Had some folks ask me…’where did you go?’ I realize that my writing…posting et al…took a hike for a period of time, but the reality is…life is a big ride and I have been hanging on to my brightly painted car while a crazed carny operated the whirl-a-gig-carousel-roller coaster-you paid to throw up?…uh thingie.
My oldest brother, Gale…my buddy that loved the cemetery trekking that I shared with him in New York State is not doing well…that brings to bear a bunch of emotional stuff that I didn’t know before. He gave me my family nickname…’hobster’ and he could remember the most amazing details about my young parents that I could not know.
At this post…I don’t know what future he has and that is tough stuff.
My paying business suddenly ramped up again after years of crickets…my promotional business’ reputation still holds in top companies…and the prodigal return. At least the marketing folks KNOW…they were just holding their breath waiting for someone that held the purse strings to let the moths out of the corporate coffers. And money at this point in my life trumps research and writing. I still need to eat..and pay for prescriptions, food…shelter and I need to pay down the debt I incurred during this more than four year bitch of an economy. My writing has been delayed by ‘life’ before…and practicality rules…but how I would love to have the gift of not giving a damn. This hurts more than I can express. Damn it. The writer that can’t get traction weeps.
Hurricane Sandy happened. We dodged a bullet so to speak…but America really cannot escape the effects of what has happened to our northeast neighbors. Like everyone in the Philadelphia area I braced for the onslaught of a super storm. We escaped by being in a rare bubble of sturm und drang. Our coastal neighbors and the folks in West Virginia were not so lucky. I can’t afford much, but I have donated to the Red Cross and some local organizations that have mobilized to help my fellow Americans. I might not ‘know’ them…but that isn’t the point. I still have a roof over my head. They need us to help.
My HVAC had some kind of nervous breakdown and cost me megabucks. Did you know THEY had motherboards? Somehow I think the word ‘mother’ in this context is antithetical to a nurturing aspect. And PECO…my energy company…has ‘sympathetic’ folks in customer service, but your problem isn’t ours. Nothing personal. Yeah. Pay the bill. Period.
My cousin Jimmie died suddenly. Tumor. Maybe two months was what he got after one visit to the doctor…he was dead in two weeks. Jimmy has ten years on me…but he was the muscled teenager that taught me to row a boat…dive down to the bottom of the Cayuga Lake cove holding my breath…how to shuck corn at his parents’ farm and the fun of sleeping on the big farmhouse porch with his dogs on a summer’s eve.
But then…my grandson, Rory, was born yesterday…my baby had a baby. He is glorious and I am in love him instantly….like I have been with each of my lovely grandchildren. Four now. For now. More than I thought…my kids are ‘late starters’…at least by my generations’ standards. But we gave them a bigger world and things to do. And then the tick…tick…got them, too. Thank goodness.
I have been uplifted. Life does that, you see. Rory was early and I am selfishly thinking his little spirit knew that the world…and maybe his struggling grandmother…needed reminding that wondrous things happen every day…full of promise, beauty, joy. Thank you, Rory. And please bring your parents, future siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins to Cayuga Lake with me to hang out…barbecue…listen to the violin virtuoso that your father raptly watched in the Commons while your mother, grandmother and aunt shopped. Swim in the lake. Skip rocks with your Uncle Karl and your cousin, Amelia. Paddle with your cousins, Hiroto and Mia along the shore. Let your Uncle Mike ‘s tale of exploring the lake with your grandmother…watching a deer cross our path in the hush of an October day wash over you while your roast marshmallows on the shore. And listen to your grandmother tell you about your ancestors who came to this beautiful place in the 1700’s and feel your place.
I want to be here for my grandchildren while they grow up…to catch the magic of history…theirs…before the world grabs them up. It is the stuff of grandparenting.
It is the great march of life. And the beginning of their amazing journey and what we give them.
Notes to My Readers: I have written to the audience of my fellow researchers…historians and researchers as a rule. Maybe secretly to my children.
However, this post is really dedicated to my grandchildren. One day I hope that this cyber-story will live in the ether world and they can ‘find’ my blog long after I have joined my ancestors. Maybe they will say “Google…what is that?”
That said, while I exist on this mortal coil…I plan to hug my grandchildren…read them stories…feed them cookies (sorry to my kids…but I this is an immutable grandparent privilege.)…tell them that they are the BEST thing since sliced bread…and plant as many lipsticked kisses on them that they will allow. But. The thing that I can give them is their family history. For good or ill. Heroes to Humble…to Clay feet. A lesson in humanity….tempered with chocolate…a perfumed hug…and unconditional love.
Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher
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