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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.

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.

 

 

 

Fear of Sanity

Last Saturday I attended the Stephen Colbert-Jon Stewart “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington, D.C.  What an experience that was!

The rally was scheduled for Noon – 3:00.  My sister and brother-in-law wanted to be downtown well in advance to assure a good spot on the Mall.  We left my surburban home at 9:30 or so and hopped on the subway.  There were already long lines and crowds at the station.  Our ride into town was packed but uneventful.

When we arrived on the Mall, one of the first things we saw was the Fox News truck – which surprised many people.  Fox News was the last news organization we had expected to see at the Stewart/Colbert rally.  Not surprisingly, quite a few people were taking pictures of their friends standing beside the truck – with a ‘thumbs down’ gesture.  A few raised their middle finger while posing.  All quite amusing, to be sure.

Once we got to the Mall proper, there were a lot of people EVERYWHERE.  It was already packed and we still had almost 2 hours to show time.  But the mood was definitely festive and the organizers were playing video clips from Stephen’s and Jon’s shows to keep us entertained.  We managed to find a spot from which to watch the rally on one of the many screens that had been set up.

We didn’t move from that spot for almost 5 hours.  I had the same 18″-sq. spot of land for almost 5 hours.  I didn’t move from that spot.  Had I, I wouldn’t have been able to find my sister again.  It was that crowded.  Seriously.

Once the rally got started, the 3 hours went by amazingly fast.  Jon and Stephen were entertaining and funny.  Stephen made his appearance like a Chilean miner – he came up from under the stage in a capsule fashioned after the one that saved the miners.  He wore an Evel Kenieval suit (cape included) and was just hilarious.  Performers included The Roots (never heard of them before but I like their sound), Ozzy Osbourne, Yousef Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens), O-Jay’s, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and John Legend.  All were terrific.

Also for our enjoyment were Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters.  They were great.  They conducted a few experiments – one of which was ‘the wave’.  Starting in the first row, the had all of us do ‘the wave’ that all sports fans are familiar with.  The wave lasted a minute as it worked its way down the Mall.  It took a good 10 seconds for the wave to reach where I was.  [I later watched this online – it was just totally cool to see a ‘wave’ last for so long and go so far.]

So, in spite of standing in one small spot for nearly 5 hours with a backache, a headache, legs aching, dehydrated, hungry, and thirsty – I had a good time.  It was a cool event to go to and to be a part of.  The turnout was far higher than anyone expected.  Current estimates have the crowds at 215,000.  I know plenty of people who attended, but I never saw them.  The mass of humanity was impressive and overwhelming.

But I will never go downtown to be a part of something so huge again in my life!