Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is a time of sharing and getting families together. I can remember many of them, usually at my Dad's parents' house. They would invite Mom's parents also as they lived in the same town for quite a while. Grandma was a great cook and never tired of all the family and friends who would show up. She always seemed to have left overs so prepared a lot of extra food. Her dressing was different and one time my cousin just point blank told her it was sloppy. It was always runny, never dry. The day after Thanksgiving Grandma showed us all how to shop. She was a pro at shopping.

After my Mom's parents moved to eastern Nebraska, we spent several Thanksgivings with them. While things were more simple with only six people at the table, Grandma still cooked up a storm. She was from the south so it wasn't unusual to have many vegetables along with pickles (always home made). Grandma made the best dill pickles ever!

The day after Thanksgiving was Husker football in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mom and Grandma would usually stay home, but Grandpa, Dad and my brother and I would go to the game. What fun to be part of the crowd and feel the surge of energy from yelling on the Huskers. We very seldom came home sad that the Huskers lost.

One time we had a different Thanksgiving. We spent it with friends who had three children. They lived in the country and it was great fun running all over the place. Dad and his friend went pheasant hunting early on Thanksgiving morning and the day after. Spending Thanksgiving with friends is great, but not as great as with family. Mom says that is because we are all blessed with family and that is why she loves doing genealogy.

Whether you spend Thanksgiving with family or friends, it's a time to share and be happy. Whether you have sloppy dressing or dry dressing, it's a time to be thankful for everything you have. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School Days and Genealogy

Mom was and still is always studying. It's history, geography and, of course, genealogy. I don't think she has ever quit going to school. Now I take my daughter to school and Mom sometimes picks her up after school. While she waits Mom reads...genealogy magazines or books. Never a idle moment without genealogy!

When my brother went for his first day of school, Mom forgot to get him after school. She claimed she was busy preparing food when the teacher called to ask if somebody would please come and get him. I think she was probably knee deep in a genealogy problem, enjoying the fact that she was minus one kid for more than half a day. When she got there to get him, he was sitting with the teacher on the steps of the school, crying. He let her know that she had forgotten him.

Sometimes she would drag us off to cemeteries and then dispense strict orders that we were not to tell our Dad that she had spent hours in the cemetery. They were not exactly playgrounds, but they were just that for Mom.

For Mom it's genealogy 24/7 and she's zealous about finding ancestors and relatives. If somebody was born, they had a mother and father and she's bound to eventually find them. I just hope she doesn't forget my daughter at school. As long as she can take her genealogy goodies with her perhaps she won't.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Girls (Grannies) Go to Wyoming

Mom, #1, and Aunt Cheri, #2, of the team of You Go Genealogy Girls are off again. They are going back to Wyoming and even though they would like to head the car, aka Lil' Red, toward Salt Lake City, they are heading north to Sheridan. The Family History Expo is being held there July 17th and 18th.

A little over a week ago Mom was getting ready for a day-trip to cemeteries in eastern Nebraska. She sprained her knee just a few feet outside her door. That landed her in ER and ended her cemetery trip. Good thing she didn't do it in some abandoned cemetery in the middle of no-where.

Aunt Cheri has been entertaining her son and his family of eight children for almost two weeks. Mom reports that she calls from the peace and quiet of her computer/genealogy room but occasionally there are knocks on the door and response of "go away" or "be quiet out there."

Will the Girls be ready for this trip to Sheridan? If it pertains to genealogy...and it does...they will be ready. Mom is doing physical therapy for her knee and using a sexy, floral cane just in case. Aunt Cheri will probably need to take a wig because she's pulling her hair out. With eight grandchildren ages 17 to 6 months, it is difficult to not pull your hair out. All said and done, she loves every one of them. Tis just challenging at times. Mom wants to be out walking her mile a day, but finds it challenging to just get to the mailbox and back. She says it is like looking for ancestors...just another challenge in her life.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Genealogy or Motherhood or Both

Mom began doing genealogical research on the family before she became a mother...actually before she even married Dad. Stories she tells indicate that she would work on her research when my brother and I were napping or in bed at night. She never missed a stroke, but her time was somewhat limited for genealogy.

When I was about eight months old Mom began working on a family genealogy for the Amsberry reunion. That was before computers, so she set the typewriter up in the living room on a card table, along with her paper and notes. To entertain my brother for close to an hour, without interruption, she cut out strips of paper and had him color them. After that he could make loops and a chain which he seemed to never tire of doing. That allowed Mom to be a mother and a genealogist. A eight month old is a bit different, so when it came time to feed me she learned how to balance me on her feet under the table and rock me while I drank my bottle. She would type away on the Amsberry genealogy notes.

Of course, there were the trips to visit relatives, to cemeteries and also to allow Mom to research in libraries. My brother and I both had chicken pox practically at the same time. He was about 7 years old and I was about 4 years old. After we had healed up, Dad took Mom to a library that had a genealogy section and told her to spend a few hours and he'd entertain us. Mom had definitely earned that free time!

Mom worked when we were in high school, but she still found time to write and column on genealogy and history for the local newspaper. She would stay up until the wee hours of the morning working on her writing and genealogy. I think that's why she doesn't need as much sleep as some people. When she and Dad moved to Iowa in 1996, Mom was having health problems and was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery in May of 1999, she was declared free of cancer. She's a ten year survivor.

By 2000, Mom and Dad had moved back to Nebraska. Where they were living meant that Mom had to travel quite a ways to do research. That didn't stop her. She had internet and from time to time she'd do some traveling. In 2004 Dad was diagnosed with cancer. After numerous operations, chemo and radiation, it was apparent he was not going to be a survivor like Mom. He left us on 26 June 2007. during those three years, Mom took care of Dad without any help. Their vacations were to hospitals. Mom never complained about not finding time for genealogy. She'd think about it, read genealogy periodicals in the hospitals and doctor's offices and try to do some research from time to time.

A few days before he passed away, Dad told Mom that he wanted her to resume her genealogical research after he passed away. Mom has done exactly that, but she still juggles that with the title of Mother and also Grandmother.