I have recently embarked on a journey into the past. The joke in my family is that I am the keeper of the H___ Museum. I treasure anything that I own that once belonged to me when I was a child, to my parents or to my grandparents. Within reason of course.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I still own my black and white copy books from first and second grade. You know the ones I mean. They still sell them. I have almost every picture my daughter ever drew in elementary school. I inherited most of my mother's old photos. My sister and I split them up, but I seem to have the bulk of them. You know - those old little black and white photographs showing people that we cannot identify. Old dolls, old dishes, tea sets, cut glass, souvenirs. You name it, I've got it.
To add to this, I have discovered the joy of genealogy. Why is it that when we reach fifty or thereabouts, we begin to be interested in long dead relatives? Why didn't we question our parents and especially our grandparents about their lives while we still had them with us? Not just about names and places, but how they lived their day to day lives, the trivia and details of their days.
I have found a site through our library's on-line service, wherein I can research old census documents. I am sure many of you have done this. It is like a mystery to be solved and I certainly love a mystery. I don't know much about doing this, but so far it is intriguing me to the point that I am glued to the computer screen until all hours of the night.
I knew that my paternal grandfather died when my father was a baby, supposedly during the 1918 great flu pandemic. This led me to a treatise written by a doctor about the epidemic and how it specifically affected Philadelphia. I then started to wonder what my grandmother's life was like when her young husband died and she had to return to her mother's house with her little boy. Why didn't I ever ask for details?
I have contacted a second cousin whom I have only met once and he has been working on the family history also. He has tons of interesting information that he will share with me.
Doing this is like herding cats, as they say. This person leads to that person who leads to another person and on and on and on.
Wish me luck - I am time traveling into the unknown past.