Saturday, December 17, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

October 5, 1839: Jasper H. Noyes was born.  His father was Bethuel Noyes, one of the pioneer settlers of Michigan.  Jasper had a son, Charles, and Charles married Mae Manning and had 3 sons Jasper M, Edward, and Francis.  Edward Noyes was my grandfather.
Zella Carter was the daughter of Jim B. Carter and Bessie Snow.  She was born October 11, 1905.  Zella is my grandmother.
Ed and Zella had a baby girl on July 7, 1931 and they named her Marilyn.  That's my Mom.

How do I know all this?  Because I'm cleaning out my Mom's house (she's living in an assisted living facility now) and going thru all sorts of old files, folders, letters, and pictures.  I have truly fallen down the rabbit hole, and I don't know when I'l be back.

I have never been interested in genealogy, and I hope I don't start now!  But, I can see that it would be easy get hooked.  My original plan was to toss everything - I surely have no *need* for my mother's wedding announcement.  When I just couldn't bring myself to do that I thought, ok, I'll box the stuff up and put it in storage.
For who?  When?
One of my finds at moms house. Her wedding announcement. This is from the Detroit yacht club magazine from march 1951
I decided that there's no time like the present so I'm staying at her old house and immersing myself.  Sometimes I'm watching her videos of travel to Antarctica or China or Indonesia or Africa.  Sometimes I'm reading thru old journals ... I found one that I thought was my Mom's writing, but it turned out to be my grandmother's and it was a 1976 trip journal from when she and my grandfather took a camper van and traveled these United States!!  Talk about RVing being 'in my blood.!'  She even writes that one of the highlights of her trip was Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama.  If you've ever attended our Google Earth seminar, you may have heard our story about using Google Earth to decide whether or not to go to Bellingrath Gardens!  As it turned out, we didn't go - now I have to go back!

I also found correspondence with my grandmother just before she died.  She apparently was trying to locate my real father (Richard Andrews of Dearborn, Michigan) who I never met since they split when I was two.  I am still determined not to play with genealogy!  I'm already down the rabbit hole - I don't want to go thru the looking glass too!

I know genealogy is a good computer topic, but I have enough on my plate right now with Facebook, and then Picasa coming out with a new version, and both Picasa and Blogger becoming part of Google Plus.  This experience has given me some fodder for more Picasa articles though ... like The Easy Way to Scan Slides

This morning Jim picked me up and then we also picked Mom up and went out to breakfast.  I so wish I could show her these things and ask her questions.  But she doesn't remember any of it ... and it would just confuse - and maybe upset - her to show her the pictures and documents.  I did enjoy giving her a nice big hug though!  I know she's had quite the amazing life and I'm enjoying learning even more.

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9 comments:

Carol said...

For that that you must toss, take my word for it, please

SCAN IT!!

Or that neat trick of photographing the slides, I cannot wait to get home to try that one.

So many regret tossing without keeping some kind of copy.

SCAN and PHOTOS, your best friends.

Lynne said...

I remember all the stuff I had to rummage through when cleaning out my grandmother's apartment 10 years ago. Brought home boxes of those old documents and photos determined to scan and store them but scanning still seemed like too much work itself. Now days, with smartphone cameras and cloud-based storage it's much easier to keep those memories without keep the physical paper clutter-- just snap a picture of each document or photo and upload it to the cloud-storage solution of your choice (preferably one that supports tags like Evernote or Flickr) and you can now throw out the cherished document without guilt! I'm planning to tackle one last remaining closet full of that kind of stuff over the holidays....fingers crossed....no more clutter :-)

Sandy Teggatz said...

Yes, going through family "stuff" can be a "real trip" -- and a big consumer of time! Deciding what to keep and what to toss is no easy task. One suggestion that I read after I had done lots of "down-sizing" is to take pictures of the items before eliminating them -- then one can enjoy the "memories" via the photos.

By the way, Bellingrath Gardens is really beautiful in March -- don't miss it!

John and Carol said...

Becoming the parent to your parent is perhaps the most difficult period of life. You are certainly a good and loving daughter. Hang in there.

Oh, and genealogy is great. Just keep it a secret so you don't have to teach about it.

Rick and Kathy Rousseau said...

I agree with you, that in today's day and age our plates are alaways on the full to heaping of things to do. Knowing immediate relatives and cousins alone is sometimes an impossible chore due to the size of many families and now our Grandkids are telling us why do I need to know that stuff for?
That puts it in the order of importance most people are taking it for today.

It's about time.

Jerry / Carol said...

Ditto what Sandy said. That is exactly what we are doing. I am only taking pictures of photos that are meaning full to us. The rest are going to our kids. Too many family photos end up in Cracker Barrel. Photos the the history of the family.

Laura Baker said...

I agree with Carol, SCAN it! I went through every thing from my family before we hit the road, and with a few minor exceptions, I scanned everything. The more interesting things I put on a Picasa album and shared it with family. They could take it or leave it, but it was there for them. It took some time, but I love having them with me.

I use some of the more memorable pictures on greeting cards and the LOVE it. I send them to my Aunt, who has dementia. She forgets that I sent them, but recognizes the people in them and puts them on her shelf!

Laura

Tom Williams said...

I've been looking at the stash of my own photos and thinking, "what will my kids do with these when I'm gone?" The answer is most likely, toss 'em. Ninety-nine percent of the pics will mean nothing to them. Heck, as I go through the stuff, I don't remember half of the pictures.

Carla said...

How cool to be able to go thru her belongings while you still have her to love on . Usually this is done after they are gone. Enjoy!