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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is this my culture and heritage?

The title is a line from O Brother, Where Art Thou? I love that movie! But anyway. . . .

I've recently decided to make a family tree. Why you ask? I dunno. Boo says I doing it because I'm insatiably curious, works for me.

It started off so simply. I know when and where the sprout was born and me and my parents and then it gets a bit hairy. You don't realize how much you don't know until you start doing this. So far I've just been wracking my brain and bugging my mom (Hi Mom!) but I guess I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and talk to some relatives. Le sigh.

I want to add the usual things, dates of birth, marriage, death and other important dates. Middle and maiden names, where people lived. But I'd also like to add what they looked like, interesting things about them, what was their favorite color? Things like that. Trouble is that stuff is harder to find.

The detective in me is loving the search. I adore adding new things to the tree and hearing interesting stories and stirring my own memories. For instance this morning, I got an email from my mom with some information about her aunts and uncles (Do you know how many kids people had back then?!) and she mentioned three of the aunts who never married and lived together until death with no electricity or modern conveniences. She lamented that I'd never met these interesting and unique aunts. The thing is, that I had met them. My grandfather took me to visit them but I didn't remember it until she mentioned them this morning. I love things like that.

Things that may seem uneventful and boring to us, hardly worth mentioning, will be an interesting bit of our lives for future generations. My great grandmother, who I can only envision as a frail 88 year old woman, played basketball in her Converse sneakers in school.

I'm slightly comforted by the idea that what ever I chronicle about the generations closest to me will make it easier for any future descendants to make their family trees. That these future people may be terribly interested in what great great great grandma's favorite color was back in the old days of 2008.

Write stuff down, keep a diary, one of your future grandchildren will treasure it.

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