I wanted to write something here sometime, but never quite got the chance to do it. This has been a pretty hellish week at work, with a lot of tasks coming that were not expected, requiring a lot of quick-change-do-this. I’m reputed to be good at this, but it was all very nerve-wracking. Plus, a lot of things didn’t get done that I had expected to get to. I’m very glad this is a long weekend, with Labor Day on Monday.

My main obsession in the last week, once I get home, has been working on family history. Working through ancestry.com, I’ve added a ton of names lately, some of them with actual sources to back them up. In someone else’s family tree information, I found a collection of newspaper articles from early in the 20th century, describing the events leading up to the divorce of a set of my great-grandparents. The precipitating event was that the man “abandoned” his wife, taking up with a pretty young thing in another city. But life prior to that was hardly idyllic, with constant disagreements. During one fight, she (allegedly) attacked him with objects, including two of her corsets. OK, it’s all fun and games till the foundation garments come out.

In all seriousness, though, one of the underlying causes was alcoholism, something that runs through parts of my family for generations, wreaking havoc and shortening lives; one can see it in the records even if there are few actual accounts. Yet my parents, by the time I came around, somehow avoided all that and gave me and my sister a stable, loving home. Against the odds, one might say. This week, I realized how fortunate I am for that, because I can’t imagine growing up in an environment where emotional train wrecks happen so often.

Anyway, the goal of the weekend, aside from not making more large print books for a few days, is to make some more progress on the family history stuff, before that obsession wanes for a while (as it must do; have to put it aside for a while to let new leads develop). And maybe go outside away from the computer for a little while, too; some people speak well of that, for some reason.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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4 Responses to

  1. zenicurean says:

    Family history is the best thing ever. One of my wealthier ancestors in the 1600s got into a spat with a nobleman over a horse, culminating in his more or less voluntary exile from comparative civilisation to the middle of nowhere. Another ancestor was apparently some sort of sidekick to a mighty guerrilla leader during the Great Wrath in the 18th century.

    • songdogmi says:

      Those are great stories to have. That might be the most valuable part of genealogy. I hope to find more of them for my own family, preferably ones that don’t involve assault with a lethal corset.

      It’s probably why they produced the US and Canadian TV shows Who Do You Think You Are? (same title, though they’re produced for different networks and markets); there’s also Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on PBS.

  2. maxauburn says:

    Based on what I know of my family, I’m not at all interested in knowing what any ancestors would be like.

    It would just depress me. 😛

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