I just wanted to note, to any who have noticed, that I managed to mess up our usual appearance when I upgraded the theme files we use a week or so ago.  Of course, I had not correctly backed up the parts I had customized!  So I am still in the process of fixing the problems.  In the meantime our blog doesn’t look quite as put together as it did, and you may catch it changing appearance as I try out something.  It will be back to usual soon.  Thank you for reading anyway and putting up with the construction woes.

Friends

Pat and I are going to Newport, RI tomorrow.  Newport in February I hear you say? Place selection is part of a longer story, but we’re going to meet our other two best friends.  We live all over the country and we try to be together as often as possible, but it has been two years since last we met.

Two of us have lost parents since our last meeting.  There will be hugs and condolences and probably tears.  Then there will be laughter, loud, raucous laughter, eating, drinking and talking, talking, talking, possibly followed by more talking. Other patrons will be  driven out of restaurants by the energy field that we generate when we are together, also by the noise.

These women know things about me my children will never know and they know things about my family.

And so it was with my parents and their best friends and your parents and their best friends.  You remember, the ones who aren’t really family, but who you called  Aunt and Uncle when you were growing up.  If you are lucky enough that your parents’ friends are still alive talk to them.  If not, talk to the friends of your older relatives.  They’re usually far more pleasant about being interviewed than your blood relatives and they know things, all kinds of things.

Sometime ago I put up a post about Why We Do It.  I am fascinated by the variety of people who are interested in family history and their reasons for doing research.  So, every time I come across something on the subject or have a new thought on it I will post it.  This one is from Ian Frazier’s book Family.

” I wanted my parents’  lives to have meant something.  I hunted all over for meaning of any kind–not, I think, simply out of grief or anger at their deaths, but also because the stuff they saved implied that there must have been a reason for saving it.  The smell of an old hymnal, the weave of a black mesh hat veil, the tone of a thank you note, each struck me with the silent force of a clue.  Something was going on here.  I believed bigger meaning hid behind little ones, that maybe I could follow them to a source back tens or hundreds of years ago.  I didn’t care if the meanings were far-flung or vague or even tivial.  I wanted to pursue them  I hoped maybe I could find a meaning that would defeat death.”

If you are on LinkedIn there is a genealogy discussion group (Genealogical & Historical Research) that has had an interesting discussion going about what got you started in genealogy and what you get out of it.  It started with the question: how has genealogy changed you?   So far, one of my favorite answers is the “I can bore my family to death by talking about my research but I’m the one they all call whenever they have a question.”  (I put this in quotes because it is a fairly close representation, but it isn’t exactly what the person said and I don’t have it in front of me.)

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