Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve been researching my heritage… well, nearly all of my almost 60 years. Being adopted means being loved… but also facing a blank wall as far as ancestors go. Who were they? WHERE were they??

I always assumed mine had to be bank robbers and horse thieves.rabbit

Well, thank goodness for Ancestry. The DNA testing found my half-sister (she hasn’t been back to the site since October, so doesn’t know I messaged her in return. I wish the service would email if there’s a message!) and from there my family tree started, buoyed by other member’s family trees and documents.

I now know my father’s name, and surprise!, I’m not a bastard. My mom married him. Briefly.

And so far, through my maternal grandmother’s branch of the tree, I’ve been able to go as far back as Ireland, 1599. Now… I have to go over all this a million times before I really believe it… but the magnitude of it is kicking my butt. I have ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the War of 1812, WWI and WWII. The phrase ‘Fighting Irish’ now holds new meaning.

Not horse thieves, this clan – O’Rourke – seemed to be leaders instead of wastrels.

Of course, other branches have led back to England. Nothing yet from Scandinavia, but maybe that’s my father’s side.

Here’s where the going gets sticky… a few times in documents I’ve read that my ancestors owned slaves. It was a kick in the gut. Seriously; one woman being willed to a surviving wife was called a ‘negro wench’ and upon reading that my lunch nearly came up.

No, I’ll not be paying reparations. No, I don’t feel guilty; I’ve never owned slaves and it’s been a damn long time since my family has. But it did put a damper on the joy of finally having a family tree.

 

Beach

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My Valentine roses have nothing whatsoever to do with the beach. But I think they’re pretty and since I didn’t have my camera last night…

Ever since we moved to Pompano Beach in 2002, I’ve been looking forward to leaving. Never ‘blooming where I’m planted’; never putting down roots of any kind here. Made few friends and don’t see them much. To my embarrassment I never even reach out to them, preferring an insulated existence. Why would I want to become good friends with people only to leave them? That’s happened before and I hate it.

The virtues of the area have made themselves known over the years… aside from a hurricane once in a while, the weather is usually wonderful. But the cost of living is so high we’d never be able to retire here, which means within the next couple of years we’ll be forced to make a move.

The beaches… are quite exquisite. I’ve always lived near the ocean and this time it’s only 10 miles due east. We went last night as the sun was setting; was able to stand at the water’s edge as it roared and look west as the orange and pink sky put on a show. The power, the sheer magnitude of it always leaves me awestruck.

One has to wonder why I’ve been trying to run from this place back to Texas… wasting years of my life looking back, just because it was my home, because of faraway friends? I miss them, but how blinkered is that?

Just when I’ve come to really appreciate the place, we’re preparing to leave. And that’s very sad indeed.

 

Tree

After 15 years of blogging, I’ve come to hate titles. All these years.. through so many iterations of this blog.. I think I’ve utilized every conceivable title twice over. So ‘tree’; we’ll keep it simple.

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Hate this year’s lights. I like soft, twinkly little fairy lights but these were at Home Depot for 5 bucks a box, so the man picked them up and voila! We’re blessed with these harsh, bright, non-twinkly bastards.

That’s okay. I’ve got an entire year to find the correct lights.

Well, that sounds bitchy. Which is not what I’m feeling at all.

Truth and Lies

I had a truly inspired post title until *poof*! Happens when you get old(er). Can’t remember where I left my glass of water half the time and have no idea why I was in such a hurry to get from one room to another…

Here’s a lie. Well, a washed out half truth. I prefer this to what I posted on FB yesterday, but that had its purpose.

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Finished coloring a  page. Takes me a couple months because I only work on them a few moments each day. Yes, that is a little odd.

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Took this yesterday. Seems to suit the season.

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Another Go Round

MOHS yesterday, this time on my neck. When not cursing I’m grateful for the technology the skilled doctors use to rid me of cancer.

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And so it goes.

Gratitude

I’d intended this be titled “Love and Marriage”. Pretty trite, but upon waking at 3:00a that’s what popped into my mind. Along with: had I left the laptop bag in the back of the truck? So of course I did a somersault across Bree’s bed (which sits on the floor next to my side of the bed because that’s where she likes it) and ran into the living room to look… and of course there it sat.

And there was one of the points I’d hoped to make, illustrated. I don’t think men vault out of bed in the wee hours because something might not have been where it should – but I’ve done it innumerable times. They tend to stress about concrete things, whereas women can simultaneously worry about the concrete and the abstract. We draw things out, you see, to every logical -and illogical – conclusion. And it doesn’t even have to be about ourselves, husbands or our children. Friends, co-workers. What might be; what never will be but mightn’t it, in a perfect world?

Of course worry never changes anything and it only robs us of joy. Matthew 6:34!

This is not about worry; it’s supposed to be about marriage and the things that get you through, whether you’re conscious of them or not. Mike and I tied the knot 23 years ago at the courthouse in Homestead, Florida. Neither one of us were certain it was a good idea, but we were living together and he had a daughter in school, so. Did I love him more for the paper? Maybe. It felt different, anyway. More solid.

These are what I have come to know are needed in (my) marriage:

The first thing is respect. No, love is not the first. Love is a given. If you’re married you should love your spouse.  Holding your mate in high esteem is a wholly different thing, which should come with love but sometimes doesn’t. Respect for your spouse’s abilities, personal space, dreams, family and friends is a must. If your significant other doesn’t feel your admiration, then how can there be true love?

Humility. A tough one to learn, but I think it gets easier over time. Or harder.It is simply putting others needs first. Most mothers have mastered this, at least mine did.

level-of-gratitude

Gratitude. The best of these; the most powerful. It’s my crutch, my way out at the worst of times and a path to peace… but I have trouble explaining it. I am thankful, no matter what. Thankful for the chance to know and love Mike, our life together. Every day I thank God for this life. Whatever comes, I pray that I can continue to be grateful.

Will I Make It?

Lately I’ve been wondering if I’ll make it out of Florida alive.

A new biopsy just came back as Basal Cell so there’s another MOHS surgery in the near future… and they want to dig a larger hole in my left foot… on a pre-cancerous spot.

This will be my second MOHS this year. The cancers are plentiful and aggressive… how long before the big one hits?? I’ve never known anyone who had these, especially so many. This can’t be normal.

Just… thank God the spot on my foot wasn’t the big M.  Thank God.

I want to cry. That’s probably an appropriate response to such news. I’ll be in my blanket fort if you need me.

Just dropping this here, because it’s a good thing to remember…

truth

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