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Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 1 Progress in the FHWC and a Story

photo credit: Giulia Bartra via photopin cc
Progress over the first three days was good, even if it happened to be a weekend.  I finished one story, laid out the cookbook, organized recipes into categories, and did the lineage pages (one for each family) for the front of the cookbook.  Whew, it sounds like more than it was.  Probably about 6 hours of work total over three days. 

I discovered when I was doing the lineage pages that I have a lot more gaps than I really like in my nearer generations.  This week I am going to send it out to the family yahoo group and see if anyone is willing to give me death and marriage dates on my grandmother’s generation.  That is where I have the most holes mainly because I can’t get the information from the internet as they are too recent and those records aren’t available yet without being there.  Might as well ask their kids and grandkids for the information, right?

Since I wanted each lineage page to fit on one page of the cookbook, I listed only direct line male ancestors for each surname until my grandparent’s generation.  For their generation I listed all the siblings with their birth and death dates and their spouses.  It is the spouse’s birth and death dates I have the most holes on. 

The one story I wrote was about the Waterford crystal seahorse and land horse my husband and I bought in Waterford, Ireland.  For your reading enjoyment, I posted it below.

Land Horse and Sea Horse… Oh my!

In May of 1997 my then boyfriend, now husband, and I had a grand European adventure.  My mother was stationed at Landstuhl Army Medical Center and had saved up several weeks of leave.  The plan was to travel from Germany to Paris, then to Dover through Calais, and then drive through the British Isles together as a family before returning Germany.  We spent a month driving my parents Ford Explorer through England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.  So. Many. Stories.  This story is about Waterford, crystal, and finding something that speaks to your heart.

We spent one night and one day in Waterford, Ireland at a hotel right on the river across the bridge where we drove into town from Dublin.  It is now the Treacy Hotel, but it was the Day’s Hotel when we visited.  My husband and I went out after dinner and explored up and down the river doing some evening sightseeing.  Nothing was open, of course, but we saw some interesting parts of town.  The highlight of the evening was sitting in front of the tower and eating a candy bar talking about what our future might be.  He had bought my engagement ring a few days before while we were on Holyhead Island, Wales.

The next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we drove to the Waterford Crystal Factory.   Mom and I couldn’t wait to get there; we had been talking about it for weeks.  My husband and dad enjoyed it too… but I don’t think they were quite as mesmerized as we were by the shiny, glittery, glassy stuff.  At the time of our visit the factory was in the middle of switching from the old factory guided to tour to the new tour which, when complete, would be mostly self-guided. 

Of course you are shuttled through their factory store at the end, and of course we HAD to look around.  My mom and dad looked at settings and house hold goods, but we weren’t interested in those types of items.  As college kids what in the world would we do with bowls, drinking vessels, or that type of stuff in our college housing?  That was when we found the sculpture section of the gallery, and fell in love with 2 small figurines: one, a rearing horse, and the other, a Waterford seahorse. 

My husband grew up training and riding horses.  He has always loved those great big beasts but it was his lot to fall in love and marry a woman who is scared to death of them.  I, on the other hand, love the ocean, which he really only tolerates because of me.  They were perfect, and exactly the souvenir we wanted. One that spoke to us and who were are.

In addition to the sculptures (which stand about 6” in height) we also received a free gift.  Free is always good, particularly when it is crystal.  That year they were giving away friendship bowls when you purchased a certain amount of crystal.  My parents, were given two, and they kindly gave us one.  For many years it sat holding potpourri in our living room.  Now it sits in its box waiting for a bigger house, and older children, so it can be displayed again. 

The crystal, however, almost didn't make it home.  The next week we were in Edinburgh and my father was nearly involved in a major traffic accident on the A1 traveling down to York.  We had drove from Edinburgh to York the day before when my mother realized after unpacking the truck she was missing her uniforms.  A quick call back to the B&B in Scotland confirmed that the cleaning staff had hung her suit bag up in the closet, something mom never did.  My other half and I got to sight see York that day while my parents made the trip, again.  On their way back to the hotel in York dad was nearly sideswiped by a lorrie merging onto the A.  He swerved into the other lane, missing a car, but had to slam on his brakes so he didn't rear end the stopped traffic in front of him.  My mom told me he turned the car slightly sideways in case he needed to go onto the shoulder but all she could think of at the time was "The Crystal! Don't hurt the CRYSTAL!"  Which dad says she screamed at him as they were skidding down the motorway.  Mom and her priorities right?

Today the horses sit on our mantle.  Looking at each other and reminding us of our amazing adventure. 

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