My greatest ability is knowing when to keep my mouth shut. My head is getting very noisy, though.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.