Sunday, October 7, 2018

Grandson, this is your grandma.

On the Facebook Page "Genealogy Forward the Storytellers," member Darry Kannenberg gave us a very good blogging prompt when he asked some questions.  With his permission, I'm repeating his questions and answering them here.  I hope that someday my grandson will read this, and other entries in my blog pertaining to our family history.

"How did you and your spouse meet? What was your first date?"

We met in church -- when we were seven years old.  His family attended the church, and my aunt, who was also my godmother, took her duties seriously, and dragged me along.  Our first date?  Gosh, I can't really remember what I would call a first date.  I think it was going out for ice cream or something old-fashioned like that.

"Who was your best friend growing up? What sort of adventures did you have?"

My best friend in high school was Ellen.  She moved to our city, Jacksonville, Florida, from up north.  She was a native of Long Island, and had the accent.  We did a bunch of crazy and silly things together.  One winter morning (north Florida had some bitter winters in the 1960s), we hopped the city bus and went downtown to the most popular and toniest department store of the day, Cohen Brothers.  It was very cold, and the management of the store took pity on the few of us who were waiting outside for opening.  They let us in, into a roped-off area, where we could wait in the warmth.  At precisely the hour of opening, the bugle call "Post Time" (which they play at horse races) sounded, and Ellen and I hollered out, "Charge it!"  The other patrons and the store employees who heard us were amused.

"Favorite class in school? Least favorite?"

I'll start with the least favorite: algebra.  I was miserable at it, didn't understand it.  I barely squeaked by, which was unusual for me.  Geometry, on the other hand, was fun, and I grasped it with no trouble.  Favorite course?  At the time, English, because we had some outstanding, stellar English teachers at our school.

"Who was the mean neighbor when you were a kid? What would they do?"

I'm not sure we had a truly mean neighbor.  We had some who pretty much kept to themselves.  But I don't remember having an actual grouch.

"Where was the scariest place you ever happened to be?"

At the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, with my foot stuck in the mud.  I went to a summer camp a few years in a row.  It was in the Florida Panhandle, on the Gulf.  There was a pier, and a diving board off it.  Out in the water, there was a raft, a platform of wood over sealed, empty 55-gallon drums.  One day, a bunch of us dared each other to jump off the raft and go as deep as we could.  I got to the bottom, but it was very deep mud, and one of my feet got caught.  I struggled, gazing up at the sun shining on the surface of the water, wishing I was there.  With one last effort, I drew my body in like a spring, being careful not to get the other foot stuck, and gave one mighty effort to get free.  It worked, and I got to the surface, happy to be there.

"Growing up, what was the far away place you always wanted to visit? Ever get there?"

I don't think I gave that much thought.  I would like to have gone to various places here in the U.S., but those trips never came off.

"Who were your heroes? Why?"

Eleanor Roosevelt was one.  She went from "ugly duckling," criticized by her family, to being the First Lady of the land, and one of the most active, outwardly-directed First Ladies in the history of this nation.  Eliot Ness was another, because of his dedication and incorruptibility.  My father was one, too.  He was a Naval aviator and flight instructor in World War II.  He died when I had just turned seven years old.

"Is there a time or place you’ve always been drawn to? Why do you think that is?"

I've always been fond of American History, and was interested in the 1920s and 1930s.  Not sure why.  It just seemed like an interesting period, though it became a very difficult one for so many people. Perhaps it was because my mother's generation was young during the Great Depression, and she and my grandma both spoke of their experiences during that time.  One place I just love going back to is Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, for the same reason of my fondness for American history.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

#TheBookofMe How do you keep emotionally strong?

The first way is what comes naturally -- I'm a cantankerous old curmudgeon.  I'm too stubborn to give in.

The second way is that I have, at my age, no qualms about speaking my mind.  Some of my opinions should be issued with laboratory gloves, because they have a pH of 1.

The third way is that I let off steam by having fun.  Everyone needs to do that from time to time.

The fourth way is by trying to take care of myself.  That's difficult, because right now I'm battling a very difficult insomnia. 

The fifth way is with hugs.  We're a very huggy family, and sometimes a hug is just what we need to set things right.

The sixth way is what I just did last week.  I took the week off to be a lazy bum and do nothing.  No work.  I did play computer games.  I watched TV, binged on "Law & Order."  I feel much better now.

On the other hand, in the seventh way, I get into my work, go back to the late 18th - early 19th centuries, and bid the modern world adieu for a while. 

And finally, I realize that, in the great cosmic scheme of things, my problems aren't that big at all.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

#TheBookofMe How do you relax and unwind?

Or, as my daughters would say, how do I unlax and rewind?

Playing computer games.  I play a variety of games.  When something has really irritated me, I play Diablo III, because I can blow away demons with great satisfaction.  My daughters and I have an expression for playing Diablo III to blow off steam:  We say, "I'm going to go kill things."  When I'm mellower, I play less violent games.  However, game play can be frustrating in its own way, for the first rule of gaming is "The game always cheats."  (And let's note that when I say "gaming," I mean playing compter or role-playing games.  When Las Vegas and other places I have no wish to go use the word "gaming," they should be using the word "gambling."  They're just trying to make that practice sound innocuous, which it is not.  Here endeth the editorial.)

Interacting with family.  It's fun to go places with my daughters, son-in-law, grandson, and my husband.  We do fun things and/or eat good food.  Or just sitting and talking with them.  Humor plays a big part in our interactions.  We love to laugh.

Taking a nap.  At my age, taking a nap is nearly mandatory.  It sure does help, most of the time.

Reading.  Other things have kept me from reading as much as I like to and as much as I should.  I have a very long To-Read Queue (TRQ).  But I enjoy it.

Playing with or petting our cat.  It is said that petting a cat (or a dog) lowers your blood pressure.  Certainly, when I pet Gabriela, it lowers her blood pressure.  That cat knows how to mellow out.  She also knows how to play, and her favorite toy is a 6' length of string.  She plays with that only under supervision, and she really goes after it.  She also likes "the red dot" (laser pointer).

Listening to music.  And when I say "music," I mean music.  Classical, show tunes, bluegrass, world music, jazz.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

#TheBookofMe What Do You Share?

Well, that could get into the realm of Too Much Information!

However, I will exercise uncharacteristic self-restraint.

What, indeed, to I share?

My opinions.  Anyone who knows me on Facebook or, to a lesser extent, on Twitter, knows that I can have very strong opinions.   If you remember high school chemistry, you'll understand when I say that my opinions often have a pH of 1.

My work.  I do enjoy talking about the work I'm doing as a historian studying Spanish colonial East Florida between 1784 and 1821.  A lot of this genealogy blog concerns the genealogy of the residents of that area during that time; I have not much time for my own family genealogy anymore (though today I did get an awful lot of very good documentary hints on Ancestry!).

My fun.  One of the ways I share my fun is in online games.  My daughters and son-in-law and grandson and I all play Diablo III (before anyone gets het up about it involving demons, yes, it does, but your job as a player is to fight them and defeat them on the side of good).  We share fun, and in-game gifts and goodies.  In another game I play, a much more peaceful game called Township, I share my produce and manufactured products with friends, both within and outside of the cooperative I belong to.

Love.  I come from a very huggy family.  We shared our love with hugs and food and humor.  Though there were trying times, my family was basically fun to grow up in.  We still share with food, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, though we also take friends and family out to dinner on our nickel throughout the year.  I love my husband, our daughters, our son-in-law, our grandson, our friends.

Interests.  My husband and I have a lot in common, but we also have different interests.  He's retired, and spends a lot of time on the computer (he was a programmer).  I spend a lot of time in my office because I'm not retired!  I have things in common with our daughters, too (like computer games), and that makes our relationship fun.

That's enough sharing for one day!