Posts Tagged ‘New Years’

Goodbye 2020!

Before I say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020, I want to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the year. And yes, there were good moments!

The Ugly

  • The death toll from the pandemic – young, old, infirm, perfectly healthy, and those who were trying to save others.
  • The ugliness people displayed toward their fellow human beings – whether it was due to a difference of politics; not agreeing with others about restrictions that came from a worldwide health crisis; racial unrest; or just being without empathy.
  • People in residential living due to age, medical issues, dementia or Alzheimer’s and were denied visits and the touch of a loved one.
  • People who were unemployed while their bills still needed paid.
  • Parents trying to homeschool kids who couldn’t understand why they weren’t in school or couldn’t play with friends. (This ranks in the ugly category because if you’ve ever been a parent with a bored child – or several – it gets really ugly!)

The Bad

  • Cancelled plans, trips, vacations, and gatherings.
  • Cancelled in-person worship.
  • Making a detailed plan for essential errands and remembering the mask, hand sanitizer, and washing hands.
  • Getting calls from friends and/or family members who had been exposed and waiting on testing results.
  • Indulging in boredom eating.
  • Postponed medical treatments and dr. appointments.
  • More time on social media and more screen time for the kids (especially when the goal is to have less screen time for them!).
  • Higher grocery bills (see: boredom eating).
  • High school seniors lost “rite of passage” activities such as proms, a real graduation ceremony at the end of the school year, senior trips, spring sports, and more.

The Good

  • Change of focus to what is really important for yourself and household.
  • Businesses that changed how their employees worked in order for them to stay home.
  • Hordes of people learned new skills: sewing (to make masks); cooking (to avoid restaurants); using technology (in order to work, see family, attend virtual events).
  • Places of worship began having virtual worship and people who hadn’t attended in person began attending online.
  • The everyday pace of life became slower; longer walks taken; and important people and events weren’t taken for granted anymore.
  • People crafted new traditions – drive-by birthday celebrations; new trick or treat ideas; and Zoom family gatherings.
  • People who were financially able donated funds to organizations that helped others.
  • New hobbies were found; home renovations were accomplished; books were read; and things that had been put off due to time were accomplished.

There were things on the list that touched our family but not all. We are out of the child-rearing years and didn’t have to deal with the school issues. Before the pandemic, I began a job search (with two interviews) but then everything shut down. (That was the last time – back in early March – that I shook hands with anyone.) Without being employed, my day to day life didn’t change much except I thought about what errands I needed to run and plan my grocery list to accommodate 2-3 weeks’ worth of food instead of one.

My husband is a pastor so with his three churches closed all of April, he began giving virtual sermons and weekly devotions. Even after the churches here opened again, he is still virtual for those who don’t feel comfortable getting out. We stopped eating in at restaurants, and instead we get take-out from our neighborhood place four blocks away. While it was warmer and lighter (before the time change), I joined my husband and our dog on long walks through our town.

We did have family time with our out of state daughter and her family who drove up to spend a week plus my sister and her husband who were passing through on their way back to Texas from South Dakota in their RV. Our “local” daughter (90 minutes away) was also able to visit a couple of times. We had a socially distanced and masked visit with my husband’s nephew in our driveway when he was in town.

Just before our state closed down in March, I had recently taken my sewing machine to be serviced. A week after I picked it up, I decided to try my hand at making masks. That went so well that I decided to start making quilts. I finished seven this year and gifted to all our grandchildren.

The historical society where I serve on the board remained closed a month longer in the spring than normal, but we were blessed to still receive donations, grants, and new members. All my organization meetings – except for the historical society board meetings – were cancelled. The church women’s group at two of the churches my husband pastors did have some meetings – socially distanced and masked – but that soon became harder to do this fall.

Christmas was markedly different for us. It is the first time in 39 years that I haven’t had family or children around for the holiday. For us it was quiet but we still enjoyed our traditional Tex-Mex feast.

I online shopped much more than I ever have! We ordered dog food, books for husband’s course of study classes, Christmas gifts shipped to the recipient (instead of here so I could wrap), items from my daughter’s online store, fabric, and kitchen items. I used Walmart grocery pick-up for the first time in November (our local store doesn’t do it) which meant over 40 miles to the pick-up store.

We have friends who tested positive, and a friend recently passed away. There is immense sadness when I learn of another death of a friend’s spouse or relative.

As I turn the page from 2020 to 2021, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and best wishes that moving forward, things will get better!

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Happy New Year to you, my readers! Our family has entered 2017 with several wonderful things happening! The first I can share – our oldest daughter and her husband moved closer to us! Instead of 9-11 hours away, they are now only 90 minutes away! I will wait awhile to share with you our other exciting news.

This past year was a very good one in terms of research. I took the AncestryDNA test and connected with several close and distant cousins. I also uploaded my DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, GedMatch, MyHeritage, Geni.com and DNA Land. Then via documents and DNA I knocked down a couple of brick walls. I completed all the forms and gathered the documentation in order to join my local tent for Daughters of Union Veterans, 1861-1865! The highlight of 2016 was my two week genealogy road trip (which I blogged about previously).

Do you make goals or resolutions as the New Year begins? I think I stopped making resolutions when I was a teenager. As a genealogist, I do make goals related to my family history research. This year, I want to focus on making sure I have clear documentation for information entered into my Family Tree database. I also want to list my sources so I’ll know exactly where the information came from.


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The 63rd Carnival of Genealogy (New Year’s Resolutions) is posted at Creative Gene. Once again, Jasia outdid herself with this one! And for all of the genea-bloggers whose resolutions were to “host a carnival” or show some kindness to other bloggers – Jasia is looking for hosts for this year to help take some of the work off her back.

I urge you to go visit each of these blogs to read their New Year’s Resolutions and add a comment or two!

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The New Year

Miriam, at AnceStories2, posted a new word prompt for The New Year.

Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?

Sometime when I was about 7 or 8.  I think anytime before that, I fell asleep.

How did you and yours typically spend New Year’s Eve during your youth? Did you go to a Watch Night Service and participate in communion and prayer? Did you watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Did your community have a fireworks show?

My family spent it several ways.  During my childhood, my parents, grandparents and I would go to some friends of my grandparents so the grown-ups could all play bridge on New Years Eve.  I remember that the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella (with Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon) played for several years on Dec. 31st – so I was in the family room at the friend’s home watching that.  At midnight, my parents would come to wish me a Happy New Year.  Other years during my youth we’d watch Guy Lombardo ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the television.  Then we’d all sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Did you have first-footers, mummers, or bang pots and pans on your front porch? Did you wear party hats and use noisemakers?

We had noise makers and party hats!  I didn’t know what a “mummer” was until our church youth group went to Philadelphia the summer before my Junior Year!

If New Year’s Eve involved feasting of some kind, what were the usual fare and beverages?

I don’t remember anything special about the food on New Year’s Eve.  I’m sure my parents had champagne or something alcoholic to drink.

How do all of the above compare to the way you celebrate New Year’s Eve now?

Now I don’t go anywhere on New Year’s because I don’t want to be out on the road for safety reasons.  We stay home and watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (as I’ve done since I was a teen) and watch the ball drop.  We have some wine or champagne.  Unfortunately since we are in the Central Time Zone, I’ve become very cynical when New York rings in New Year’s because it’s not the New Year yet for another hour where I’m at!  Last year Dallas started doing it’s own NYE celebration so after the New York broadcast we watch Dallas ring in the New Year!

What about New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make any when you were younger? Do you make them now? How well do you keep them? Was there any year when you really did a fabulous job at keeping them? What were your goals and how did you keep them?

I think most of my New Year’s resolutions as a child had to do with being “nicer” and picking up my toys, keeping my room clean, etc.  As a teen most of them had to do with eating right and watching my weight.  As an adult, I’ve decided not to set New Year’s resolutions because I don’t keep them.  I feel that if I have to wait until the first of the year to set goals, then they aren’t a priority.  I should be doing right by myself and others all year.

How did you typically spend New Year’s Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?

New Year’s Day was usually spent with my grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  We’d have a roast beef normally and watch the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl (especially when Ohio State was playing!).  We also watched the Cotton Bowl parade (when there was one!).

How does it compare to the way you spend New Year’s Day now?

I’ve had the Rose Parade on almost every New Year’s Day.  Sometimes my kids will watch it and sometimes they won’t!  For awhile when I lived in Ohio, I would have roast pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s lunch.  In Texas I have blackeyed peas and cornbread!  This Jan. 1st, we spent the entire day with friends, in what I’m hoping will become an annual tradition.

Are there any special customs from your heritage that are integrated into your New Year’s celebrations?

Nothing other than maintaining the childhood traditions of watching the ball drop, watching the Rose Parade and toasting in the New Year!

If you celebrate Christmas or another seasonal holiday before the New Year, when do you take down the decorations and put them away?

That depends on how long the tree has been up and how tired of it we all are!  Generally we’ve been taking the Christmas tree down soon after New Year’s – within a day or two.

Thanks, Miriam, for this prompt!  I had fun answering the questions!

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For the 63rd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, the topic is New Year’s Resolutions!

As far as my genealogy research for 2009 –  I resolve to:

  • Scan many more documents, photos, and the rest of the slides in my possession
  • Organize my files
  • Obtain / organize documentation for direct ancestors
  • Enter documentation and information into family file

As far as genea-blogging, I resolve to:

  • Participate in more carnivals, memes, word prompts and “fun” posts
  • Post varied information (local, city, county and state links) in order to help other genealogists
  • Visit more genea-bloggers and comment more than I do now
  • Visit other history or genealogy based sites and do a write up on the blog in order to provide others with information

As far as my Graveyard Rabbit blog, I resolve to:

  • Take more photos of cemeteries and grave markers in my area
  • Do more research on local burial customs and cemetery history
  • Post more articles per week

All I ask is to let me get through the holidays first!

(CoG graphic courtesy of footnoteMaven.)

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With the approaching Independence Day holiday, I found myself wondering how many folks in my family tree were married on July 4th or some other holiday.


  • Georg Adams & Christine Werts – 1814
  • Eleazer House & Abigail Mosely – 1782
  • Ephraim Swingle & Dolly Nicholson – 1868
  • Percy Tuttle & Julia House – 1906
  • Evans Wortman & Laura House – 1888
  • Henry House & Lucy Woodford – 1860
  • Charles Duncan & Catherine Rice – 1876
  • Lindsey House & Mary Young – 1841
  • John Rivers & Rosa Hagerman – 1874
  • Leroy Snodgrass & Blanche Bookless – 1904
  • E. Lee Harnish & Blanche Hendricks – 1917
  • Conrad Miller & Maria Grim (1780)
  • Charles Reubush & Vada Henkle (1915)


  • John W. & Mary F. [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • Thomas Hollister & Abigail Talcott – about 1734/35
  • Ross Bookless & Estella Wiley – 1901
  • Alton Rose & Katherine Roberts – 1931
  • David Williams & Martha Ann Kinsey – 1839
  • Cyrellus Mackenzie & Cassandra Bushong – 1860
  • Beryl Goul & Freida Novak – 1927
  • Arza Young & Mary Guilkey – 1909
  • John ‘Jacob’ Bushong & Eva Catherina Bossert – 1784
  • Samuel Whiteman & Martha Goul – 1888
  • Charles Anderson & Rosa Johnson – 1888
  • Ralph Bushong & Ada Calhoun – 1927
  • Larry & Wilma [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • John Alexander Bushong & Mattie Maxon – 1884
  • Eli Hendren & Elizabeth Gilreath – 1834
  • Evan Bell & Eliza Johnson – 1846
  • William F. Clawson & Martha Jane Stern – 1909
  • Clinton Dodd & Frances Huffman – 1938

Valentine’s Day – 15

  • John Canfield & Dorcas House – 1774
  • James Couts & Lorna Angle – 1948
  • Patrick & Marta [surnames with held for privacy] – 2003
  • Larry & Marilyn [surnames with held for privacy] – 1957
  • Samuel Hale & Sarah Smith – 1728/29
  • Donnie & Judith [surnames with held for privacy] 2002
  • William House & Judith Chapman – 1806
  • Richard Hendren & Harriet Agee – 1876
  • John Brown & Elizabeth “Betsy” Bushong – 1814
  • Philip Bushong & Elizabeth Brugh/Betsy Drew – 1815
  • Hughie Clark & Lieureta Stanley – 1853
  • Walter & Dorothy [surnames with held for privacy] – 1950
  • David & Sandra [surnames with held for privacy] – 1981
  • Francis & Lori [surnames with held for privacy] – 1986
  • Edward & Penny [surnames with held for privacy] – 1991

           (Siblings were married on the same day 12 years apart.)


4th of JULY – 9

  • Johnathon Loveland Nicholson & Elizabeth Swingle – 1804
  • Henry Goul & Mathilda Bates – 1894
  • Thomas Roudebush & Orpha Griffin – 1903
  • Henry Bushong & Isabelle Summers – 1791
  • Ezeckial A. Hendren & Miranda Wade – 1838
  • John Noonan & Martha Blazer – 1887
  • John Johnson & Katie Blazer – 1883
  • Harold & Doris [surnames with held for privacy] – 1953
  • David & Susan [surnames with held for privacy] – 1998

      (Sisters were married on the same date – 4 years apart.)

I’ve also found quite a few marriages close to Thanksgiving, Easter, Labor Day, and between Christmas and New Years.

Have you gone through your family file to see on what holidays were the most popular to be married?  What can be determined through this information?  Were there siblings who usually married on the same date as an older one?


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