention to the oversight and he gave me my correct bill.  After adding a generous tip for the extra, free glass of sangria, I headed across the street to the Hagen Daaz for a chocolate milkshake before heading into the Bed Bath & Beyond.

I’m in Hagen Daaz for all of 5 seconds when a man walks in after me.  He was none other than the man from the escalator last night.  He saw me, came over and asked if I was the woman he met on the escalator.  I told him I was and asked how he was doing.  Since he had an extra, he gave me a coupon for “buy one get one” milkshake free that I can use on my next visit [since I wasn’t buying 2 milkshakes tonight].  He was buying 2 – one for him and one for his brother.  I told him he was a good brother.   I thanked him and wished him a good evening.

I found it amusing that I was getting a chocolate milkshake and he was getting a vanilla milkshake; there’s a certain poetry to that.  A kind of ebony-ivory as performed by Joe Piscapo AKA Frank Sinatra and Eddie Murphy AKA Stevie Wonder on SNL back in 1982.  Here’s a link if you aren’t familiar . . .  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78FATeTMDaA.

 

R.I.P. John

When I get bored enough, I’ll do Google searches on people from my past.  It’s a way to see what they’re up to and if anything is new.  Earlier tonight, I did just that for John.  I started searching for him in Facebook. I wasn’t able to find his profile – one I knew he had since he had sent me a ‘friend request’ quite some time ago but I had ignored.  So I then searched for him in Google.  It didn’t take long to find his obituary in the local newspaper.

I met John about 7 years ago when I made a go of it with on-line dating.  John was about 10 years older than me, but we really connected in a way I hadn’t with anyone else before.  We had great conversations – a lot of laughs  – and a lot of great fun.  He was a terrific writer and had written a piece about his experiences at Woodstock.  I hope I still have it here somewhere. . .

He was such fun to be around – you hardly noticed he was a quadriplegic.  Yes, I had to feed him  every time we went out to eat.  He was surprisingly independent despite the constant care he needed.  He had an amazing attitude about it all.  What were his choices?  The first time we discussed his paralysis and the accident that lead to his spinal injury, I asked him if he still walked in his dreams.  He told me that he did.

What broke us up was his illegal drug use and lying to cover it up.  I definitely understood his need to escape from his reality, but it wasn’t a trip (ha ha pun intended) that I wanted to take with him.   So we mutually agreed to part ways.

From time to time I would get emails from him.  Shortly after I joined Facebook, I received a ‘friend request’ from him – one I ignored.   I really didn’t want to get sucked back into his life – his drug use – his lies.

Tonight I learned that he died back in December.  The obit did not mention what he died from, but I’m guessing it had to do with his physical condition.  I am sad at the loss of his life.  He was only 55 years old.  Life is so short and precious, yet few of us really take the time to appreciate what we have.

John, I hope you’re dancing the night away, my friend.  You certainly deserve it.

Clean Slate

I love how a brand new year gives us a clean slate to make a fresh start.  It gives us the opportunity to do away with the ‘old’ and negative aspects of our lives and replace them with new and positive elements.  And that is what I am doing/have done.  I’ve gotten rid of some dead weight in my life – a person who was more negative and toxic than I had realized.  Guess I had my blinders on or something.  It feels as if the world has been lifted from my shoulders.  Funny, I hadn’t realized how heavy the world was.  Now I do.  2011 will be all about the one – the one being me.  So watch out world!