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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back home again

Sorry I have been a bit AWOL; this time of the year does it to me.  I am sure you all can relate to some degree. There were Kids activities, visiting the parents, getting everything together for various celebrations.  Yes, celebrations, as in multiple birthdays in the family this time of year, and, the anniversary of my and my husband’s first date.  In a few weeks it will be the 20th anniversary of that event; it is still hard to believe.

However, our annual trek to let the kids visit their grandparents has once again come and gone.  We gave each of them a blank leather bound journal and a list of questions that the boys wanted to know about.  A way of getting our parents started on all those questions I get asked every day about them but in some cases have no idea what the answer is!  My dad said “you gave me homework for Christmas?”

I also had a wonderful conversation with my father-in-law and was able to share with him all the interesting tidbits that I had found out about his grandfather Bennett’s parents and grandparents.  Oh, and silly me, forgot to tell my mother-in-law about all the DNA testing we have done this fall.  I am going to start keeping better records or who I tell what.  Never quite sure who knows what in the family…maybe they should read my blog more.

Same as last year I went through more old boxes at my parents’ house.  Amazing treasures once again, and I made my dad promise that they would not be stored on the back porch but in an interior closet!  The mid 1800’s photograph in its frame was the most jaw dropping discovery of the afternoon.  Now, if I only knew who he was. 

Tucked in the boxes were little notes from my grandmother, grandfather, and even my mother.  We decided that one of the boxes must have been hastily thrown together after the water heater broke in the house about 10 years ago.  There was stuff from my room, a couple things that were my husband’s, some of my mother’s papers, and a box of slides and negatives from my grandparents.  It must have been the closest plastic box at hand when the stuff was all wet. 

I love reading little notes written by people.  The grocery lists were interesting, the Wal-Mart receipt from the late 80’s was fascinating (and cheap!), and then there was the cryptic note from my mom on the back of a gauze 1x1 “The Crucial Ligaments ‘Red, Nose level’.”  I read it, looked at her, read it again, and finally said “what the hell does this mean mom?”  She looked at it, giggled, and then took me to her office.  She had written directions to my dad years ago about where to find a book, The Crucial Ligaments.  There were other notes in there too.  Like this one I discovered from my grandfather: “This and a fur coat when we get where we can find one. Probably Detroit.”  I would love to know what this card was attached to!  Grandma had a fur coat that she wore everywhere in the 40’s and into the early 50’s.  It was damaged at some point and she had it turned into 2 fashionable stoles.  I have one, and my mom has the other.   They are amazing to say the least.

Of course I couldn’t go home without another marathon scanning session.  This time I mainly copied old photographs that look like members of the family but have no identifiers written on them.  I sent copies out to the family email list hoping that someone can give me a clue to their identities.  Best of all we found my grandfather’s service record from when he retired.  So now I have a listing of his complete military record since I am unable to get it from the St. Louis Archives. (Darn that fire)

This should keep me a busy for a few weeks you know: cataloguing, reading, analyzing, filing, those sorts of things.  Lots to do!

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