~ Reflections ~

on

~ Life and Living ~

A little something to remind us why we pursue genealogy.
 
From: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Lewellyn
 
"I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come.
I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our
fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.
 
And their eyes were my eyes.
 
As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as
to-morrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no
beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his
hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down
the line that stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet,
raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman,
Son of Man, had in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God,
the
Eternal Father.
I was of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them."
 
 

Water From Another Time
 
New mown hay on a July morn....
grandkids are runnin through the knee-high corn,
sunburned nose and a scabbed up knee
from a rope at the white oak tree
 
Just another summer days at grandpa's farm
with grandma's bucket hangin off my arm.
You know the old pump's rusty but it works fine,
primed with water from another time.
 
It don't take much but you gotta have some
the old ways help the new ways come;
Just leave a little extra for the next in line
they're gonna need a little water from another time.
 
Tattered quilt on the goosedown bed -
every stitch tells a story, my grandma said:
her mamas' nightgown, grandpa's pants
and the dress she wore to her high school dance.
 
Now wrapped at night in those patchwork seams
I waltz with grandma in my dreams;
my arms, my heart, my life entwined with
water from another time.
 
It don't take much but you gotta have some
the old ways help the new ways come;
leave a little extra for the next in line
they're gonna need a little water from another time.
 
Newborn cry in the morning air -
the past & the future are wedded there
in this wellspring of my sons & daughters,
the bone & blood of living waters.
 
And though grandpa's hands have gone to dust
like grandma's pump reduced to rust -
their stories quench my soul & mind
like water from another time.
 
It don't take much but you gotta have some
the old ways help the new ways come
just leave a little extra for the next in line
they're gonna need a little water from another time.
 
Words by John McCutcheon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE

Falling in love.
Laughing so hard your face hurts.
A hot shower.
No lines at the Super Walmart.
A special glance.
Getting mail.
Taking a drive on a pretty road.
Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
Hot towels out of the dryer.
Finding the sweater you want is on sale for half price.
Chocolate milkshake.
A long distance phone call.
A bubble bath.
Giggling.
A good conversation.
The beach.
Finding a $20 bill in your coat from last winter.
Laughing at yourself.
Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
Running through sprinklers.
Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
Laughing at an inside joke.
Friends.
Falling in love for the first time.
Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
Your first kiss.
Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
Playing with a new puppy.
Late night talks with your roommate that keep you from sleeping.
Having someone play with your hair.
Sweet dreams.
Hot chocolate.
Road trips with friends.
Swinging on swings.
Watching a good movie cuddled up on a couch with someone you love.
Wrapping presents under the Christmas tree while eating cookies and drinking eggnog.
Song lyrics printed inside your new CD so you can sing along without feeling stupid.
Going to a really good concert.
Getting butterflies in your stomach every time you see that one person.
Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
Winning a really competitive game.
Making chocolate chip cookies!
Having your friends send you homemade cookies!
Spending time with close friends!
Seeing smiles and hearing laughter from your friends...
Holding hands with someone you care about.
Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
Discovering that love is unconditional and stronger than time.
Riding the best roller coasters over and over.
Hugging the person you love.
Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much-desired present from you.
Watching the sunrise
Getting out of bed every morning and
thanking God for another
beautiful day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STRANGERS IN THE BOX (Author Unknown)
 
I hope this inspires all of you to go through your pictures and identify all of them--
so the next generation or two won't have to go through what is described below
 
Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I've often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, and serene.
 
I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories,
Are lost among my socks.
 
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I'll never know their ways.
 
If only someone had taken time,
To tell, who, what, where, and when,
These faces of my heritage,
Would come to life again.
 
Could this become the fate,
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories,
Someday to be passed away?
 
Take time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours,
Could be strangers in the box.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

The average life expectancy in the United States was forty- seven.
 
Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.
 
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
 
There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
 
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated
than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the
twenty-first most populous state in the Union.
 
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
 
The average wage in the US was twenty-two cents an hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
 
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist
$2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a
mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.
 
More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.
 
Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they
attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and
by the government as "substandard."
 
Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.
 
Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
 
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any
reason, either as travelers or immigrants.
 
The five leading causes of death in the US were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza,
2. Tuberculosis,
3. Diarrhea,
4. Heart disease,
5. Stroke.
 
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and
Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
 
Drive-by shootings -- in which teenage boys galloped down the street on
horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else
that caught their fancy -- were an ongoing problem in Denver and other
cities in the West.
 
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty. The remote desert community
was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.
 
Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet. Scotch
tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
 
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
 
One in ten US adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
 
Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were apt to
become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour, of the sewing
machine's foot pedals. They recommended slipping bromide, which was
thought to diminish sexual desire-into the women's drinking water.
 
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at
corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion,
gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in
fact, a perfect guardian of health."
 
Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.
 
Punch-card data processing had recently been developed, and early
predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the
government to help compile the 1900 census.
 
Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one
full-time servant or domestic.
 
There were about 230 reported murders in the US annually.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Drinking From My Saucer
Author Unknown (contributed by Bill & Norma Dalton)
 
I've never made a fortune
and it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much,
I'm happy anyhow.
 
 
And as I go along life's way,
I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.
 
 
Haven't got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going's tough.
But I've got loving ones around me,
and that makes me rich enough.
 
 
I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.
 
 
O, Remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and sun peeped through again.
 
 
So Lord, help me not to gripe
about the tough rows that I've hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.
 
 
If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I'll not ask for other blessings,
I'm already blessed enough.
 
 
And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER - by Erma Bombeck
(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)
 
 
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of
pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern
if I weren't there for the day.
 
 
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a
rose before it melted in storage.
 
 
I would have talked less and listened more.
 
 
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if
the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
 
 
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living
room and worried much less about the dirt when someone
wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
 
 
I would have taken the time to listen to my
grandfather ramble about his youth.
 
 
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled
up on a summer day because my hair had just been
teased and sprayed.
 
 
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not
worried about grass stains.
 
 
I would have cried and laughed less while watching
television-and more while watching life.
 
 
I would never have bought anything just because it was
practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last
a lifetime.
 
 
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd
have cherished every moment and realized that the
wonderment growing inside me was the only
chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
 
 
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have
said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There
would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's"
 
...But mostly, given another shot at life, I would
seize every minute...look at it and really see it ...
live it...and never give it back.
 

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Last update:  Tuesday, 10-Apr-2001 11:30:25 MDT