Monthly Archives: March 2012

Storage Rooms and Closets vs Vacation

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It’s that time of year when the boss flies off to go skiing amidst gaining CME’s for her license and we, the workers, get a week off over spring break.  And so great ideas abounded before and some actually happened.

Monday:  I opened the storage room door.  I closed it.  I just couldn’t…not now. Let’s do laundry and dishes.  Yes, that’s much easier.

Tuesday:  OK, can’t wait any longer, I opened the storage room door again.  Grabbed a couple boxes and started going through them.  I smiled. I laughed.  I shook my head.  And at times, held back a tear.  Those boxes held the memories of my life spanning a good 20 years. I started saving tidbits and things when I was about 14-15 and in high school, thinking that someday I would pass things on to my daughter or son.  But here I am at 50 with no children and no hopes of anyone to pass them on to.

There were letters and do-dads, and fun and sadness.  But most of all, I found bits and pieces of me from long ago.  I found ticket stubs from games gone by and ribbons from flowers and gifts long received.  I found my Sierra’s rabies dog tags from all of her life.  I found letters and cards from birthdays and holidays long ago sent by friends and family. I found letters from the many many prisoners I used to write and visit.  I found newspapers and clippings of stories and comics that were sent to me from places I used to live.  I found memories and thoughts of a me that has changed and moved on. I relocated key chains and baubles, wedding invitations and bubbles, funeral programs and prayer cards.

And a few hours later I had a handful of things to keep and full boxes of things that could be let go.  I realized that I had carried these memories in paper and glass and plastic and metal form for years.  I have moved many many times over the last 30 years and each time I carried some of these things with me.  Filing memories in a box that never got reopened unless it was in the hopes of finding a picture.  By storage room is a mess of things that I will never look at again and no longer need.

I tried to think of why I saved these things anyhow.  Was it to make me feel as though I mattered to someone at some point in my life?  Or perhaps that I just didn’t want to let go of the past?  Or could it be that right now, I am loved by a wonderful man and no longer need these things?  Or could it be something as mundane as I have no more room to put things and something must go?  Perhaps a bit of all of the above.

I am also in the process of creating my family tree.  And I see how important some pictures and papers and certificates can be.  So I did try to find as much as I could that could help in that…and then perhaps those will find their way to the garbage can as well (after being digitally preserved, of course).

It  was a tad hard to really give up all of the tangible evidence of my existence in those boxes, but in another way it was refreshing.  Like scabs being removed…it hurts, but then healing can begin.

So have you looked in your closets and storage areas lately?  What will you find?  A bit of yourself? Perhaps.  Or perhaps you’ll find a life well lived and well cherished.  You might even find old friends and long ago loves.  I did.

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the Chevy Volt, Solyndra, and all the others

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The era of bailouts….the American taxpayer has bailed out so many of Obama’s friends and cohorts, it’s no longer healthy for America.   We have become a toxic bank to the Obama cronies.

They cry that they are for the poor and disenchanted whilst taking funding and favors from those they consider rich…insert Republican…and give it to failing Obama enterprises.

Obama gave our paychecks to force Chevy to put their prototype, the Volt, into production.  The Volt was never meant to be put on the road this soon.   This so called energy saving car using electricity can barely go 26 miles without dying out and needing that which Obama wants to force us to stop using, gasoline.   So he wants us to use electricity…which needs sources such as coal to create.  And yet he has demanded more regulations–costing more money on coal producers– be placed so that the cost of that electricity is more expensive.

And then there is Solyndra who received hundreds of thousands of dollars of us working people’s money—all the time knowing that it was a failing business that would fail.  They ignored the former (Republican) President’s administration’s decision of not lending any money to them.  But then again, Solyndra gave money to Obama–so it was probably a favor returned.  Then Solyndra gave bonuses to their bigwigs and filed bankruptcy.

There have been banks and other so-called ‘green’ companies that Obama has helped by digging into our pocketbooks.  And most have closed their doors after getting their ‘fair share’.  Yes, Obama is all about being fair.  As long as you are Democrat, think he is some sort of a god,  and have drank from his poisoned well of words.

And the list goes on.  It’s like Obama and his cronies fail at business.  And we have more proof everyday that Obama fails as a representative of the USA.  Bowing to foreign leaders, apologizing for being American, showing disrespect to our flag, and most importantly, stating in his book his disdain for whites when Europeans are the majority of this country.

He has placed more regulations and taken more money out of the hands of working Americans since the Great Depression.   More Americans are out of work and needing jobs.  But companies can’t hire when they are now putting money that should be for salaries into more permits and more regulation compliance.

So what is Obama going to do when there are no more working Americans to take money from?  Where will he get his money to pay out to his cronies?  Where will he get his money for his version of healthcare….that everyone but politicos will be forced to have?

Yes, Obama is the Green President…he needs OUR green for his projects.   He needs OUR green for his cronies.  He needs OUR green for his failed poor excuse of a presidency.

We need a President….not a wannabe.  We need a leader, not an apologizer.  We need stability, not whims.  We need a hand up….not a handout!  We need ________________, not Obama!

 

 

Where did I come from? Who did I come from?

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The age old question of children:  “Where did I come from? ”  It’s our nature to what to know where we came from.  I think that is for many reasons.  Knowing where we came from explains our present and can guide our futures.  And in answering that question of where, we grow up wanting to know more about the ‘who’ behind that where.

We come from our parents, obviously.  We are the genetic makeup of our parents and their parents and so forth and so on back to Adam and Eve.   Of course, after Noah and the Great Flood, I guess we should say back to Noah and his family.

And then Abraham had Israel and Ishmael.  Ishmael being the son of Abraham’s wife’s servant Hannah was sent away and so the Arab world can trace its roots back to  him.  Israel was the father of the Jewish world which begat the Christian world, since Jesus was Jewish and the Christ whose followers are Christians.

And as these cultures spread throughout the world, they propagated and created countries and traditions and cultures that are handed down generation to generation.

I said all of that to say this:  I have been working on my family tree.  I have always been interested in my family members and who went where and who did what.  I loved listening to my paternal grandmother explaining what her sisters did and what her father built.  Or listening to my mother talk of her family’s farm.

We go to school and learn history and then as we get older to understand that our aunts, uncles, etc were in that war or were a part of that piece of history.

And then in the late 1970’s, Alex Haley wrote a book which became the first TV mini-series: Roots.  He had traced his family history back and then sparked an interest in the hearts of millions by sharing his story, his history, with the world.   One of those hearts that got sparked was my Aunt Janet.   She organized our family’s first reunion in the early 1980’s.  Her mother, my paternal grandmother, had died in 1980 and it was obvious that the family was beginning to lose touch with each other.  And so for years we met once a year to catch up with one another, share stories, embrace the new family members and remember those that had left us.

This is when my heart got sparked to start working on the family tree…in my own little way.  I did it all my hand and only concerned myself with my dad’s family from his parents down.  And our family has grown since those days.

Fast forward to March 2011 when my boyfriend gifted me with Family Tree Maker*.  Ok, this is NOT an ad for the program so don’t think that I’m trying to sell anything.  I mention it for one thing: it helped me organize my tree in a more consistent manner and it came with a 1 month subscription to Ancestry.com*.   And that is when my spark became a flame that became a wildfire.  I had to have a subscription!  And no I’m not selling Ancestry.com either.  But I will say it made this couch potato’s love of history come to life as I was able to find my family roots back to the arrival into the United States.  (I have my hands full enough with just this section of my family history–maybe one day I’ll try to trace the German and French and other foreign language records.)  But I do encourage you to find a way to organize your notes and papers.  And there are many many websites to help you along your journey…many of which are free.

I have enjoyed exploring not only my roots, but the roots of all those that are or have been a part of the family.  I have learned of family that registered or were drafted into World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.  There are members that only served in peace time, and those that are currently serving.  And although my direct roots did not come to America until the 1870-1880’s,  I found some Confederate States of America soldiers.

My father’s family came to this country from Germany  and landed in Baltimore on their way to St Louis, Missouri.   My mother’s family came from Germany and entered through the port of New Orleans on their way to Illinois.   Dad’s family were laborers.  Mom’s family were farmers.

Dad’s family stayed in and around St Louis, except for the women who followed their husbands to new homes out of state.  Mom’s family moved to Mississippi and Arkansas for farms.

And through this entire journey over the last year, I have come to understand a bit more about myself.  I come from strong German families that labored in factories and labored in the fields.  One side lived in the city and the other side in rural areas.   Although German, diversity came together in my parents.  Mom was raised in the South with its traditions and social differences.  Dad was raised in the North with its own identity.   Even their Catholicism was different.  I like to think that I have the best of both worlds.

Our family grew and spread throughout the United States and the next generation is carrying that on.  Each of us bringing the traditions and cultures we have learned with us, whether we realize it or not.   Our parents influence our speech, our walk, our values, our morals–we can’t escape it.  We might not agree, but their influence still affected us.

We each have a history inside of us.  And as we live our lives, and co-exist with the previous and future generations, we share that history with their history.   All I know is that I understand more about who I am, who I came from and where I want to go.

So if you are searching for who you are–try looking into your tree.  You just might be surprised.

 

* Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Provo, Utah.