It’s true; I come from a long line of storytellers. Throughout the generations, family legends have been told and retold to the newest members of each family. In turn, once they have families of their own, they, too, share those tales. And like with any narrative, some stories become larger than life, and sometimes we questioned the genuineness of these accounts.
Every time I look at this picture of this smiling girl looking out across the mesa, sitting on an outcropping with her pony, Midge, and her pup, I return home.
As another year begins, I look forward to uncovering more family mysteries as I continue to delve into the family tree. Since I began this journey just about a decade ago, I have often been amazed at the stories I have discovered, so here’s to a new year, incredible discoveries, and remarkable tales!
It is a terrible thing to be very young and be facing a family disaster that you barely understand and have no ability to prevent. But this is where I found myself when I was six years old and my four year old sister was dying of a double bacterial infection that the doctors were unable to defeat.
It seemed like every time she spoke, I would respond with high-pitched whines, ever-rolling eyes, and yeah whatevers. (It really, really is a miracle that I made it to adulthood!) Worse yet, I would argue the opposite of what she was saying. If my mother stated that the sky was blue, I would claim that it had a tint of red. If she commented that it was cold outside, I would swear that I was hot. And if she yelled, “Turn down that #$&* noise!”, naturally, I cranked up the volume. (Yep, I was THAT kid..)
In the little “down” time I do have, I enjoy seeing the world. I have traveled throughout the continental United States, as well as to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico, England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Gibraltar, Morocco, and Egypt. Still on my bucket list of places to visit are Scotland, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Wales, Alaska, Australia, Netherlands, Greek Isles, Scandinavian fjords, and the Galápagos Islands. I also want to visit these must-see sites: Great Wall of China, Acropolis, Angkor Wat, Petra, St. Basil’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Budapest, Forbidden City, Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu. (Wow! That’s a whole lot of places. Looks like I will be racking up some frequent flyer miles!)
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
— Maya Angelou
Instead a new light, a slightly brighter one, pried open my eye lids and again, I was startled to fully awake. Floating across the room was a small flowing drape of light, slowly rotating and moving from near the door towards the end of my bed. It was like a couple feet of weightless semi-transparent chiffon fabric, and it drifted closer to my bed.
My pulse was racing and I was angry at being almost scared. “No,” I thought, “I’m a scientist and not some ghost-story paranoid. But what is that thing?”
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel is essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…