Thursday, July 9, 2009

being a Thien

Most people might think that gravestone rubbings are morbid, but today I did one. Yes, I found my great great great grandfather's marker. The lettering was so faded, that I thought, 'If I don't do a rubbing this trip, we might never be able to read this again!' So in lies J.H.Thien, founder of Thiensville, WI, without whom I would not be. I thought it was really neat. We also went to the village and lurked about the millrace and dam that he (had) built. Dear daughter was bored out of her wits, but I tried to impress upon her that most people do not know even the names of their ancestors let alone the things that they did. We are very lucky in this respect. We also got to see the civil war relics from a different great great grandfather who was a captain in the Ohio cavalry. The best part was seeing a one-hundred-fifty year old hard-tack biscuit. Looked like you could still eat it! I never cared much for history before, but I have figured out that the real appeal is in how it relates to yourself, personally. I am totally absorbed by my personal history. I can understand how general history is interesting in how we get to be the way we are. So now I have a grave rubbing, a land sale plat map and a few pictures, but the big picture is in my head.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

brief checkin before checking in

It is late Wednesday, and I will be getting up in 6 hours to fly to Chicago to visit my stepbrother, his wife and their adorable children. This is the first leg of a multi-city, multi-relative tour. my suitcase only weighs 40 pounds and has my mother's family history scrapbook in it, which for me, is a coup! we will be gone for three weeks, but hope to find laundry along the way. Otherwise, i will not smell very nice. daughter's suitcase is small, stuffed, but not very heavy, which is perfect. I resisted using a big bulky suitcase, but since I am the one heaving it up, down and sideways, i think size is a consideration, as much as weight. I am using a new jansport with nice turquoise targets on it, hating those ubiquitous red or black bags everyone else seems to have. Okay, dear daughter's is red, but I didn't buy it, it was a hand-me-down. One fact of life is that the more you weigh, the more your clothes weigh, and the heavier your luggage is. between that and the size of airline seats, there is enough reason to lose some of my pounds. It is a battle that is at a stalemate right now.

I was hoping for a big fireworks display for the 4th, and my kin assure me that their tiny town will deliver, but I am a little disappointed that we are not going downtown or someplace bigger. With small kids, though, I can see why they don't want to this year.

also, I am anxious about the weather. It has been so hot in Gainesville - 95 every day, muggy, and now finally getting some rain. Dear d has gotten used to being very warm, and if it is noticeably cool, there will be much complainage. Yet, i packed clothes for us for cooler weather. So if it is not cool, I will be the one complaining. You really cannot win if you have a big body and a small suitcase.