Who do I think I am? I know very well who I am. Me, myself and I are very well acquainted thank you. Although now that I think about it, as well as I believe that I know myself, I do occasionally surprise me. heh.
Have you ever seen this show? It's one of the shows that I record to watch either while ironing or at night when sleep is elusive. I really like this program. If you haven't seen it, basically it walks a celebrity through tracing their lineage back along one particular line. There are professional historians and genealogists to help them along their way. Usually they end up travelling, sometimes must around one state, but more often this country and sometimes to other countries. They always learn something they didn't know. Sometimes it's shocking, sometimes it is amazing. Often the news is touching or empowering or tragic but we, the viewers are along for the ride. We the viewers cannot help but be a little weepy over their sorrows and encouraged by their ancestors triumphs. Because even though it's not about our particular families, we kind of feel like maybe it is a little bit.
I mean, after all, we are all human beings. (Who was it that used to write that as Human beans? I loved that. Human beans ) We all descended from long lines of other people, most of whom we have never met and often know little to nothing about. But those people lived actual lives, just like us. They had moments of great successes and moments of absolute loss. They had dreams and hopes and wishes, just like us. They struggled and faced obstacles and failure, just like us. Regardless of the country they lived in or the language they spoke, we all share the same commonality. We are people, just people.
And people are what make history. Most of us are introduced to history in elementary school. I have to say that I have had very few teachers who made history interesting. It was just a list of names, date and places. Strict memorization. BORING! But by some miracle, I realized very early on that history is created by people, people just like all the rest of us. So, intrigued by this realization, I did a lot of reading outside of school on my own about those names, dates and places and suddenly it was relatable. History came alive for me in a way that it didn't for other kids and I've always loved it. Maybe it was all those Western I watched as a kid that triggered it? I suppose I will never know why history speaks to me and you know what, it doesn't really matter.
And then there is personal history. I have mine, you have yours, and then there are our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents and further back. I listened attentively to the stories my parents told, and my grandparents and on one side of my family my great-grandparent. Astonishing, wonderful, amazing stories. Things that happened in their lifetime that other people only read about in books. It is just captivating. And when you think about it, their history is also your history.
Did you ever consider the things that were invented in your lifetime? The things that have changed during your parents lives, grand parents? It's wow, honestly. My mother's mother, who I knew well, was born in the 1890's. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't recall the specific year. In her lifetime she remembers seeing the first car in town, the first airplane that flew overhead, two world wars, the depression. Indoor plumbing and electricity came to town with great suspicion and trepidation. Radio, then television, then computers! She remembers when women were allowed to vote! That is a lifetime full of history!
But since she is my grandmother, my direct bloodline, her history is also part of my history and part of the history of my children. My dad found the diary of a relative that moved to Ohio (I think) from Pennsylvania by covered wagon, oh my gosh! That's part of my history too!~ Wild!
My dad got really into genealogy and traced his family back a very long way. It takes a long time to get us back to another country because we've been hanging around this one since well before it was an actual country. But he did it. I love reading the names, they had interesting names, and wondering about their lives. As a fan of history, if I have a couple of dates and a place, I can make a fairly accurate guess as to how they lived, what they experienced in their lifetimes, but of course I don't know them at all.
Were any of them musical like my mother? Or were they big readers like my dad? Where did my sister get her artistic abilities? How many of them had blue eyes like me? Or brown eyes like my mom? Were they all nearsighted? What were their dreams, their hopes, their wishes? Did they live happy lives?
If I could time travel, that's what I would want to do, visit my ancestors, find out who they really were, what was their history, how did they live? And maybe that would help me to find out who it is I really think I am.
Have a lovely holiday weekend my friends. Hope it is filled with love and laughter. I'm taking Monday off, I hope you are too. Check back in with you on Tuesday next week!
Hugs all 'round
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.