) ( ( ) 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. The Family Picture 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]>. THE FAMILY PICTURE 2002 He looked at sepia-toned picture ~ simply stared at it. On the back were the words, "just a family photograph, 1884." No names were marked on it, however he thought he could identify most of the people, including his great-grandmother. Fortunately, he'd been the recipient of the old family pictures in his mother's possession. He'd be able to compare other pictures to this one and come up with a lot of the names, he hoped. Indicative of the period, the women wore the customary long dresses, long sleeved bodices, and hats. The men were dressed in suits and hats. Everyone was sitting under a large gazebo with exception of two children, both boys, who stood next to their mother; they were obviously brothers. Tables with dishes on them were seen in the background. A picnic of sorts? It's when a family picture is taken that an occasion is stamped forever into history and gives the participants an immortality that future generations look back to. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1884 It was an unusually hot and humid August day for a family reunion. The skies were filled with dark, rumbling clouds, threatening a day of storms, but the scheduled event continued as planned. A gazebo at the park would protect everyone from any disagreeable weather. Besides, Grandmother and two great uncles had made the arduous 52-mile trip just to be here for this auspicious occasion. Great-Grandma was anxious to see her daughter ~ her eyes twinkling with excitement since last night. The tables were laid out, replete with dishes of food. More families were expected hence, more food would also arrive. Everything was coming together nicely and if this was any indication, the day would be a splendid success. The photographer was an old family friend and knew a lot of the people who were attending the reunion. That fact alone nearly guaranteed that any pictures taken today by him would have a personal touch to them. Yes, he would do a good job for the family. Today was an important one ~ for this family, anyway. It marked 50 years of the name in America ~ 50 years! The old immigrant, his wife and their two children came over from the old country, migrated west, and settled in this state. It had been the frontier back then. They'd had to clear a virgin forest away to make a spot for their home and fields. Through all their toils, nine more children were born and raised to adulthood. They all married and had families of their own, many of them with descendants here today. The current generations owed a great deal to those pioneers. The people at today's reunion were descendants starting with the third generation from that first family. The annual coming-together became a tradition started by the immigrants when the children began moving away to establish lives and families of their own. Returning to the old home every year not only allowed everyone to see each other and renew family ties, but kept the family close ~ or, at least as close as a family could be when the miles prevented them from seeing each other every week or even every month. And so it became that the annual family reunion was a "must do" for everyone. Pictures were taken at every yearly event. The family's matriarch, now a great grandmother herself, felt it important to keep this type of life-record. It helped her when she felt lonely and missed her children. Though he'd refuse to admit it, even her husband who had passed on three years ago, enjoyed the pictures and was caught a couple times staring at them and dabbing his eyes. If they had had the money, an annual picture on everyone's birthday would have been very nice. She could watch the grandchildren grow as she watched her own children mature. Four generations would show in this year's picture four generations! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2002 Rain and a traffic jam caused by a fender bender... great! So many people were rubber-necking that if they didn't get moving, they were going to be late for their appointment with the photographer. It was his birthday today; he needed to calm down and not get harried. After all, this one day a year was for him... It was a tradition that a family picture be taken every year on his birthday. It was irritating that he'd have to get dressed up to do this every year, but it seemed to be very important to his father that this be done, so he'd gone along with it ~ something he do for them. His mother kept all the pictures, each one hanging on the wall in the hallway, each one showing his growth and development ~ first as a child, then into adulthood. The first pictures of him had been taken when he was barely 2 weeks old. His great grandmother held him while his grandparents, parents and older sister looked on. Every year thereafter, on his birthday, the entire family would gather at the photographers for a new family picture. The picture always had to be taken exactly on his birth date, even if it fell on Sunday. He was told as a child of some historical, family significance happening years ago on this particular date; darned if he could remember how the story went, though. Maybe one day he'd ask his parents about that. Right now, he just had to worry about getting to the photographers. In the course of his 27 years, all his grandparents had passed on. Now in the picture was his wife of two years. In four months, their first child would be born and next year, on his birthday, have its picture taken with the family around. His and his wife's arrival at the door of the photography studio was preceeded by a muttered, "Finally!" His parents, brother, sister and their families were waiting, wondering if the couple would make it in time. Smile, everyone! :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The picture was taken yet another year, documenting many of the family's current descendants. Had anyone taken the time to look closely at the shadows behind the current family group, they might have seen the faces of generations of those who'd long passed standing behind everyone, including those of the first family taken that day under the gazebo. And so it goes, that as we create new generations, we bring forward with us pieces of those earlier ancestors. Perhaps we really aren't alone in the present, after all... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's 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 ('``.__.'`) `..____.'