) ( ( ) 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. In Time 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 <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. IN TIME Imagine with me for a moment... [Cattle valued at $5.00 a head in Texas brought tenfold that amount at a railhead. Thus began the cattle drives to railheads in Kansas.] "What the...!" He stood dumbfounded... completely dumbfounded. This just wasn't possible! Where the in the world WAS he? 1852 The day started at 4:00 A.M. ~ just like any other. Most of the men lost track of the days when they were on the trail; he was one of them. He knew the year, but that's about as far as it got. It seemed to him that they'd been driving the herd of 3,000 longhorn cattle northward for a little over a month. With only 12 men on the crew working 18 hours a day to go about 60 miles (if they were lucky), the job was tough and boring. "Grub pile! Come a runnin' boys!" the cook yelled out. Breakfast time. He and the rest of the men finished pulling on their pants and boots, and rolled their bedrolls. They were ready to get the herd moving again as soon as they'd finished breakfast ~ a meal that was guaranteed to be filling, usually consisting of boiled beans, fried bacon, sourdough biscuits, and black coffee. The herd got moving well enough that morning. For about 2-1/2 hours, the cattle were allowed to graze while Cook put his supplies put away from the breakfast meal and got the checkwagon properly stowed. Then, whistles and shouts of "Ho!" were heard as the cowboys began driving the cattle back onto the trail. The men had taken their positions around the herd; he rode the right flank. The trail boss had ridden ahead for a mile to ensure the trail was still good, that there would be water, and they'd have no problems. Longhorn steers could go for about four days without water before becoming unmanageable and head back toward where they last remembered water to be - many dying along the way. The boss was also trying to avoid any situations that would frighten the cattle and cause a stampede. Doing anything to keep the skittish herd calm was necessary. The cattle meant money, and to keep each steer fattened meant the trip had to be a slow-paced, easy one. Stampedes usually lasted about four miles and caused the cattle to drop about 50 pounds each. In addition, cattle were lost by crushing or goring during the run. Life, though boring at the moment, was pretty good. He had a girl back home that he hoped to marry one day when he got himself enough money. All he owned now was the clothes on his back, his bedroll, and a gun. Thoughts of his own ranch, a wife, and kids filled his mind and temporarily took him away from the heat, choking dust, danger and drudgery. The pay for this job wasn't too bad ~ $15.00 a month, room, board, tobacco, and a promised $5.00 bonus at the end of the trail if the cattle arrived healthy. He'd been with this outfit for a little over a year. He didn't know though, if he'd stay at this work much longer. Marriage, a ranch and family pulled heavily at him. Dinner at noon was a welcomed break for the cowboys, horses and cattle alike. The horses and cattle were allowed to graze and drink water from the river they had stopped at. The men sat down to a meal of sowbelly, sourdough biscuits, white gravy, and black coffee. They knew they'd probably be eating the same tasteless, but filling meal at supper tonight. They were back on the trail 2 hours later. Early in the afternoon he'd noticed the clouds beginning to build up. Now, they were dark, rumbling and menacing. This couldn't be good. CRACK! A bolt of lightining snapped everyone to immediate attention to the herd. CRACK! CRACK! A lightning storm! Staaaaaaampeeeeeedddddeee! Cattle, and to a lesser extent horses, are a notoriously skittish bunch. It didn't take much to set off a general panic, but lightning out on the range made even the cowboys nervous. Storms took their toll on cowmen as well as the cattle. They feared these storms because, not only could it stampede a herd, but the lightning could also kill. Within seconds, they had a real concern on their hands. He and the crew had to get those cattle under control! He spurred his horse on alongside the herd, trying to keep them in line. Several broke loose. He chased them up a hill to their right, his lasso pulled and ready if he needed it. His horse was in a full run and breathing hard. A breeze caressed his check. It seemed to whisper of something to come... They arrived at the top of the hill. The rain had stopped and the sun had come back out. The sun was in his eyes, and he strained to find the strays. What he saw was NOT what he'd expected... "What the...!" He got off his horse, unsure of what he was looking at. There he stood dumbfounded... completely dumbfounded. This just wasn't possible! Where the in the world WAS he? He looked around and realized that wherever he was, he was alone. The stampeding herd, the strays, the trail crew, were gone. A road ran by the hill... a strange looking, black road filled with even stranger looking... what are they... wagons without horses? They were THE fastest wagons he'd EVER seen! Instead of a vacant expanse of gently rolling land, he was amazed to see thousands of buildings! They were so crowded together he wondered if some of them were actually one. A noise, a rumbling in the sky pulled his view upwards. What is that... a machine that flies? He couldn't believe what he was seeing? On the side of the road a man and two women were bent down next to one of the horseless wagons. They seemed to be looking at the right front, like there was a problem. That isn't what caught his eye as much as the women... they're half naked! He could see their arms and legs! And, they had no hats! He was shaken, visibly shaking. This was NOT his world! Was he dreaming? Nobody was riding a horse. He tied his horse off to a post about 10 feet to his left that, along with another one, held up the biggest colored picture he'd ever seen! He began walking down the hill and not watching where he was walking, kicked something. He picked it up. It was a can of some sort with a hole in one end; it was certainly much lighter than the ones he was accustomed to... and with a hole in one end? At the bottom of the hill, he looked more closely at the trail running in front of him. He was impressed with the way it held together. He crossed the road, but didn't look where he was going and nearly got hit! "Hey buddy, get out of the road!" a voice yelled at him. A loud, blaring noise followed the voice. This world was too crowded, too noisy, and everyone moved too fast. But he had to see more. He continued to cross the trail and walked down a small hill to a parking area for the wagons. He was astounded! The wheels weren't wood, nor were they metal; they even had glass windows! The land was full of these wagons. The way these people were dressed embarrassed him ~ they were as half-naked as those he first spotted; but he couldn't help looking at them. Everyone seemed perfectly comfortable and happy, even their children. He did notice though, that he'd begun to draw attention to himself. He looked down at his extremely dusty clothes and suddenly felt self-conscious at his lack of cleanliness. Walking in a dust cloud didn't stop him though. He was enthralled at what he was seeing. He walked toward the building which turned out to have many doors, but it seemed to be a store. He walked up to one of the doors and all of a sudden it moved... right in front of him! Moved, it did! Inside the store he immediately felt cooler. The general store had never been this cool. It felt good. He was disappointed when he didn't find a pickle barrel. In front of him steps were moving up. He could see there was another floor, but those moving steps he wasn't sure of. A child and her mother walked in front of him and onto the steps. The two appeared safe enough. Over there on the wall... moving pictures? He was drawn to them! Windows with moving pictures... wait till he told the men! The men!... the herd!... the stampede! His horse! He hurried back to the door. It opened before him again. Incredible! To the right of the door was a box with newspapers inside. He looked at the date... November 24, 2002. No, this couldn't be... He ran across the land filled with the wagons, ran up the hill and back across the trail. He looked up the hill and saw his horse, still tethered to the pole and grazing quietly. This wasn't his world. He didn't know where he was, nor how he got here, but he knew he didn't belong. He walked back up the hill to his horse, untethered her and climbed on. With one more look he turned the horse back to the other side of the hill. A few steps later he saw the strays and felt the rain beating down on him. He looked back over his shoulder and saw dark clouds and vast expanses. Impossible, you say? THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM COLLEEN I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you just how much your friendship means to me. For myself, it is the gift of family and friends that are the riches in my life ~ those precious times that we hold dear to our heart and memories and special moments that can never be replaced, neither by time nor all the wealth in the world. Whether you have planned a grand feast surrounded by friends and family, an intimate candlelight dinner for two, or a simple frozen dinner or takeout, it is not really the edible food, but rather who we share the meal with that counts most of all. To me, this is the true value and meaning of Thanksgiving. I give thanks for you all, friends and cousins. You have touched my life in many ways and I am a very wealthy individual for this. I will be thinking of you during this season of Thanksgiving, and even though we are separated by miles, you will be close to me in my heart. Please remember our men and women who are serving our country and can't be with their loved ones this year, as well as those who were lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I will be observing a moment of silence in their honor this year. I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love, happiness and hope! Family ... it'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. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'