Welcome ! Come join me and find out what we may have in common

Picture a welcoming place to sit, a warm, friendly enviroment,

maybe a steaming cup of coffee or tea and a smiling face that is intereted in sharing many thoughts....I have a curious mind and if you are reading this my guess is you do too...let's share a few minutes and some conversation as friends old and new.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

I am not complaining but it HAS been a severe winter for North Georgia and it's only January!
I always have my eyes on the Northeast as I have so many ties to that area...I am sure a real Mainer
would laugh hearing me say it has been a rough winter...but in New England there is a whole different standard.

On Christmas we got 6inches and this past week Georgia got slammed with another storm and this time there was ice with  it. We got 8-10inches and that is a big deal !!!

Several years ago I took an Amtrack train from Chicago to the west coast. I remember looking out the window across the vast plains and thinking "what do these people do in the winter" you might not see your closest neighbor for months!! I tried to imagine what that would be like and how I might adapt to living in such an isolated
enviroment. I live in city limits where everything I need is a stones throw away....how must people in the plain states prepare for a winter that is severe?

Then my mind drifted back to my many Yankee ancestors ...ancestors that I never knew but are so familiar to me
since I have been doing genealogy. How did they with even less resources than the homes I saw on the Amtrack train ( no refrigeration, no big farm plow, no computer, no telephone, and even the clothing was not on a par with the warm clothes we have today....how did they fare?

Now, I have not always lived within a stone's throw of a grocery store. When my children were young we
bought a home over 100yrs old. It had three rooms 17x17 and they had fireplaces plus a loft room and was most likely the parents room up the narrow stairs and two very small bathrooms that were added in later years.
We were young and this old home was a romantic idea ( you know baking my own bread, having some chickens
and goats and an old barn and some gorgeous old pecan and a ceder tree to enjoy)...LOL..I shudder thinking of it now. The first winter I wore my coat inside the house. Water would freeze INSIDE the house.The romance was short lived,  as we tried to figure out how to keep warm. Some wood burning stoves definitely helped the situation but I can still hear my daughter saying "why can't we live like normal people?"
Remember those TV shows that had a family live like they colonials did? Eat the same food and wear the same clothes? Well, my 100+yr old farm house was fairly close to that experience.
NO, you won't hear me complain...I have a nice gas fireplace and other house heat. I appreciate living in a city where they plow the streets and sand them when a storm arrives and I store enough food so we can be very comfortable in a January cold week. I am older and wiser now....but glad I had the experience years ago.
No you will NOT hear me complain!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

There's a time to say "goodbye"

I got that phone call from my sister ....the one I was sort of expecting but when it comes you realize you are not as prepared as you thought. "He passed away this morning" she said... cancer had claimed another life.

Being involved in genealogy, I am used to death dates, sending for death records, walking cemeteries, and
realizing some die too young. Death does not scare me...I am a cancer survivor and I am comfortable with my
beliefs about death. My sister however, was married 47yrs ( her first serious boyfriend) and so much of her life, her interests, her daily life was entwined with his...would she be alright?
I told her I would make arrangements and be with her for the funeral. We had been together for our parents' funerals and supported each other in the aftermath, but when I left this time she would experience being alone
for the first time in many many years. I am the older sister and I wanted to protect her.

During the trip to her home I thought about the women in my family (our ancestors) ...many of them had little time to grieve..there were children to raise, chores to be done, and times were difficult. Women were not trained to take over the financial responsibilities or make decisions about buying and selling properties. Fortunately some were left in comfort but others did not live close to family and had to manage with help from church members or neighbors.

I was pleased to see the support my sister received. Her neighbors insisted on preparing all the food  as friends stopped by after the funeral. Flowers, cards and so many offers of support from so many sources. I really had nothing to worry about. She had friends from her volunteer work, her two  social clubs , her church,
and the neighbors (many of them widows too) were so willing to be of assistance. Her sons live in her area
so I drove home thinking her life although changed will never the less be full of people who will help her heal.
We all came to say "goodbye" but life goes on and a new chapter has opened. It will be interesting to see her
make friends, adjust a different lifestyle and grow as a person.
I will be her main cheer leader! We never know what we might have to adjust to in this life but she has strong heritage, so I expect she will meet the day with the strength her forebearers did and be a good example for me to follow.