Friday, December 31, 2010

Goals for 2010

2010 is coming to a close and I must apologize to the readers of Conversations With My Ancestors. I’ve not done nearly enough blogging this year about the research on the paternal side of my family. I even had some successes on the research front. Unfortunately, I never managed to get them posted to the blog.

My plethora of excuses for not blogging include: 1) For whatever reason, I had a problem with a spammer on this blog that sort of deterred me a little but probably the biggest problem is 2) on my paternal side, I simply don’t have the family stories as I do on the maternal side of family. That’s partly due to having grown up around the majority of my maternal aunts, uncles, and cousins while my much smaller paternal side was scattered. It’s also due to the fact that yes, that side of my family simply did not talk about the past. I’ve refused to use that as an excuse in my research, so it definitely will should not be an excuse for my blogging.

With regard to my research for my paternal ancestors, I only have three goals for 2011.

  1. A research trip to Martin, Pitt, and Bertie Counties, NC.
  2. Scan all the pictures I inherited from Aunt Martha and distribute them to my cousins. 
  3. Blog more!!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent of Christmas Memories, Day 4 - Christmas Cards

While the maternal side of my family loved to send and receive all sorts of beautiful Christmas cards this time of the year, it was the paternal side of my family, specifically my first cousin LaLeatrice, who introduced us to idea of the annual Christmas letter.

I was so hooked on the annual Christmas letter that the year Cousin LaLeatrice announced that she was discontinuing the annual letter that it didn’t register. When it finally did register, I was a little distraught. But not to fear, her daughter LaZealtrice picked up the torch and we now look forward to her annual Christmas letter. And somewhere along the way, I even started sending out my own letter about the adventures of mom, dad, the granddog, and yours truly.

I had thought that I wouldn’t send out cards / letter this year but in writing this post on Christmas Cards, I find myself getting motivated to do it one more year. However, I have to warn you, it may be a tad late.

The following is the 2005 letter from Cousin LaZealtrice. What a genealogical gem this is and will be.

This 2005 Christmas letter is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent of Christmas Memories, Day 1 - The Christmas Tree

I almost forgot about the Advent of Christmas Memories Series, so I'm a day late for  the first Post in the series. My post on The Christmas Tree is a rehash of the one I posted last year for Day 24.

Christmas Tree Buying

Sometime during my tween years, our old silver tinsel tree finally gave up the ghost. From that point until I graduated college, mom, dad, and I decided to ditch the artificial tree in favor of a “real” tree. By the end of this period, the Christmas tree, for me, became the most hilarious part of our Christmas routine. For you see, we never had a Christmas tree before late on Christmas Eve.

Every year, I would begin December 1st, begging dad to go get our tree and every year he either ignored me or stated I’m not paying those outrageous prices for something that’s only going to get used for a few days then thrown away. During the early years of having a real tree, I would sometimes remind dad that we still hadn’t gotten our tree but by the end of this period, I had learned that no tree was coming into the house any sooner than Christmas Eve. So, I waited and waited and waited for December 24th to arrive so that we could go get our tree.

Even after waiting until December 24th, dad would still make me wait until the about the last hour that his favorite tree lot, operated the Boy Scouts, was open. So, while I’m panicking that we aren’t going to have a tree, dad and I finally set out for the tree lot while mom stays home and finally starts hauling the tree decorations out.

We are finally at the tree lot. I’ve already spied the perfect tree as we are pulling up, so I jump out the car and race to it and declare dad it’s this one. I never did learn on this part of our routine. Dad always declared that my perfect tree was too tall, too big, etc. The real reason was that tree is still going to cost more money than I want to spend on this thing. So, we kept hunting until dad found a tree. Of course I usually thought it was the ugliest tree that I had seen but since he was buying it, who was I to argue. But our fun didn’t stop there. Dad always haggled to get an even lower price. My favorite dad line from the haggling was always “It’s Christmas Eve. What are you going to do with this tree tomorrow? We are the only ones here even looking at the trees.” And every year, dad won the battle. But the buying process is still not done. Dad’s final move is to ask if he can write a check. The reply is always yes, so dad writes his check out to the Boy Scouts and our Christmas tree becomes a lovely tax write-off.

We finally have our tree and head home. I spend the rest of the night decorating our tree. And for as ugly as it was on the lot, I always think it the most gorgeous tree decorated. Mom always thinks so too. Dad just cares that he got a write off, a good deal and that his daughter has stopped pestering him about a tree.

I miss those Christmas Eve tree buying trips and think of them often as I see today's sellers break down their lots days before Christmas, which begs the question, what do they do with all those unsold trees?