The holiday season has ended, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were both spent at the Kettering home of my bonus sister, Laura, along with Mama Kay, Laura’s cousin, Joyce, a number of twenty-something young adults, a precious three-year-old lass, and on New Year’s Day, having recovered from his Christmas cold, Laura’s dad, John. Both holiday celebrations were served with delicious foods and filled with wonderful company and much laughter.
2021 began the series of 100th birthday anniversaries of my grandparents and their siblings. This past week, I’ve spent a good deal of time working on three projects and going down several genealogical rabbit holes and returning to the surface with success after several years of unabandoned research. Thanks to several Hoosier cemeteries being online and with a completed database of buried contestants, I was finally able to connect numerous ancestral dots to complete the mission. I am always amazed when I am meeting ancestors living in The Colonies, Territories, or newly established “western” states on this side of the Mississippi River who served as pioneers between the 1740s and 1830s. How fascinating and warming to know they were each an individual thread that made up the collective fabric of their community, township, county, state, and country. I am proud of my heritage and the contributions of so many folks.
I have had Jason Emerson’s masterful biography, GIANT IN THE SHADOWS: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln, in my possession for several years and finally urged myself to read it. I’ve become dependent on audiobooks for some time, now, and I’ve not located an audio version of GIANT IN THE SHADOWS. I am barely at the 100th page and am finding this book such a fascinating read with much new and appreciated information.
Alongside this, I have my audiobook biography, POLK: The Man Who Transformed The Presidency and America, by Walter R. Borneman. This book on President Polk, while possessing much new information to my liking is not as wonderful as GIANT IN THE SHADOWS. Perhaps it is the voice of the reader that makes me sometimes feel I am in a wood-heated tub of water well into the Donner Party expedition.
Today and Monday are Fifth Weeks and there is no teaching. I return to teaching on Tuesday and then have the next four days off. Wednesday morning, bright and early, I expect the Spectrum technician to see why the internet connection is frustratingly sporadic. I’ve had a new modem, router, and cables since June. A computer tech friend looked at my system and said all is well in that area.
I have had a wonderful break filled with quiet, tons of documentaries, reading, research, loving on The Quartet, and spending time with my bonus sisters. I’ve been to several events and dined out with Laura Parker, went to breakfast and saw WEST SIDE STORY with Jenny Davis, and shared Zoomed Thursday lunches with Valerie Gugala from the northern Chicago area. My phone icon is always on the back page of my iPhone and I often remove my “message” icon to the back page, as well, knowing if needed, folks can email me. Tuesday morning I shall return the text message icon to the front page and resume with my regular connection to the world.
All in all, it’s been the best damn time, moving when and along with as I please, and employing the wonderful books, documentaries, family friends, and The Quartet to make it the perfect holiday season.
As always, let us make it a great day, and let us also do what we must to make 2022 a great year.