I blog a lot about space — asteroids, planets, the cosmos in general — but I also write about my ancestors. In fact, I think everyone should find out more about their past.
There are plenty of reasons why you should find out more of your family history.
One thing, though: the 23 and me type of DNA tests don’t really reveal much. Why? As the wonderful NY Times article linked above says:
“Culture does not come from DNA. It comes from lived experience, traditions and stories passed down, from actual people who shape our perceptions of the world.”
It’s all about stories. Humans are storytelling creatures. We shape our lives, as our life experiences shape us and those around us. Motivations, desires, hopes, beliefs, fears, dreams…
Look to the past to explain the present and predict the future. Past and future aren’t dichotomous; they’re merely points on a never-ending continuum.
It has been said that men write history but women live it.
In my family, it’s also been the women who were the keepers of family history, the tellers of tales and stories. The saver of old photographs and documents.
Which is why I have this photograph of four generations of women who brought four different families into our lineage. Thank you, Aunt Linda, for saving it. Since they are gone, I have an obligation to tell their stories. Who are they? Continue reading
So where to start the family stories?
How about with a working man and the mighty engine that could (kill him)? Continue reading
While visiting Montreal and Upstate New York for summer vacation, my family were greeted by an unhappy surprise.
My mother has Stage 4 cancer.
I’ve been spending the past two to three years researching my ancestry (at, you guessed it, ancestry.com) and I had already hoped to talk with my mother about her memories of our Irish and French Canadian heritage.
I’d already managed to find quite bit online via various databases, both public and private. But there’s no substitute for family stories. And now I have a time limit.
Though discovered nearly four years ago, an asteroid in orbit near Jupiter ( BZ509, or just “bee-zee” for short) is now said to be originally from outside our solar system. The aliens are here (have been here…). Continue reading
My friend, you died on Easter morning.
We all knew it would happen sometime soon. But still it seemed sudden.
My grandfather also died during Easter weekend, many years ago. Good Friday, in fact. I was 10. We had to have the wake and funeral right away. The Church said they wouldn’t allow him to be buried on Easter Sunday.
My mother told us that Grandpa went straight to Heaven, because he died on Good Friday. That we would one day see him again.
Terry, you died on April 1st. But it was no Fool’s. It was Easter. You were sleeping, and did not wake. Continue reading
Is it wrong to post something when nothing’s really been going on?
Well, not exactly nothing nothing. What I mean is, nothing particularly special.
Just work, family, day to day routines.
Influenza. Type B. (Not me, my daughter.)
Preparing materials for class. Doing it again. And again.
Trying to write. Failing epically. Zoning out on YouTubes on Ancient Greece and the Hittites (I’m on a big Hittite kick right now for some reason).
Finally getting to see the new Blade Runner at a friend’s house on Bluray (with kids it’s almost impossible to watch movies I want to see).
Practicing guitar for the first time in nearly a year. Then doing it every day a week straight. For 10 minutes at a time. (Before being told “Daddy, that’s noisy.”)
Yeah. Nothing in particular. Just life, I guess.