It's my genealogy blog, version 2.0, where I tell stories about our famous (and infamous) ancestors- our unsung heroes, our common man, our ordinary people who did extraordinary things- for our children. "[H]istorians talk about events of the past…[r]arely do we talk about the common man, the unsung hero. These people, many times, are unknown to us. All those people’s story mattered just as much as the stories of the great leaders. It’s easy to lose track of all those individuals but they’re there and they deserve to be remembered. One of the great lessons of history, all history, is that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. [T]hey are doing something not just for themselves, but for posterity. For their children." (Author unknown to me) Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (The Holy Bible)
In all the craziness of the last few weeks I haven’t posted a farewell blog post here. I need to let all of you know that this will be the final blog post on Livejournal. I love Livejournal but I’ve been wanting to include audio and video with my blog posts so I have moved the blog over to WordPress. One of the advantages of WordPress (other than audio and video capability) is that the URL now includes the name of my blog. You can find the new blog at Days of Our Lives Genealogy at WordPress.
After 10 years with Livejournal I feel a little sad about leaving. It’s been a good run here and Livejournal was a great host to begin blogging with. But we all grow and growth brings change and change…well, it isn’t always a bad thing. There will be a few growing pains along the way but there will also be some great new adventures that we couldn’t have had with Livejournal. So I’m looking forward to the future of the blog and I hope you’ll join me over at WordPress for the NEW posts. All of the old posts will remain here at Livejournal and will always be available and searchable.
I’ll close with an old poem that I learned in Girl Scouts with my childhood best friend. This is also a poem that I memorialized in a quilt block that went into a quilt for her on her 30th birthday.
Silver and gold,
Silver and gold,
Make new friends,
But keep the old.
So a few days ago during the transition from Livejournal to WordPress, I unintentionally posted a test blog post on this new site. I “promised” a blog post about my father-in-law set for Monday. Well, since it went live and people saw it before I could take it back down, I’m keeping my promise. This post includes an excerpt from a conversation with my father-in-law about his experiences during the Korean Conflict.
The voice of someone is so important. You don’t realize that until someone is gone and you can’t talk to them anymore. Luckily, Bart’s dad is still with us and on November 25th last year we were sitting around Bart’s parents’ table and his dad started talking about his military experiences during the Korean Conflict. I had the foresight to reach down and turn my phone on to record him. He was telling his stories and then these words came out of his mouth: “I bombed uh…I bombed London one time.”
My heart stopped. I had no idea he had actually been involved in that level of conflict. This wasn’t a story I’d heard before. And then this little gem of a story came out. I told him that night that I WOULD be blogging this little gem. So here it is. I’m glad to be sharing it with you. It’s just over one minute long. Below is a transcription in case you’re like me and sometimes don’t have enough bandwidth to run audio or video. Just for reference, the people sitting around the table were Bart’s parents, Bart and I, and Bart’s uncle Gerry.
“I bombed uh..I bombed London one time. That plane had a little deal you could open up and it sucked air and we had some flight lunches I’d got at London for- we had a General in there and uh, he was…We flew about an hour and he said, “Oh my goodness! I left my camera at the uh, at the airport there.” So we had to fly back and we got flight lunches while we was there and took off again. And he apologized to me for being late and I said, “I don’t care. That’s alright! Me and you…” So as we left London again I opened that little thing up and them flight lunches had ketchup and…and…ketchup and uh, mustard in them little things about that big around. Put ‘em up that hole and [makes sucking noise]…[laughing]…
So you bombed London with ketchup and mustard?!
I so wish I had thought of this when my cousin Rus was visiting and my dad was telling him about his Vietnam experiences. Next time I’ll remember…
This is my very first blog post on WordPress. I’m excited to have a new host. One of my first blog posts will be a portion of an audio interview with my father-in-law talking about some of his war experiences. I plan on posting this interview on Monday. There is one story in particular I want you to hear. In it, my father-in-law talks about bombing a city during the war. I hope you’ll come back on Monday to listen to him talk about the war.
Yesterday was the first day of National Card & Letter Writing Month! I hope you’ve decided to join me in making a special effort to send out some personal mail this month or help an elderly person write a letter if they are unable. I mailed out my request for my grandpa’s WPA personnel file yesterday.
I’m looking forward to receiving that file. I’m planning on sending out some thank-you notes and other more personal mail this week. Keep your mailman busy, people! Tax season is almost over and I’m ready to get back to writing on the blog in addition to participating in card/letter writing. Another thing to look forward to is the warm weather that will bring out all the wild edibles. Last week my sister-in-law and I harvested redbud blossoms and made Redbud Jelly.
So pretty and delicious!
Remember when I talked about August Schneidenbach a couple of months ago? Well, our August Schneidenbach memorial apple tree arrived and we planted it. It is an heirloom variety of apple called ‘Opalescent’. We chose this variety because in the description at Trees of Antiquity it notes that this variety was grown in Michigan in the late 1800’s – just when August would have been growing his apples.
In the midst of all this mess with getting taxes together and planting trees and flowers, etc., I didn’t get my daughter’s birthday blog post written. Today I want to celebrate her. When I found out I was pregnant with her I wanted a girl. That would give us one boy and one girl and we were certain at that time that we only wanted two children. When I was looking at baby names I found a Hebrew name that I loved. As soon as I saw the meaning of the name I knew I’d found her name. Her name is Shaina which means ‘beautiful’. And she is.
Her middle name is a combination of two family names and means “strong, happy, graceful”.
When she was about 5 years old I was a teacher of one of her church groups. They were all such cute little girls. For one of their projects, we took a Saturday and cleaned the church. I was a little grumble-y in my heart because that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend one of my two days off that week. Some of the girls, including Shaina, were cleaning the bathroom. I had stepped into the foyer to do something and Shaina came out of the bathroom and said, so genuinely, “Mom, God told me ‘thank you for cleaning the bathroom’. It makes him happy.” To say I was humbled would be putting it mildly. Out of the mouths of babes, right?
I managed to find a photo from that day but couldn’t find one with Shaina in it.
Sweet Hannah. I miss her. I miss all these girls.
Although Shaina and I are alike in some ways, we are very different in others. I’m much more introverted than she is. The advantage for me was that I got to live vicariously through her. When I was little I always wanted to be a cheerleader. She actually got to do that.
I wanted to be in drama but after elementary school, I was not self-confident enough.
Shaina in The Little Prince.
I did end up (unintentionally) with a role in the amphitheater at Disney where we participated in the play as a family for a few years.
Shaina also loves to paint. Now THAT I can do! Perhaps not skillfully, but I can do it with her. Three times we’ve been painting together. This one at my church:
This year, she asked to go back to Painting with a Twist so she and I went for her birthday. This is what we painted:
I’m proud of my daughter. She’s intelligent and strong-willed. She’s raising two handsome boys and, because of her tenacity, she has the job she’s always dreamed of. She’s had some amazing experiences in life and I hope she has many more.
While it wasn’t written for a mother and daughter, there is still a message that I want her to hear. So, Shaina- I hope you had a great birthday.
I have one last small gift for you, Shaina. You said you didn’t have any photos of you and DeReK together. I’ll get you some photos, but this one I’m giving to you today. You can download it on your phone and keep it with you.
I hope you understand how much I love you and how proud I am of you. I hope you understand that you were an answer to my prayers- literally. And I hope you know that I will love you always and forever.