It has been a very productive winter for me as I’ve had the time to work on family history. It’s an interest I’ve had for years that comes and goes. I’ve had individual folders with old family pictures, notes from conversations from people now passed, two different family trees books I am descended from…a lot of information that begs to be organized. Last Fall, I happened to run into Diane at a local picnic for a tour group in the area from Ostfriesland. (Part of northern Germany.) By the end of our conversation, Diane had offered to help me work on our family tree. She had the time, the know how and I jumped at her offer.
She reached out to me this past January and asked if I was ready to get started. I gave her some names and she started setting up a family tree. I didn’t hear anything for several weeks, and discovered in the meantime that since my wife had taken a DNA test there was a free ancestry account already in existence in our name. So while I was waiting for Diane’s results, I started doing some work on my own…adding pictures, uploaded stories, using the search tools in the local newspaper archives. It has been a great way to break up some of the time these past few months.
Night before last Diane wrote me a note. I’d given her a link to the family tree I’ve been working on, this is a portion of what she said:
“I can tell you that your instincts, Doug as a genealogist and family history keeper are excellent.”
That is the 2nd time someone as given me unsolicited affirmation about that area of my life. (lover of history.)
The first time was in 2009. I’d shared a link to a history blog I was working on with one of my favorite authors. Andrea Seu Peterson.
She wrote me back and said : “You may want to call yourself a contractor, but I think you’re a historian. “
I hesitate to share those two affirmations and yet, I believe there is a place in our lives for personal affirmation. God knows there is enough negativity most of us battle with that goes on in our private thought life. So, when a few words of genuine affirmation makes it into my life, I celebrate. :-).
So there you go.
I am a voracious reader, especially when I get on a topic that interests me. Heck, I grew up in a home where World Encyclopedias were on a bookshelf in our bathroom.
So for me, to receive two unsolicited affirmations affirming my work in the area of history, does as much for me as getting a piece of paper telling me I have a Masters degree.
I’d never seen any of the following pictures before…(except the one of grandma on the boat. I’ve share that one before.)
Picture of my grandmother (little girl on the left) She was 13 years old.
My grandma, front row second from left. Getting together with her friends right before emigrating to America. March 1929. She was 23.
Grandma on ship March 1929 coming to America
1949 Picture from my grandmother on her first visit back to Germany since she immigrated.
(She is in the center)
Twenty years had passed…She’d gotten married to an Iowa farm boy. She’ had three children. Her father had passed away while she was gone. She’d endured the Great Depression in America, experienced WW 2 as a German living in America. I think of the emotions she must have been feeling at that moment.
I miss her.
I need to get moving.
Thanks for tagging along.
Take care. DM