Reflection

Reflection

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Genealogy fever has hit

     Genealogy fever has hit me.  Blame it on the TV show Who do you think you are?  on Friday nights current season with NBC.  The same thing happened to me last year with its debut and I was hooked and fascinated with how the guest stars traced their roots.

     I joined Ancestry.com and began adding what names, birth dates, marriages, children, deaths I had from what my mom had written down.  I scanned the census records but was frustrated that I have no access to any of those records after 1930.  Next year they open up the census records of 1940.  

     This year I found some new information and even a photo of my father's parents that looks like from the 1930's (?).  They look pretty happy though the house behind seems decrepit.  Hope that wasn't where they were living.



     I am on a mission to find out more about my mother's mom, my Nan, and her husband Eugene.  Of course they must have wed after the 1930's census and therefore I can't find out anything.  I know he was widowed and that union had a baby boy who died but while I can find the wife I can't find out what happened to their child.  It is a mystery that is just one of infinite mysteries when searching back with genealogy.


     I am attracted to all this simply because it is a story.  It is the wonder of who my family are, where they lived and loved and died.  It is hoping for connections to some distant relative that can answer or post a photo that I have never seen.  


     It is contagious.  Worse than facebook.  Hard to pull away from the computer when you keep looking deeper and deeper.  I have a note book in addition to the computer to jot down names and dates to keep a rough draft of the family tree.  Question marks, eraser marks from corrections and additions, then I feel like I am doing it wrong and wonder if I need to get a larger sheet out to do this off the computer.  


     Last night I had to pull myself away to cook dinner.  My Love was outside doing who knows what, while I am clicking and reading to my hearts content.  I managed to put some mixed grain brown rice on with some chicken broth knowing it would take 50 minutes to cook, then I was back in front of the screen.  T. was going to BBQ /roast a chicken outside and I figured that when he came back in to do that I would pop the artichokes in a pot and that would be it for me.  R. would set the table and the animals are all fed.  Let's, see....I have 40 minutes to dig some more!


     Yes, I am addicted.  And as much as I am frustrated I am captivated.  Who are all these people?  Now I am going to find all the photos I took on a trip to Selma with my mom back in 1995.  I was taking photos of grave stones.  Yes, grave stones.  Never knowing that they could be of some grand benefit to me all these years later!  Hope I can read them.  Even then I wish I could have done rubbings of some of the headstones since age has faded the writing to be illegible on many of them.  Others I can scan and zoom to read.  

    If you find I haven't been commenting much or even writing....blame it on genealogy.  Who knows what I will dig up! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stranded in Paradise....Part 1

    Paradise.  Do you have a destination that speaks of paradise?  My Love and I traveled to paradise and what a trip it was!

      T. had always wanted to visit the South Pacific and when the movie Hurricane
 came out in 1979 starring Mia Farrow we knew we had to go.  Granted the movie wasn't great but the scenery was amazing.  We talked and talked about how we could go, how we could make it happen.  With some clever maneuvers we figured out a way.


     We went to our travel agent who helped us with our honeymoon trip two years before, and came home with the knowledge that we would be setting off very soon to the exotic islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.  Such dreams we had of what it would be like.  I could only imagine how much T. would love this trip!  This destination that had talked to much about and longed to visit.

     Our trip began in Oakland, California flying to Los Angeles where we had a layover till our flight departed after midnight.  From Los Angeles we flew to Papeete, Tahiti where we planned to stay for three days.  Three days too long.  

     We landed in Papeete at 5:00 A.M. at the Faa's International Airport.   It was very small with one large waiting area that was filled once our airplane was emptied.  Walking outside with our suitcase we caught a Tahitian version of Le Truck to The Maeva Beach Hotel.  Le Truck had open air windows with bench seats on either side. There were many stops along the way letting people off and people on.  Everyone spoke French except the tourists. 

Le Truck ~ not my photo but what a Le Truck looks like



     When we arrived at the hotel our room was not ready since it was very early in the morning, so we walked around the grounds.  Did I mention how humid it was?  And fragrant!  Such lovely flowers that grow in the tropics.  Birds were making sounds that I had never heard before though I could not see any of them.  Morning sounds of wake up.  No one except the front desk staff were to be seen and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.  


   
     Eventually we were able to get our room and to have some breakfast.  While we were doing that we were robbed.  Yes, housekeeping or someone had come to our room and gone through our bag.  We didn't even think this would happen to us and at least it was a small amount of cash.  A big lesson I learned to not leave any cash or traveler's checks in our room.  I should have remembered this from our honeymoon to Europe where we always wore a money belt.  The remainder of our trip we carried all of it on us always. 


View from our room ~ Papeete

     This hotel was part of our tour package and not the accommodations we looked forward to which was to come when we went to Bora Bora and Moorea.  Those would be thatch huts with a beach beckoning us outside our door.  Coconut trees swaying and a lagoon to snorkel in was what we had been dreaming of.  Yet here we were in a nice hotel with time to visit botanical gardens, catch a catered lunch with Tahitian dancing, and dine at Le Belvedere, a restaurant on the top of one of the high hills with a gorgeous view at sunset.  We went to the open air market one day which was a bit too aromatic for me and lazed by the large hotel pool.  Funny how what I enjoyed at age 21 is so different for me if I was to be there now!


    We arrived back to airport three days later to take a plane to the Island of Bora Bora.  I need to explain....the Tahitian's have no concept of time.  Plans happen whenever.  The airplane will leave...whenever.  We were on time to catch our plane and it did leave,  just not on time.  We quickly learned in the three days while in Papeete that you need to put the watch away, relax and enjoy the moment or better yet enjoy yourself for as long as you want.  All the locals are, how to politely say... slow.  Slo-mo.  Once you learn this new concept you can begin to have a good time and not be bothered by how life is in paradise. 


     The airport on Bora Bora sits on an atoll, which is a coral reef island that partially circles the island.  The landing strip outside our plane window showed us water on both sides of it, one side ocean and the other side a gorgeous lagoon.  A narrow strip of land that you pray the pilot can land on and not land in the water.  This island was used as a military supply base during World War II and the airstrip looked like it was that old.  


Yep me!  Bora Bora at the airport.


    The sheer beauty as we disembarked the plane was breathtaking.  The incredible shades of blue in the lagoon are because of the sandy bottom of  various depth.  The middle of the island rises up in a striking rugged display for us to wonder at what it looks like amongst the thick foliage.  It felt like we had landed on a deserted island.  One other couple got off the plane with us before it headed off to another island.  We wondered how we were getting off the atoll and onto the island when we escorted to a fishing boat, our bags placed on deck, we climbed on board with the other couple and off we went with fishing lines trailing behind us.

    

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sudden Light



While on our weekend getaway at the place we stayed for the night...there is a lovely tranquil meadow we look out upon.  The light in the sky as the day shifts from midday to late afternoon, the peacefulness of the sheep as they grazed....all so simple and quiet.  


This poem for you to mull...and those who may know of Rossetti's poems...I chose the other version of the last stanza...


                    Sudden Light

          I have been here before,
              But when or how I cannot tell:
          I know the grass beyond the door,
              The sweet keen smell,
    The sighing sound, the lights around the shore. 

          You have been mine before,—
              How long ago I may not know:
          But just when at that swallow's soar
              Your neck turned so,
    Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore. 

Then, now,—perchance again! . . . .
              O round mine eyes your tresses shake!
          Shall we not lie as we have lain
              Thus for Love's sake,
    And sleep, and wake, yet never break the chain? 
         
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Friday, March 11, 2011

To the sea...



To the sea...
   to breathe in  the sea breeze,
     let it play with my hair where it will swirl
        up, and around,
        salty lips, veiled skin of sand and sea
        I will not wash away.

To the sea...
    where my heart has always held close
        memories of sitting on the beach,
        fingers and hands making sandcastles,
        where I lie upon the warm sand so deep, 
        bathed in sunlit rays to wash over me,
        to daydream.

To the sea...
     to feel the pounding waves as they crash
       upon the sandy shore
       my heart feeling each wave as it begins their crescendo
       the release of the diminuendo
       the calm, the sizzle of the water in the sand as it
       dissolves away.


To the sea....
     where at night the lights around the shore
       sparkle like the stars above,
       a fairy world of enchantment,
       lovers held close as they embrace,
       stolen kisses give way to generous bestowment.


To the sea....
     ever will I come and drink you in,
        my eyes fill up the blue green shades of
        her depth in shady pools,
        the shattering foam that spills from waves
        the dancing birds on spindly legs,
        the glint that blinds me while it warms me
        with it's the daylight twinkle


To the sea...
     my release of the world complete,
       rebirth, renewal complete,
       my transformation of a nymph
       to my human soul.
     
     

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Squeeze

"And squeeze, and squeeze.  Just nine more.  And nine, and eight, and seven....just one left..."

I decided I had to try the class.  I had talked about and never got the nerve to do it and yesterday morning I know longer was going to talk, I was going to do it.  On Monday I had called the "Dailey Method" that is in our town and talked to a very pleasant woman.  I shared with her my concerns of doing the class because of my broken wrist from August, the tendonitis in my other arm and my neck issue.  She explained that I would fill out a form and explain my issues which would be updated on their computer and that the instructor would see this as it would be highlighted in red.  The areas that I might have trouble with then would be modified for me.  This sounded great and gave me no excuse to not try it.  I asked which class was the least crowded in the event of having the instructor being able to help me if I needed it.  That was the 11:00 A.M. class.  

"Now hold it, and squeeze, and squeeze..."

The receptionist greets me as I walk in the door.  We talk chitchat a bit and then I fill out the form that asks the usual information as well as any health concerns.  She encourages me to take a look around before the class time begins.  I note they have a neat, small locker room with a large mirror on one wall.  Around the corner of that room is a shower and a restroom.  They have a childcare room as well as another restroom.  White walls and high ceilings with skylights let in natural light.  There are large format photographs of children on the wall which makes me think someone who owns or goes here must do photography on the side.  


"Keep the ball between you thighs, go up on your toes.  Tip your pelvis and squeeze and squeeze..."


Another door opens and many women walk out from the previous class.    The air is warm, much warmer than I expected.  I am bothered by this as I had heard that you barely break a sweat in this class.  I wonder how hot this place will be in the summer.  I had read about the "Dailey Method" which is a similar type class as the "Bar Method", as one of intense, concentrated, repetitions of movement that work muscles that one normally cannot work by simple exercise that most of us do.  That it would work on lengthening, toning  and strengthening the muscles, especially the thighs and butt.  Sweating was not part of the deal.  It takes roots from ballet, yoga and pilates as it incorporates many of the same moves.  Well, I love ballet barre work and I love yoga so this sounded like a great mix.  

"Go higher on your toes.  Keep your back straight, shoulders down and tilt and squeeze...and squeeze"

We begin with marching in place with knees high.  So far so good.  Then we add arms.  We add light weights and I am still okay but I was getting warm.  I sure wish we could open the french door and some of the windows that circled two walls of the room.   The fresh air would feel so good.  The ceiling fans above are on low.

The fatigue begins to set in as we move farther in the class.  I find that they do many of the signature moves while in a plank position as well as doing push ups.  Now all this would be great except for my wrist,  that held up pretty well but I didn't have any desire to push it.  In fact I paced myself carefully having heard how sore one could get.  I had no intention of making myself be unable to move the next day.  

I can feel my body twitching with these new awakened muscles.  Really!  There are just enough repetitions to burn and make the muscles quiver.  I had to break many times.  No one else in the class did.  I didn't compare myself to anyone but I felt like the kid in P.E. who couldn't do what the teacher asked of him to do.

Speaking of the instructor.  She is young and her legs look strong.  She dons a headset and gives us the instructions.  I have a hard time following her as there is pounding music in the background.  That kind of music with a beat that goes with the squeeze.  She comes several times to me to encourage me and to correct a position I don't have.  

Half way through the class I realized that I will not be signing up for this.  In fact I realize that with all we have done I can certainly do yoga once more.  I would really prefer yoga to this.  My neck is not bothered though I am being very careful to not get tight in the shoulders.  I find this a relief and just focus on getting through what I perceive will be the half way mark to the finish.

The last half is an awkward, slightly slouched position against the mirror with the barre above us.  I cannot get the position.   I don't feel this is right for my back and neck.  We are to raise our legs in front of us, like a V shape, tighten our abs and squeeze up.  Right.  My abs have worn out.  I flake out during this part.  Nope.  I will not do this and do it wrong.

Give me the "child's pose" thank you.  Let me stretch it all out.  Thank you....ahhhh.

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