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Posts Tagged ‘personal’

I don’t know if anyone else has a “travel” day of the week, but I’m going to start one!  This fits really well as I began my latest travels a week ago Thursday, March 31.  I added 3 more states to my list of those I’ve visited or traveled through. One I had been to but only when the plane stopped there and we were able to get off and outside the terminal (pre-9/11).  Didn’t think that really counted.

In early March I started thinking about my dad – he was getting ready to turn 90 years old.  I haven’t seen him in several years – since his and his wife’s last trip from Florida to Texas around Christmas.  Age and some illnesses have curtailed their long road trips so I knew that they probably wouldn’t be back for a visit.  Wishing there was some way I could see him around his birthday, I thought about how I could pull it off – especially with all my responsibilities at home plus my college course.  I thought about checking for an inexpensive flight – but I wasn’t sure what the nearest airport would be and really didn’t want to add the expense of a rental car or having my dad drive any distance to pick me up.  I went to sleep that night thinking that I’d think some more about it in the days to come.  The next morning I woke up with the thought that it would sure be nice if my sister also decided she wanted to see Dad on his birthday and perhaps we could ride together.  Our road trips have become famous (if only between ourselves)!  As I was thinking about it, I checked my email and saw that she had sent me one about 30 minutes before.  Her first sentence said that we needed to take a road trip to see Dad for his birthday because of his birthday and the second sentence mentioned that it felt like she’d been hit over the head with a hammer with that thought while she was out walking her dog.  Sister ESP! 

So with the opportunity, I made the necessary arrangements and she contacted Dad to let him know that we would like to come to visit him – there’s no way you surprise a 90 year old man like that.  I’m not sure who was more excited – my sister and I or our dad. 

So last Thursday morning she picked me up and by 7:30 am we were on the road going east toward Florida.  We traveled through Louisiana – even going through the town of the airport I’d seen briefly back in early September 2001.  Then on through Mississippi and we stopped for the night on the east side of Mobile, Alabama.  We arrived at our Dad’s about early afternoon on Friday.  My sister has been to his home a few times.  I have never been to Florida – it was never a state I really wanted to visit. 

The next day my sister’s daughter – who is only a few years younger than me – drove down from her new home a few hours from Dad’s and spent the rest of the weekend with all of us.  They took us out each evening to the club they go to and the meals fixed at the house were delicious.  We talked and visited and took pictures and relaxed!

My dad’s birthday was the day we left so we all went out to breakfast that morning to celebrate. He had not wanted a birthday cake or party or any fuss and at his age, he can get or not get what he wants.  Yet I ask you – does he really look like he’s 90?

Dad and I

Leaving was bittersweet.  Not knowing if I’d be able to get back and see him soon but so very thankful I had the opportunity to spend just a few days with him. 

Where do your travels take you?

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Photographed by Gene Amore, 1966. Original: slide; Digital scan held by Wendy Littrell

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The center of our home was – and always has been – the kitchen.  The above pictures (photographer: Gene Amore, held privately by Wendy Littrell) show the eat-in kitchen of the house I grew up in.  This was where smaller, family birthdays were celebrated; where the holiday meal preparations were done; where my dad marked the heights of me and my niece and nephew on the recessed door; where we’d sit at the table while talking on the telephone; and where I’d spend my meal times.

Dad and Mom preparing a Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner

The kitchen was the place I could find my mom if she wasn’t at her sewing machine or out in her flower beds.  She liked to cook and bake.  She taught me how to cook in this kitchen.  

Mom by the stove

On one side the kitchen was accessed by an open doorway that led into the formal dining area and on the other side it led into the living area – a recessed wooden door could close it off. 

This was not the kitchen my mom used for the last 32 years of her life but it was the kitchen I’ll always think of when remembering childhood meals and ocassions.

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College classes are done for the semester (maintained a 4.0!! Yay, me!) so hopefully I’ll be able to start posting again on a somewhat regular schedule. So sorry I’ve been silent for too long.  Have also had quite a bit of personal upheaval going on – so that doesn’t bode well for focusing on genealogy, research & writing. 

I’ve recently heard from a new-to-me cousin; related through the Goul line of my family and hopefully she & I can start to compare notes and see if we have any new information between the two of us.

I’m excited by the recent upload on Familysearch Indexing of so many new records.  I’ve already found some marriage records and a baby that I never knew existed.  I’ve looked at the records but haven’t had too much time to absorb what I’ve found.

And as many of you know, I lost my mother a year ago this month.  Her estate is still not settled and now the reverse mortgage company wants to foreclose on her property since the real estate broker and the estate attorney decided to list the property for WAY too much to begin with and in this economy (& the fact that the property is in a depressed area of the country), nothing happened in the way of potential buyers.  So now we are just waiting . . . some more. 

I’ve not had a lot of time either to read most of the genea-blogs I am subscribed to – sorry about that.  I’m not ignoring you – believe me! 

And I’ve been thrilled to hear of the geneabloggers getting together recently in Salt Lake.  Love looking at the pictures.

I watched each episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” and my personal favorite was Susan Sarandon’s episode.  Looking forward to the 2nd season.  Are you?

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Been So Busy

I want to apologize to my faithful readers for not posting as often as I have in the past.  I am taking two classes at the local community college – one via online – so between studying, going to class, my part time job, and caring for the home, I’ve been a little too busy to write articles.

However, I’ve been following several of the other genea-blogs and am so excited that genealogy is going “mainstream”!  Some examples:

  • “Faces of America” – the four-part PBS show hosted by Dr. Gates that focused on the ancestry of several celebrities (Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Stephen Cobert, Queen Noor, etc.)
  • “Who Do You Think You Are?” – the U.S. equivalent to the BBC series.  From Executive Producer, Lisa Kudrow, this series on NBC focuses on one celebrity per episode.  The first took Sarah Jessica Parker on a trek via her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to California and then to New England and the second episode took Emmett Smith from the Deep South in search of his slave roots and then across the ocean to Africa.  I’m excited by this program and enjoy the “AHA” moments each of them have!
  • “Generations Project” – on BYU Television.  If you don’t have this, you can view the episodes online.  This series follows “normal” people in their quest for their roots.

And all of this comes just in time for the Census to be filled out.  I’ve read so many issues debating this.  People don’t want to give this information out (you think they don’t already know?), that it will be used for the wrong purpose, why is it important, etc.  I, for one, know that some of my ancestors probably didn’t like it either – or I’d have found them by now!  In 72 years the genealogists in your family (your grandkids or great-grandkids or even a great-niece or nephew) will thank you for filling this out and sending it in. 

I hope to be back to posting regularly in the weeks to come so please – don’t go away!

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Monday Morning Musings

Why can I not seem to find my paternal great-grandfather’s Ohio Death Certificate on the family search site?  He died in 1924, well within the range that has been digitized and posted.  Surname: HOUSE.  I’ve even gone so far as to enter in variations: Howse, Hows, Hous, Louse, Lows, etc.  I’ve just entered the date of death – Oct. 1, 1924 and the county – or one or the other.  I’ve had no luck at all.

When people upload family information to the Rootsweb World Connect database, do they actually pay attention to dates?  I only use the information as an undocumented source until I am able to find my own documentation; however, when the parents died 10 to 20 years prior to the birth of the reported children – something is very wrong. 

How come there are some blogs – which have been on my favorites list – that my computer doesn’t like?  They won’t get out of “download” mode.  I can see the blog, but I can’t scroll or even click out of it.  I have to Control+Alt+Delete to close it out.  I’m now making sure I read those blogs via my Google Reader – but there isn’t anywhere that I can leave a comment without going to the actual blog. 

Why do people send me emails that give me some information but then end it by saying that they will mail me more information – pictures, copies of documents, etc. and then never do?  Shouldn’t they have the decency to reply back after my 2nd or third email asking if everything is alright or are they still sending it, to give me a straight answer instead of ignoring me?

* * * * * *

These are just a few of my Monday Morning Musings for today, January 4, 2010!

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Thank you for the award, Karen!

Earlier this year, this award went around the genea-blogger (and “normal” blogger) community.   I was fortunate to receive this award from Sheri of Grandma’s Stitches.  Just recently I was given this award again – from Karen at Twigs to Roots. Karen has recently begun her foray into the blogging world and has jumped in with both feet! Please travel to her blog and give her a big geneablogger welcome!

As part of receiving this award, I am to list seven things about myself:

  1. I am back in college again!
  2. My new grandson will be 2 months old on Saturday!
  3. I love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!
  4. I get to take the day “off” for Thanksgiving this year as one of my daughter’s is having it at her house for the first time!
  5. All of my grandsons have blue eyes.
  6. I’m almost at the tail end of the “baby boomer” generation!
  7. I am secretary for the PTA at my grandson’s elementary school!

Next, I’m to Award this to other blogs that I enjoy.  I’d like to try to highlight some that are new to me – since this award has already been around to several.

A Tale of Two Ancestors by Amanda Acquard. Amanda must be the sister I didn’t know I had because we share the same interests – history, genealogy, and travel (though I haven’t been able to do that!). She is currently in graduate school and working toward becoming a genealogy reference librarian. Although I am currently only working toward my associates degree, I had decided I would very much like a career as a historical archivist – whether for a library or a museum – but that is a very long way off! Stop by and say hi to Amanda!

Ancestor Hunting by Cheryl Rothwell. Her story A Family Way is very touching. Please go read her blog if you don’t have it bookmarked already!

Diggin Up Dirt by Cat. She posts interesting articles about her own genealogy research and the information she’s been able to obtain. I find it useful to see what she and other’s have found – especially when I need a slight nudge in the right direction.  Stop by and read some of her interesting posts.

And I’m sure there are many more I could honor with this award – however, I want to make sure others have the opportunity to award it!

Thanks, Karen, for the award!  And congratulations to all who receive it!

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