For many years I’ve been curious about all those family members who have made me who I am. Several months ago I made a chart starting with eight sheets of 8 ½x14 paper taped together in two rows of four each.
Then I drew lines for seven generations with me as the first one on a single line in the middle of the chart’s bottom. I put my parents on the next 2 lines widely separated; above those 4 lines for my grandparents; then 8 (great grandparents); 16 (2nd great grandparents); 32 (3rd great grandparents); finally, 64 (4th great grandparents.
How many of those lines are filled? All of my grandparents and 1st great grandparents. I am missing only one of my 2nd great grandparents (the name of the mother of my great grandmother from Scotland). From there on my chart becomes sketchy. I have 17 of 32 of 3rd generation grandparents’ names. Only 10 of the 64 (4th generation) are filled in.
However, I was pleased to find four of the next generation which includes one who fought in the American Revolution. Another entered the War of 1812. Perhaps some fought in the Civil War, but I do not have their names.
If a bowl of chips or box of chocolate is on the table. You take just one. Can you then walk away satisfied? I can’t.
Tracing one’s genealogy becomes equally additive. It is easy to spend hours online searching one site or another. The name of a grandparent pops up. I am thrilled. But, who are their parents? When were they born, married, died? One question after another one keeps me staring at the screen.
Spring with its warm days is always my favorite time of year. I love to watch everything come back to life in the gardens. I welcome the dandelions, which bring the first splash of color. Later, I may hate the long stems and seeds flying around, but I love their bright yellow.
Gardening has always been a favorite activity. I had gardens in most of the homes my husband and I lived in. Some were small, others larger. We grew flowers and vegetables.
This week the church Memorial Garden committee met with the landscaper to pick out trees and bushes. Last fall the 40-year-old and over-grown ones were cut out. Our landscaper cleaned and replaced the pavers and outlined the cross shape of the garden with contrasting blocks. Monday, we picked out two dogwoods and other bushes for planting.
Today was designated as church clean-up day. This morning I spent over an hour helping plant perennials and annuals around the church. Unfortunately I ran out of energy and had to quit.
When I returned from the church, I looked at my own small raised bed and assessed its growth and what I should plant to improve it.
Finally, I have been looking the pictures I took during the twenty years I lived in my former home. Most of pictures were taken to put in my garden book to document the plants and their blooms at a given time. With an acre of land, I built several gardens. The last couple of years I lived there, I lacked the energy to maintain so many of them, and concentrated on fewer ones, which were close to the house.
Now I enjoy gardening my small plot for perennials, a small bed for tomatoes, and decorative boxes and pots on my porch.
Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law seem to be the targets of comedy and melodrama. I know of daughters-in-law who so control their husbands that they not allowed to participate in family events. Others complain that their husbands didn’t learn anything at home because their mothers-in-law didn’t teach them to care for themselves. I’m sure these instances are real.
I am a mother-in-law with two wonderful daughters-in-law. Both of them love their spouses unequivocally. Both show respect to me. They visit my home and invite me to theirs. They share love by giving me their time whether it to chat, fix something in my home, or bring me a goodie they made.
But the greatest of all, they share their love for me and my family. We enjoy being together with one another. What could be better?