Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 ~ Happy New Year!!!!

This year I’m hitting the ground running and not thinking about it too much. 
Last week, I read an article by Amy Johnson Crowe called  ‘52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks’
The title caught my attention and as I thought more about it I realized that means a commitment to writing every week. 

Last year, I committed to write in my blog once a month. After about 4 years of hit or miss, I felt I needed to challenge myself to a deadline, of sorts. As a result, I am encouraged to say that I accomplished that challenge as I completed a post each month ending with my last post for 2017, in December. 
Although, committing to write about an ancestor every week sounded a bit daunting at first, I quickly decided to get on board. I figure, even if I cannot do all 52 weeks due to dodging curve-balls throughout the year, I will still be ahead of where I am now.  A win, win, I think. 

I signed up for the weekly prompts as suggested in the article. I believe it will help keep me on track, as well as serve as a weekly reminder. 

Since the first week is ‘Start’, I decided to begin with my dad this week, and my mom next week. Then, I will work up my family tree for the following weeks down the road.  For more details, see Amy Johnson Crowe's article.   

One thing that resonated with me, is that there is flexibility on how you go about it.  You can write on whatever platform you like, such as a blog,  social media, or in the form of a letter to someone.  
My take away, is that the important thing is that you write, and not focus so much on the logistics that can keep us from moving forward. That has been my particular obstacle in the past. 

I plan to make most of my entries here, on my blog, so that I can keep them in one place. I can also use the tag feature for future searches, should I need to refer back, or possibly update information. I may post a link to each post on Facebook and Twitter, as she suggests, as well as adding hashtags to make it searchable.  

I do know that there will be some weeks that I may miss. But I will have to be OK with that, realizing that in the long run I am am still moving forward and making progress.  I think it is important to focus on flexibility, so it can work with our busy lives and schedules.

This is the first month of a brand new sparkly year, and along with it brings new goals, new  projects, assessing current projects, and re-organizing methodology. This often includes patterns of research, re-organizing paper files, digital files... basically, a new beginning in some ways, and completing unfinished projects, in others. 

Either way, we are moving along the road to discovery, connections, and adding more information to some of those stubborn, long-term brick walls. Perhaps, more importantly, making written progress in our own efforts of leaving our generational legacy with our footsteps.  

May your 2018, be happy, enlightening and memorable. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

It's that season again — that most wonderful time of the year. 
The shopping, the holiday meals, the gift wrapping, the baking, and reminiscing of precious family memories, all the traditions, foodsChristmas music, Hallmark Christmas movies…  and on and on.  

It's also, that time of year, where we are aware of our loved ones who are no longer with us, parents, aunts, uncles…. 

Our family has many traditions. Since, my mom and dad were born in Cuba, we celebrated on Christmas Eve, which was called, Noche Buena.
I am sure that their traditions included those from Spain and the Canary Islands, since those are our ancestral roots, as we heard stories of their own happy and precious memories of their past Christmases. 

We opened gifts on Christmas Day, from Santa Claus. We would have a feast of a variety of foods and special desserts.
One item, I especially remember, was. turrones.  My absolute favorite to this day, is Turrón de Jijona.  A delicious, almond nougat confection, made of honey, sugar, toasted almonds, made in Spain.   Love it!!

We have created our own traditions with our children by intertwining past traditions and hopefully, in turn, they will keep some of those same traditions alive as well.

It appears, that  I have arrived at that point in life, that so many have reached, some in silence and solitude… that long, long, long road of change and transition, that for me has spanned many years, with five children. 

The road, that is actually, very normal and part of the path that we all must travel as we move along our journey in life.  As our children reach adulthood, move out on their own, marry and start their own lives, we come to understand in an intimate way, the meaning of ‘the ghosts of Christmas past’.

For the first time, I find myself feeling quite melancholy, with moments of downright sadness, as I
not only remember those wonderful years at home, snippets of time, the laughter, the joy, and love of our children and those who are no long r with us.. all those years gone by. 
Despite, the sadness, I am ever so thankful, for the blessings of having those memories, full of life, with all those special, beautiful people, of years past.

I have another child that will marry in the spring, yes, a time of joy, a blessing, yet bittersweet, as a mother, from the perspective that we are reminded of the natural progressions of our lives… the perpetual circle of life that our children, too, are walking in their own life journeys, and on and on it
goes. The nest empties out, one by one, slowly but surely.. until it's completely empty. 

I tend to be more reflective about life at this time of year, but after all, genealogy is about the lives of families.
We all share similar journeys and emotions, roads that they too, have had to walk, despite their point of reference in history. 

My hope, this Christmas season, is that those who are lonely, those that are feeling sad, or hurting due to a life circumstance or whatever the reason.  Know that we all feel similar emotions, maybe not at the same time, or for the same reasons, whether we acknowledge it or not. We are not alone. I pray, that you find a glimmer of hope that would bloom into encouragement, peace and much joy… and that in turn you would find someone to share that with and bring some light in their life..

After, all, we are all the same, and we are more alike than different. We need one another.


Merry Christmas to all, and I pray a Happy and blessed New Year - 2018.  God Bless You!!