Wednesday, September 15, 2010

They Were So Poor

We were so poor, so the story goes, we didn't own a horse and we had to ride the pig to school uphill both ways in a snowstorm.

Some rendition of this hard times story is told in every family I know. The difference is that when my father-in-law, Lewis, tells it he has the pictures to back it up. Well, at least the picture riding the pig. As you can see, Bainville, Montana was very flat, so he didn't really travel uphill both ways to school. But from the windswept hairdos, I'd say it was a wild ride anyway.

The Twins - Bill and Lewis
and Baby Dell

They had the horse and the snow, lots of snow. And for three young boys in the middle of nowhere, they had an adventuresome life.

Elenor, Bill, Dell, Lewis

As for the pig, she had a family of her own and couldn't spend all her time entertaining the boys. Ah, women's work is never done.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years Ago Today

This country's collective tragedy of 9/11 is far more vivid in my mind than where I was and what I was doing nine years ago today. What happened to me that day blurs. The impressions of the events on the East Coast have taken over as my memory. While they are far more clear than what happened to me that day, I have tried to recount what was my personal experience nine years ago today.

It was early in the morning here on the West Coast. I was in Portland. I was attending my masters of law program and was renting a house with three young men, all first year law students. I was still in bed when my daughter called. I was listening to her describe what was happening, when the young man from New York started banging on our bedroom doors. At the same time he was trying desperately to reach his family back home on his cell phone.

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...Image via WikipediaWe all got up and gathered in the living room. No television, we were huddled around a small radio I had taken from my room. "Who would do this," one of the young men asked? "Osama Bin Laden would be my prime candidate," I answered. Then one of the other boys proceeded to explain how this was our fault based on our foreign policy.

A foreign policy lecture? Our fault? This was not the time or the place. I went to my room to get dressed. My husband called, he was watching TV when the second plane hit. He wanted me to come home. I told him I'd drive on campus and see what the schedule was and let him know. My daughter called again. Her company was headquartered in the World Trade Center. There was no contact with the people she spoke to every day and it would be days before she knew the fate of several in the WTC who had been friends. She was shaken and wanted me to come home.

Everything seemed to be in fast motion that morning. People moved faster, talked faster. Not quite panic, but certainly not calm. By the time I arrived at the Dean's office I had heard about the Pentagon. The law school was hosting a federal judges conference that day and I recognized what were surely FBI agents.

Not a good day to have that many federal judges in one spot I thought. The conference was canceled. By now, I just wanted to go home. The school left the decision to each student as to whether or not they would leave campus. I knew nothing would be accomplished in class and that my family needed my support and I theirs. I started for home.

Home was not just around the corner. Home was a three and a half hour drive. During the drive I heard from each of my children and my husband several times. About two hours into the drive I became ill. When I arrived in town I drove straight to the Emergency Room where my husband met me. I spent the night, probably the only person in the country who had not seen any of the coverage on television. Probably best, one of my nurses had assured me.

The next days would make up for that. Some of it vivid to this day. I have heard people say they try to put those images out of their mind. I do not. I consciously try to remember them. I remember them often. The young girl holding up the photograph of her father pleading for help in finding him, exhausted rescuers covered in dust, those who chose to jump to their deaths, and the collapse of a landmark, a symbol, our security. I remember. I will always remember.

Reprinted from a 2007 post.

Monday, September 6, 2010

And The Brick Walls Came Tumbling Down At The 98th COG

98th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

Document Analysis!

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Show us a document that helped you break down
a brick wall on your family tree.

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Discuss the information that appears on the document
and how it contributes to your family history.

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The Deadline For Submissions Is
October 1st
30 submissions accepted

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Attention All COG Participants

Read Also The Changes To The COG In 2010

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 98th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.