) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. No Coffee last week 3. A Family's Treasure TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <[email protected]>. NO COFFEE LAST WEEK Many of you have e-mailed saying you didn't receive last week's Coffee. There wasn't one. My daughter is getting married next year, and I was wrapped around making plans with her. I should also let you know ~ I'm afraid Coffees are going to be held sporadically from now until March, 2003 when they will be suspended until May. I'll need the time to prepare for the wedding and the arrival of a LOT of relatives from out of state, including my mother. You all know what *that* means ~ cleaning house with the veritable toothbrush!!!! <g> Just know that I'll join you for Coffee each Sunday as I can. A FAMILY'S TREASURE You know, sometimes I just really wish I had a tape recorder permanently slung around my neck! It never fails... we go back home to visit, I leave my recorder at home, and what do the relatives do but... start telling family stories! I LOVE family stories and could listen to them again and again. As a matter of fact, I have. I'm sure *you* have, as well. As children, then as adults in our twenties, we listened and listened to our families recall the memories and the stories ~ of themselves, of our grandparents and great grandparents, of our aunts and uncles; memories of people and times gone by wrap themselves around you and for some reason, they end all too soon. Fascinating! Were we interested in genealogy then? No. Did we take some kind of notes? No. It was easy for us to remember the stories *completely* after having heard them so many times. Did we get recordings of these stories as told by the relative "who was there"? No. What DID we do, then? Absolutely nothing. If we were kids we went out and played. If we were adults, we got up and got something to drink. And we left our elders sitting there in their reverie. And now, here we are ~ family historians. If we want our ancestors remembered, it's time for us to start passing the family stories down to our own children. My notes.... where are my notes? My recordings? It's okay... I can remember them. After all, how hard is it to remember a family story? Here's one of mine for you: My father was just fourteen during the Great Depression. He and his family lived on a farm then. His dad worked in the southern part of the state, taking the train home on the weekends. As the eldest son, this left him with the burdensome responsibility of being the "man of the house." My dad worked the fields with two of his younger brothers and not always did things go well. It seems the crotchety old man on the farm two miles down the road didn't like my dad and had, on occasion, threatened to beat him. It turned out that one week day, the threat was voiced again, this time to be beaten with a chain. Unexpectedly for the neighbor, Grandpa showed up in time to hear it. He stepped in front of his son, my dad, to confront the cranky man and defied him to repeat what he'd just uttered. Of course, the man was mute. Grandpa issued a threat of his own, to leave his son alone, or face a consequence. The neighbor stood down and never harrassed my dad again. The above story is true. In 1995 my dad told me this story for the last time. Other than the name of the neighbor, which I know, the facts are correct. The confrontation happened exactly as I've written it. Didn't it? No, it didn't. Sadly, the memory as I reported it, is incorrect. Grandpa issued a threat all right, but didn't say there'd be a consequence ~ at least, not according to Daddy. I put that in the story as a point of today's Coffee. Further, the timing of the story and the event are confused. When this confrontation occurred, Grandpa worked just a few miles away. He didn't start working in the southern part of the state until months later. This I discovered during my research. Over the years, and certainly over generations, our minds tend to embellish stories ("He caught a fish thaaaaat big!"). As in the one above, it seems normal that if Grandpa issued a threat, he'd follow it with some sort of consequence. Not this time. Grandpa wasn't that type of man. He'd simply say, "Do it," and that was it. I suppose he figured the listener understood that a not-so-nice result followed occur if compliance wasn't forthcoming. If I hadn't known Grandpa personally, I wouldn't have known that little aspect of him. Yet, if I pass the story "correctly" to my own children, and they pass it along to *their* children decades from now, the facts will shift again and all of a sudden Grandpa will have beat the living daylights out of the neighbor! <g> Yet it's these stories that are part of a family's cherished treasures. It helps the youngers in the family relate to those who came before us/them, giving "life" to ancestors long past. It helps us know just who our family is in this world and how we fit as a part of it. However, it helps more if we remember that these are just what they are... stories; and stories tend to change as each person relates them, particularly as decades pass. By the time these stories (if we're fortunate for them to) get told to *our* great grandchildren they may have been so skewed that it just might turn out that Grandpa and Daddy BOTH beat the tar out of the neighbor! My beloved grandparents have stepped into memory; but they live through my memories and stories of them. My great grandparents lived again through my parents, the same as is done in your family. I hope my narratives of family are correct and factual. Of course, they are; my elders told them to me. Their memories were just as clear as the day a given event happened. Not. They were human and prone to mistakes, just like the rest of us ~ a date here, a name there... And, for some reason we protect that which we were told, correct or not, like a closely guarded secret. I dearly loved my grandparents, and learned some of the accounts from them. My parents told their stories with such love to this once-little girl who just couldn't get enough of them, and brought to life once more some of those people I'd so much like to meet. Without their realizing it, with those stories, they gave me part of my precious heritage. No matter how skewed their memories might have been, those elders did their best, and now I'll do mine. Those stories and memories are after all, about family.... ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'