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Genealogy

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Oct. 18th, 2016 | 05:15 am

On the first of this month, I managed to fall in my front yard and crack one of my ribs. It's only the second bone I've broken in my whole lifetime, and just like the first one, what caused it was a split-second moment of misjudging the position of one of my limbs in 3-dimensional space, a misapplication of muscle force to correct that misjudgment, and the gravitational pull of the Earth. In other words, clumsiness. Just plain, stupid clumsiness.

Consequently, I haven't felt like doing much for the last 2-1/2 weeks; at least nothing that requires the use of my upper body. Even breathing is painful. And sneezing, coughing, or hiccuping – OMG, it feels like I'm being stabbed in the chest with a knife.

So, trying to avoid exerting myself, I've been staying at home most of the time. In fact, my car's been in my garage since last Wednesday at 0930, so this morning will mark the beginning of my 7th day in a row that I haven't left home, or spoken with another human being.

I may not go into town today, either, since I have enough food in the house, at least for me, but I only have one can of dog food left, so for their sake, restocking before I run out would probably be a good idea. And thank goodness for my dogs. Without them to talk to and interact with, I would surely lose my mind living like this.


I have been keeping busy, though. For most of this past week, I've been compiling genealogies of my dad's and my mom's families. I should have done this a long time ago, but what motivated me to get busy with this now is that I found out recently that the last member of my parents' generation died earlier this year, so now there's no one left to ask questions about family history. And, since I seem to be the only person on either side left alive who is interested in history, it's kind of up to me now to make sure this knowledge of familial past isn't lost forever.

My father's family tree goes back the furthest. So far I've traced it back to 1571. The forebear who first came to this country was born in Ireland in 1743, forcibly exiled, and settled in Virginia before the Revolutionary War. Since then, most of the family have been Southerners. In fact, most still are in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. The more recent generations on my father's side moved from Georgia to Kansas in the 1870s, Missouri around the turn of the last century, and finally out to California just before the Great Depression.

Mother's family is much more complex, and for the most part, they still live in England. Both of my maternal grandparents were born in Cumberland (I refuse to say 'Cumbria', sorry), and emigrated to Utah in the 1910s. I haven't done much with the genealogy Over There yet. I've had a peek, though, and I can already tell the job is going to be very complicated and take quite a bit of time.

I don't mind, though. It's been a lot of fun thus far. Anyway, I've always been more interested in the past than the future – I guess in large part because I don't have much future left to look forward to. :/

 

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