Yesterday the roof was finally bare of snow. There was a cluster of inch high daffodil spikes in a muddy brown spot in the shelter of a South-facing corner of the house. Today I just finished shoveling a foot or so of snow and the weather wizards say that more is coming. Sigh.
For some time I’ve been feeling jaded about the percentage of my human interaction that occurs via the computer. I didn’t want to write on the internet wall wondering who might come across it. It felt impersonal and I missed face to face contact. Yes, I KNOW it’s a choice but so many meetings and gatherings have been canceled/postponed this winter and we lose power a LOT and I’m TIRED of shoveling and it’s HARD and before that it was ICY and really COLD and whine, whine and more whine. And then . . . .
I’m taking a beginner genealogy course (daunting as I realize the extent of what I DON’T know about my family and the fact that I’m moving further and further up the ancestor list as we speak). The latest lesson was on using a census computer database. I noodled around looking for my maternal grandfather without much luck. I then tried my paternal great-grandfather and found him in the 1920 census. Salem Township: Charlie Filson, age 55 as head of household with wife Rachel S., age 53, my great-aunt Anna M. (who would become my grandmother) age 25, my Aunt Marjorie, age 13, and my dad, Henry W. age 2 and 9/12, grandson. My dad’s mother, Edna, was the oldest daughter in the family and she died from influenza when my dad was 16 months old. He was sent to live with his grandparents. And there he was. . . listed in clear copperplate writing as a member of the family on North Cottage Avenue in 1920, an official snapshot of the story I have heard all my life of the motherless baby who became my father. It is a very personal connection across time. It was posted on an internet wall for all to see. I found it. I am grateful.