Friday, September 30, 2011

Taking Stock -- Dad's 91st Birthday

It seems like every year on September 30th, I find myself "taking stock."  Where am I in my life now? What do I anticipate for the future?

My Dad died way too young at the age of 57.  I was pregnant with my daughter at the time.  He knew he was going to be a Grandfather again.  He also knew he would not live to see her. So let me see if I can get a few thoughts down on "paper."

Dear Dad,
This year I guess I'm in a more reflective mood than usual.  ALL of your children and grandchildren could benefit from your wisdom today.  I believe that it was on this date four years ago that my daughter had her pregnancy officially confirmed.  I saw it as a sign.  Her son, Ian, is now 3 years old and the love of his parents and six grandparents. 

Liz just confirmed for me that she and Roland are going to have a second son.  (I was hoping for a granddaughter for me and a daughter for her, but we couldn't be happier).  It looks as if we will have another beautiful grandchild sometime in February.  I'm taking it as a sign.

Your son, Tim, was just diagnosed with renal cancer.  He is going through his pre-op appointment today and a second bone scan tomorrow.  Surgery to remove the cancerous tumor is scheduled for next Wednesday.  I'm taking it as a sign.

All of us would love to have a conversation with you today.  You've walked the path before us and we could all use your advice today.

Thinking of you has made me get busy on my second blog.  For the past three years, I've told everyone that I would work on a blog that only discusses the Jones line, the Ohio River, and the boats that have been a part of our family.  I've finally started on it.  I'm calling it "A River Runs Through Us."  You can link to it here.

I'm sure you are aware that you now have 10 great-grandchildren with another on the way.  Perhaps they'll get to know you some day by reading these blogs.

Could you please get together with Mom and be with our family right now?  We want to keep Tim (AKA Karen's favorite brother) around to bug for a long time to come.  Besides he is the oral family historian and I need him.

We love and miss you.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm back . . . literally

Bacharach, Germany
Exactly one week ago today, I was landing at CVG (the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport) on the second leg of a trip that began much earlier in the morning in Milan, Italy. I was part of a trio from the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area who met up with another six intrepid travelers from Florida.

I must really be getting old.  It has taken me this entire week to recover from the jet lag and get back into my normal routine -- and I'm not working like most of my fellow travelers.  Last night was the first night I went to bed at a "normal" time and woke up at a reasonable time in the morning.  There were some nights when I woke up at 4:40 AM, unable to go back to sleep.  After all, it was 10:40 in Italy!

I knew I was back on track when I could click on my google reader and read some of the many posts my fellow bloggers had written in my absence.  I actually wanted to post to my own blog.  I even created a powerpoint presentation for a talk I am giving Saturday at our library.  I'm going to try to entice others to consider writing their own family history blogs.

So now that I've "recovered" you'd think I'd be finished with traveling for awhile.  As my husband and I have frequently noted, however, once you've been bitten, the travel bug is forever with you.  So here is to the next time!

Barbara, Missy, Kristin, Kathy, Betty and Tommy

Costa Deliziosa docked in Cobh, Ireland

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Windows of Venice

San Marco Square
Venice, Italy
I just returned from a wonderful trip to six European countries:  Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.  The trip included a 10-day cruise with additional days before and after the cruise.  The whole trip was put together by my cousin and genealogy buddy, Barbara Pharo.

One of the places we visited was Venice, Italy.  I fell in love with the architecture, especially the diversity of windows.  I thought I would share some of my favorites by putting together a couple of collages.

In order to do this vacation justice, I would have to start a whole separate blog.  So let me just say that it was a wonderful adventure for the nine people who were fortunate enough to go.