2017 Life Logs, Days 169: Still Working on Family History

2017 Life Logs, Days 169: Still Working on Family History
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Weather: Overcast with a Little Rain, Temp in the High 73 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Researching family history is absolute addiction for me. Once I get started, I just can’t stop. I got up this morning and spent the entire day trying to pin down a few specifics. One thing that intrigues me is that this past week I found out that the place we are staying in West Virginia for our reunion next weekend is on the land originally owned by Jacob Mann, Jr., in the late 1700’s. Jacob Mann, Jr., was married to Barbary Miller, a daughter of my 5th great grandfather, Jacob Miller, Sr., who came to this country from Germany. Jacob Mann, Sr. and Jacob Miller, Sr. both lived in Rockingham County, Virginia, in the mid-1700’s. Jacob Mann, Sr., and one of his sons, Jacob Mann, Jr. and wife Barbary Miller, made their way across the mountains into present day Monroe County sometime between 1770 and 1775. John Miller, Sr., son of Jacob from Germany, married a French woman named Barbary Mauze, and they too crossed the mountains into West Virginia around 1775. Jacob Mann, Jr., settled on the land that is now Creekside where we will be staying next weekend and John Miller settled on an adjacent property. I won’t go on, but you can see from this tiny piece of history that I have put together from various sources in the past couple of days just how confusing this process can be. There were way too many people in this story named Jacob, John, and Barbary. And this is what takes so much time. I have to take notes, reread, recheck, and finally come up with what makes sense. But that’s what I enjoy . . . the story that evolves out of the names and dates. And how cool is it that we are going to be staying where the first members of our family that came into Monroe County once lived? I love that connection. But at 5 pm, I made myself stop this nonsense so I could go to Heather and Jed’s for dinner. Jed’s mother, Marti, is here this weekend, and they invited me over so we could visit. Marti is going to stay an extra day to help me out by having Camp Grammie with Ollie tomorrow morning. This will give me a little more time to get ready for the family gathering. In the afternoon, I will go over and pick-up Ollie and Marti and we will go on a shopping expedition to buy farewell gifts for teachers and parent volunteers for Sam’s 4th grade graduation on Wednesday evening. The gifts are not from Sam, but from the whole 4th grade class. Since Heather is the PTO president, she is in charge of this. As we discussed this over dinner, it just seemed like something Marti and I could do to help Heather out and Ollie will enjoy going along with us. Then the Goldstones have a kid-centered swimming party tomorrow evening with friends, so Marti and I might escape and go out for a nice quiet dinner.

2017 Life Logs, Days 168: Parade of Tall Ships 2017, Boston

2017 Life Logs, Days 168: Parade of Tall Ships 2017, Boston
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Misty Rain, Temp in the High 60’s F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Sam and I were up early and were off to Boston. Sam drove his rental car and I followed in my car. We drove to the airport so he could return the car, and then we went to the Hyatt Regency at the airport to a viewing area there for the Parade of Tall Ships. It should have been a seven-minute trip from the rental car return area to the hotel, but I stupidly took a wrong turn and went back through the tunnel to South Boston and then had to turn around and go back. But even with the glitch in getting there, the Hyatt venue was perfect for viewing the Parade of Tall Ships. There was no line for the security check-in and there were places to sit on the concrete sea wall. We then settled in to watch the ships with the Boston skyline in the background. This made it even more special. The tall ship leading the parade was the US Coast Guard Eagle out of Newport, followed by some smaller US ships. Then came the Canadian ships followed the Pictan Castle from the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. There were some spectacular tall ships from the Netherlands and Ecuador and Peru. The largest was the 379-foot Union from Peru. We could not stay to watch all the ships as Sam needed to check into his hotel in downtown Boston so he could get a nap before his flight to London tonight. Thankfully pilots take their jobs very seriously and do make sure they get the required rest before flying across the ocean! But we did take time to have lunch in Chinatown before Sam headed to the hotel for a nap. At that point, I started the drive home. I made a stop at Costco to get a few things I need for the Martin Family gathering in West Virginia next weekend, and then it was home again, home again.

2017 Life Logs, Days 166: Day Off the Family History Project

2017 Life Logs, Days 166: Day Off the Family History Project
Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Weather: Cooler–Temp in the 60’s F, Partly Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today started with a semi-annual dentist appointment for a cleaning followed by running errands about town. Then I headed home to get lunch together for my friends Jane Woodin and Olivia White. We started by sitting on the deck, but it was just too cool here on the harbor. So, we moved inside for lunch. I served my daily lunch which I call ‘everything in the fridge’ salad. Today it was a ‘make your own’ salad followed by chia pudding with fruit. When Jane and Olivia left, I did sneak in just a bit of family history work, and then it was time to head to Woods Hole to pick up Ollie. Heather was out of town today, so Jed took care of the pick-up of Sam and Jonah in East Falmouth and I did the Woods Hole pick-up of Ollie. I got a text this morning telling me that Ollie wanted to go to the East Falmouth Elementary School playground after school to continue his fun on the climbing equipment started this morning. So that’s what we did.

I have spent my evening writing a very long email to family about our ‘gathering’ beginning next Friday. Tomorrow I will start my day by wrapping up the family history project and then I’ll host the Goldstones and Sam Weigel for an early dinner, followed by the Falmouth Commodores opening baseball game. Sam Weigel (I think you know by now that Sam is Windbird’s new owner and captain) is flying into Boston tomorrow and has a layover until Saturday evening. He’s renting a car and driving down for a visit. I’m excited to see Sam and catch up on all the work he and Dawn have been doing on Windbird since our return from the Bahamas.

2017 Life Logs, Days 165: 1 of 108 Billion People

2017 Life Logs, Days 165: 1 of 108 Billion People
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Weather: Temp in the 70’s F, Partly Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day was spent sitting at the dining table on the computer entering family data into Ancestry.com. And as I entered some very interesting people, my sense of history demanded that I Google these folks to assure that my data is correct. I spent my time between 1500 and 500 AD. And then I got curious about just how many people have lived on this earth of ours. Today there are 7.5 billion people on earth, but how many people in total have lived on earth?
The numbers showing the growth rate of humans are very imprecise, but they give you an idea of how we have grown. Some charts start with 2 people in 50,000 BC, grow to 5 million in 8,000 BC, and up to 300 million people who had lived on earth by 1 AD. The growth rate was very slow, but as the number of people increased, so did the growth rate. We broke the 1 billion mark in the 1800’s and some experts state that there are now about 108 billion people who have lived on our planet. So you and I are one of 108 billion very lucky people who have inhabited planet earth, give or take a few million for a margin of error! I don’t know how many generations I went back in my family today, but it wasn’t 500 since there have only been that many generations since the dawn of civilization. It only felt like 500 after hours of entering data. As I cut and paste together generations, it looked like this lining the hallway.

I got my only break today when I headed out to see Sam’s fourth grade band concert. His instrument is the trumpet and he played a duet tonight. He looked so handsome and grown-up and he made it through the duet without any ‘bloopers’. So I call that a very successful evening. Next week he has fourth grade graduation as all Falmouth fourth graders go to a different school for fifth grade. Just yesterday Mark and I flew home from New Zealand for his birth. Where have these years gone?

2017 Life Logs, Days 164: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

2017 Life Logs, Days 164: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Weather: Temp Around 80 degrees F, Bright and Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This was what I call a “If you give a mouse a cookie” day. This is the title of a children’s book that I have often mentioned before, but today was classic. If you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to need a glass of milk. And if you give him a glass of milk, he is going to need a napkin to wipe off that milk moustache, and on and on. Each thing you give him requires that you give him something else. I got up this morning, fully intending on spending my entire morning working on the family history project. But when I went to make my green smoothie for breakfast, I discovered I was almost out of almond milk. So I decided to head across the harbor to the market. BUT then I thought that if I was going to go out, I should also go get the oil changed in my car. And if I did that, I might as well go to the bank to deposit some checks. And if I was at the bank, I should stop at Kappy’s on the way home to recycle some bottles. So, you see how my morning went. When I finally got home, I made that smoothie and had a long phone conversation with Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ellen and Lee, just catching up on life. Then I launched into a furiously paced session on Ancestry.com entering more family members from the way distant past. Before I knew it, it was time to head to Hyannis to get the tow hitch installed on my car so I can safely cart my new bicycle around. I made it back to Heather and Jed’s in time for dinner and we got to discuss some details about childcare for the summer and our trip to West Virginia next week. It was decided that I will drive with them instead of driving separately. It was a fast paced and very productive day. I didn’t get as much genealogy work done as I had hoped, so tomorrow is dedicated to that project.

2017 Life Logs, Days 163: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island

2017 Life Logs, Days 163: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island
Date: Monday, June 12, 2017
Weather: Temp Almost 90 degrees, Bright and Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today I went with members of the Falmouth Newcomers Club to visit Cuttyhunk Island. I am exhausted, probably due to the early start and the unexpected hot weather, but it was a beautiful day. Last night when I checked Weather Underground, it said the high on Cuttyhunk would be 63 degrees today. Instead, when I checked Weather Underground tonight, it says the high on Cuttyhunk today was recorded as 90 degrees! It was sunny, hot, and wonderful.

Cuttyhunk is the southern most of the Elizabeth Islands running southwest from Woods Hole. It is about 15 miles from Woods Hole, but there is no ferry from there. So we drove to New Bedford which is to the west of Buzzards Bay and took the ferry from there. There were about 15 retired teachers and 100 students from Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett. The Superintendent of Gosnold/Elizabeth Island Schools, Midge Frieswyk, accompanied us. She organized mini-courses for us to attend and a pot luck luncheon with residents of Cuttyhunk. There are only two resident students on Cuttyhunk, Gwen and Carter, who are 6th generation Cuttyhunk residents. Gwen is in 6th grade and Carter in 7th. It was interesting to hear them talk about their experience as the only students on this outpost island. I attended a geology mini-course where geologist, Dave Twichell, explained how Cuttyhunk was formed, and then a saltmarsh exploration with Hillary Sullivan, a Woods Hole Research Center research assistant. Both were great, but the beached and very dead porpoise that I saw going from one course to another was very sad. We had a pot luck lunch in the Town Hall of this sparsely populated island and then had an afternoon Cuttyhunk history course presented by naturalist and very knowledgeable local historian Allie Thurston. I think we all really enjoyed our time with her. We ended our island visit by being treated to ice cream from the local store and then it was back to the ferry for the trip home. The ferry captain went off-course so that we could see the seals lazing on nearby rocky islets. I had never seen seals in the banana (resting) pose, so that was quite a treat. It really was a great day.

Tomorrow I get back to the family history project in the morning and then I drive to Hyannis in the afternoon to get hitch I recently bought installed on my car. Then I can attach my new bike carrier which will allow me to easily take my new bike to the bike path and distant locations for bike rides. I’m looking forward to daily rides with Ollie next week during our first days of Camp Oma 2017.