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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Senior Hiking #353

70° Sunny
by Betsy

May 17, 2010…TR #64…back to lake again…
hike #353

With widely scattered thunderstorms predicted for the day, we decided we still had not had enough of the lake. With just about two weeks left with low water pool, we headed back. Besides, I needed to get a few more pictures and we wanted to investigate the pier again, and possibly get around the huge rock outcropping to walk up the beach even further to Maiden Rock. It was quite warm today with no wind so we wore shorts for the first time.

This is such a nice trail and being able to see the lake for the whole way down the

2½ miles is a treat. No white caps today and no sailboats! No wind. We got down a lot faster today. Our feet just ‘know the way.’ We stopped for a snack when we hit the beach and then headed down the shore toward the pier. When we got around to the other side of the pier, I finally got a better view of that old weather beaten sign I saw last week, which I forgot to take a picture of; it was hard to read but it looked like it said….No swimming! HA! Was I wrong. Today I sat down and got out the binoculars, and then I could make out some of what it really says. What I could make out was…


US Navy Property

Authorized Persons Only

Plus about ten more unreadable lines

The only way I would be able to read the next ten lines of worn off weathered letters would be to walk on the pier itself and down the steps. I would NOT be doing that! Between being hidden by falling pier beams and stripped letters, the sign was not easy to decipher. So it appears that we are right…it does have something to with Farragut Naval Submarine Station down the lake a bit. They must be using it still for something. I am still pursuing it.

As we approached the outcropping and climbed over the gnarly rocks, we knew almost right away that we were not going to be able to go any further. It would involve climbing over more gnarly rocks and then it looked like more rock outcroppings to stop us in our tracks. And the water has been rising as well.

While we were standing on the rocks and taking pictures, we saw a boat coming down toward us, close to shore. I thought for sure someone was coming to bust us. Perhaps there were surveillance cameras on…we did see one but it was not plugged in. Last week we saw another high up on the hill near the buildings. The motor boat came closer and closer and as he moved on past us, we greeted each other with a big wave hello. Whew! That was funny.

On the way back to the trailhead, we looked again for the old log cabin. Why would they have removed it? Again we searched the only flat area where it might have been to no avail. The hike back up to the top went faster than usual but it was HOT uphill at 70°!

Left home 9:30
Started up 10:30
Turned around at pier 1:00
Started up 1:40
Got to truck 2:45
Total miles hiked 7½ miles
Total hiking time 4 hours, 45 minutes

Friday, May 21, 2010

Painting This - Leads to Painting That - and EVERYTHING!

Today I decided it was time to get going on my Spring Spiff Up.  I live in a cold part of the country.  All winter I stay snuggled in a warm room heated by a fire not to venture into too many places of the house because they are too cold.  When spring finally gets here, I begin venturing out to those other places only to find that everything seems a little scruffy.  I can't stand it anymore so I whip out the paint and get started with my effort to spot paint.  You know how you have a ding here and there that make things look a little shoddy.  I actually thought that I could take the paint and touch those areas up and everything would look fresh and clean. 

I have to preface something here.  You see, I am creeping into the age that everything seems to have a kink in it when I try to move.  Both knees are shot, both arms have problems, I am admittedly over weight and out of shape, my eyes are not so good, and my hands are shaky.  So here I am thinking that a touch up of paint might be all I can handle. 

I started with the front door.  There were so many dings and dongs on the door that it would have been better to replace the door but I started painting.  As I painted spots on the door I quickly realized that I had to paint the whole door as it really was a mess.  When I finished the door, I looked around and realized that I needed to paint a drawer unit nearby as it was looking horrible against that white door.  When I finished with it I knew I had to paint the shoe shelves as they were worse yet.  Getting the front porch painted, I moved inside.   A touch up around the cat door was next but that made the door look dingy so it got painted but now the trim looks bad. 

I bet you are wondering how good of a job could I possibly do with all of the problems I described.  Well, I have discovered that these days painters tape is my friend.  If I take a few minutes to put some tape up but I can be sloppy (which I tend to be with my bad arms and shaky hands) and then take off the tape to see a fine crisp edge.  I also use chairs to help me get to those low places.  It has been years since I have been able to sit on my knees or even to squat (things I use to do all the time and that I really miss being able to do) so I either have to sit on the floor (and it's not easy to paint sitting) or sit on a chair and bend down.  It may look ridiculous as I am painting but the job is getting done and that is the most important thing.

I finally had to quit for the day but what was to be a quick touch up will now be a week or two of painting.  I know I can't stop at the door.  Actually, I am looking at this as two-fold.  First, I am going to get everything freshened up for summer and second, I just might start getting myself in shape.  All that up and down and moving around, surely something could come off - right?  I can only hope!

Genealogy - Researching Names - Don't Forget the Obvious

I use a lot of different programs when I am doing genealogical research.  I tend to rely on my favorites like Ancestry, Cyndi's List, and Family Search.  Recently while doing some research on a family that has baffled me for years, I decided to "Google" the name.  I do this every once in awhile but never really got anywhere with this name.  Well, yesterday I Googled my ancestor.  Wow!  I was so excited.  I found a pdf file of 87 pages that included some great information about this ancestor and his line.  I had forgotten the obvious. 

It is amazing to see how much is on the Internet on just about everyone.  I was talking to my husband about this and he made the comment that he wouldn't be on the Internet because he does nothing online.  So I typed in his name, low and behold, there were two pages of things attached to his name.  Needless to say, he was shocked.

So as people and companies are putting more and more information online, don't forget to keep checking the Internet by typing their name into the search field.  It helps to add something specific a birth year or location or say something like "Jacob Smith Genealogy".  Don't forget to check a few different search engines as some may have information that others do not.  Try Google, Bing, Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Dog Pile (compiles Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask).

So as you are doing your research, don't forget the obvious.  We check search engines for everything else, don't forget to check your family names and see what comes up.  Have fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Christmas is Around the Corner

I can not believe we are doing this, but my daughter and I are now posting our Christmas vinyl.  We do a lot of vinyl for women's groups and Super Saturday's.  It is so hard to believe since Christmas was just yesterday (ha!), that we are already heading into the holiday season for this year.  This year is just buzzin' by.  It is already time for the early birds to start looking for those Christmas projects. 

My daughter usually is the one to present our new items.  She has much better taste than me when it comes to crafts that people will like.  She always makes the projects and posts them to her blog site then my job is to post it to my vinyl site.  Each step takes more time than I would have thought but I actually love doing the computer part so it is fun for me.  Well, this time "I" actually did the project from beginning to end.  I even took the pictures.  The best part of the whole thing, my daughter loved it!  I actually did it and she loved it! 

I first did the vinyl in black and loved it.  My daughter said it would look great in other colors too so I did it in red.  I love it the most in the red.  Now I am getting excited about Christmas.  Not that I really want to have Christmas soon but Christmas always stirs excitement even in us older folks.  Now I want to create some new designs. 

I am thinking about taking a class in computer designing.  We have Adobe Illustrator.  My daughter uses it all of the time but maybe it is time for me to take a class and learn how to use it too.  I do not believe that we older folks are" too old" to learn some of these new things.  It may take this brain longer to learn but it is fun knowing that we can achieve something in these later years.

I can't believe I am getting excited about Christmas when we have barely begun Spring!  I am looking forward to the great summer days but a little hint of Christmas here and there make me excited about things to come.  To see more designs, check out our website at Vinyl Gifts and More.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Senior Hiking #352

57°  Sunny

May 10, 2010…Evans Landing…tr #64 …hike # 352
By Betsy

Today might be our last shot at the lake shore before the water rises…I just had to go one more time to do this last of our planned hikes to the lake…down the Evans Landing trail to the water. It was a gorgeous day, a bit windy but almost full sun, and not cold. Nice surprise since for the last week rain had been predicted. We drove 31 miles south of Sandpoint to the very poorly marked roads to the trailhead.

This trail is quite nice right from the start…with the lake visible down the whole way offering spectacular views. After a short uphill climb at the beginning, the trail meanders down 2½ miles of numerous switch backs thru a forest of Doug fir, larch and other fir trees. There were so many wildflowers blooming… bluebells, trillium, glacier lily, shooting stars, Oregon grape, virgin bower, wild strawberry, violets, balsam root, and more. Close to the bottom, and about the time we could hear the waves, it gets dramatically steep and as we hit the beach, I thought, thank goodness. We tried to find the old log cabin which is supposedly tucked back from the shore near two huge ponderosa pines but we sure couldn’t locate it. We were positive we saw it the last time we were here several years ago.

After a snack, we began walking up the beach toward Maiden Rock but knew from the get-go we would not be able to make it that far due to deep outcroppings. From the north we could see the white capped waves moving down toward us, bringing with them a stiff strong wind. I decided to keep my jacket on, but our hats kept blowing off so kept them off. The sound of the waves hitting the shore was so pleasant…if I closed my eyes I thought I was at the ocean even if the wave sequence is much longer. Some brave sailor out in a sailboat off in the distance kept our attention…at one point he had the rail down in the water, which we could see thru our binoculars.

But we did make it to an old and huge boat pier and launching apparatus. We investigated a bit...Jim walked up the steps to a small structure which had electricity. The cables were huge, about 3” in diameter and the only thing we could think of was that it had something to do with the old Farragut Naval Station which was just down the lake a bit and used for submarine training in the 1200’ depths of the lake during World War II. Or maybe it has something to do with the fishing operation things that we have been seeing…that big fishing barge and other net things are still out there in the lake. We sat there for a while, ate our lunch while looking at the strange old launch, and then headed back down the beach. We thought it strange that there were no ‘No Trespassing’ signs, or ‘Danger’ signs or ‘Keep Out’ signs! What is this thing…we are trying to find out. Back at the trailhead we took another unsuccessful look for the cabin

The climb back up was not too bad, and definitely not as bad as the climb back up from Maiden Rock was a few weeks ago. Switchbacks always help!

Left home 9:45Started down 10:30Got to beach 12:50 1 hour, 15 minutes
Started back up 1:30
Got to truck 2:50 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total miles hiked 7 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours, 20 minutes

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great Site for Homeschooling Moms

When my children were young and in school, I got very frustrated with the educational program.  My kids would be at school all day then I'd have to "teach" them for hours in the evening just to keep up with where they should be in their grade.  It wasn't that the teachers weren't teaching it was more that my kids may not have been paying attention.  I know how hard it is for teachers.  They have way too many kids and so many different personalities to deal with.  I often felt like I would have had more time in both my day and the days of my children if I would have homeschooled them.  I didn't know anyone who homeschooled in those days (not to say they didn't, I just didn't know anyone that did).

My daughter-in-law is actually teaching her children from home.  I was a little concerned about it in the beginning, but as I learned what and how she is teaching, I see that her children are blessed to have such a wonderful experience.  She and her sister have co-authored a website called Layers of Learning. I am amazed at the wonderful teaching experiences those two girls come up with.  If you know someone who wishes to help their children/grandchildren with some fun education, check out this site.  They have so many hands on activities along with some very helpful instruction for the "teacher".  I think you will agree, this site is well worth your time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writing a Family History Book

A couple of years ago for Christmas I decided to make a family history book for my children.  It was quite involved and took several months to finish.  It included stories and lots of  pictures of ancestors clear down to the marriage of our children.  It seemed like such a huge project but it was so worth it.

My husband is not someone who likes to write.  It was not easy to corral him to get info and stories from his side.  We took a couple of long trips to visit family.  While he was stuck in the car, I set up my computer on my lap and had him dictate to me something about each of his ancestors.  We started our book with our grandparents (the great grandparents of our children).  I wanted pictures and stories for each ancestor.  I also wanted both my husband and I to write our life history.  That meant that my husband was responsible for 4 grandparents, 2 parents, and himself.  His grandparents on his paternal side were gone when he was young so he didn't have much to say about them except from what others had told him.  He wrote a little more about his maternal grandparents and quite a bit about his parents.  I told him that he would probably only write one personal history so he was to say everything he wanted to say about his life.  He also included some life experiences and things he wanted to say to his children.  We got all of his parent's and grandparent's histories written in the car but time ran out when trying to write his personal history.  We did about half in the car then he took a little tape recorder with him to work every day and recorded the remaining history.  I transcribed it later.

I also wrote a history on my grandparents, parents, myself, and a history of our life together as husband and wife and parents of our five children.  I got 2" binders for each child and one for us.  I included a pedigree chart at the beginning.  Then I started with the grandparents.  Besides their pictures,I included a family group sheet showing them as a child and as a parent.  Then came their history.  I did my husband's side first, which included his family group sheet as a child and his history with his pictures, then I did my side.  This was followed by a family group sheet of our family, our family history, and finally many picture pages of our family from the first child to the fifth.  I showed pictures of ouf family up to the marriages of all five children.

It was so rewarding doing this project.  It took time but it was quite enjoyable reliving memories of our parents and grandparents and even our lives.  How fun it was to revisit pictures of our family.  Our children seemed excited to get the books and especially the family pictures.  Being someone who loves genealogy, I feel relieved that I finally got these stories in print and the pictures available to each child. 

I remember many more stories that I wish I would have included.  I have decided to add them to my "personal history".  I get many of the topics for my personal history from questions found in "Journal in a Jar".  I have a loose leaf binder available to keep these stories and pictures along with other memorabilia that I wish to keep.  I am not a good scrapbooker so I do the loose leaf journaling instead.

If you want to give your family a treasure, give them their heritage.  Make a Family History Book with pedigree charts, family group sheets, stories, and pictures.  Get your family involved in their own personal history.  Start them on their way to knowing and loving genealogy by having them start with themselves.  Journaling and genealogy can be quite fun.  Sometimes you just have to open the door to the past to show the way to the future. 

I find it quite pleasurable to sit down and read a good history book.... a real history book - because it is the history of MY FAMILY!  My next project - write life stories about other ancestors - further back.  I have found the most interesting things about even the most simple of my ancestors.  I used to hate history in school but now I find I want to know more about each era.  What were the people like?  How did they live?  How did their surroundings affect their interests and behaviors?  I can't wait to get started!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Senior Hiking #351

May 3, 2010…back to snow and the Nordic trails … hike #351 
By Betsy

The forecast was for very high wind and snow in the mountains and rain in town. Hmmm…what to do. We had planned on going down to the shore line again today before the water pool raises but not in this kind of mess. I like blue sky and photo ops for lake and mountain top hikes. So we got out the snowshoes again and headed up to the now closed Schweitzer. We parked up in the regular lot and braced ourselves against the wind. The village looked like a ghost town.

We decided to do the entire Overland loop today but start from the opposite way that we usually do. The wind was wild but luckily it was not too cold though I needed three layers on my head and my neck warmer and I was thankful I put on another long john layer. I did regret wearing regular hiking boots instead of the snowshoe boots…I was slipping and sliding around so much in the overboots. Since we thought we might decide to not do Schweitzer and go to Gold Mountain instead, I wanted good walking boots. Oh well.

We had the gamut of weather today…blizzard-y snow, then sideways sleet…then the sun would peek out and go back behind the heavy clouds again. Just after we started up, we heard a very loud thunder clap…I was glad I didn’t get to see the lightning bolt which most likely preceded it. There were no wildflowers to be seen this day. The heavy wet soft snow was difficult to walk in at times, sticking to the bottom of the snowshoes and making each step weight twice or more what it should. I said the hiker’s prayer a few times today…”Lord, if you pick ‘em up, I’ll put ‘em down." We found a sheltered spot in the trees to have a snack and then later, when we finally got to the old shack which we pass every time, we “broke” in, sat down and had our lunch. It was so nice to be out of the wind. I also took the opportunity to tighten my boots. We restrung the wire which held the door shut before heading out again into the wild wind.

Again we had the blowing snow, then wind, then sun, then blowing snow again. When the sun came out the first time I had to get my sunglasses was not only blinding me, but zapping my energy, as it always does. The one thing I could have used today was my sun hat but who knew!

There were not a lot of animal tracks…I was surprised. Just a few moose tracks, but we did see a good bear track…the first one this season. He/she had come up the bank of the left, crossed the trail and went up the bank on the right. By the time we got down the wind must have been blowing at 50 mph!

Left home 10:30
Started up 11:00
Got to truck 3:00
Total miles hiked 7 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours


I want to wish all of you mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day!  I feel so blessed to be a mother.  I know that most all mothers feel that way.  My children are all grown and now we have the next generation of mothers in our family.  I am so proud of all of them.  They are all such good mothers and for that I am so grateful.  I also am most grateful for my wonderful mother.  She has dedicated her life to letting her children always know that we are loved.  I treasure all of the wonderful moments I have had with her (and hope to continue having). 

I do a lot of genealogy as I have mentioned many times before.  I do not know the women in my ancestry personally but I feel that I am getting to know them through the research I have done and am doing.  My heart aches when I see families where many children have passed on when young.  How absolutely devastating to lose a child let alone several.  I have never had to go through that pain for myself but both of my sisters-in-law each lost a child.  I thought my heart would burst with the pain I felt and I know it didn't even come close to the pain they felt.

As I research my maternal ancestors, I feel this connection and am grateful for their existence.  They had such courage to be living in the trying times that they did.  I read some of their histories and learn of their suffering and struggles.  Life was not easy or often, not kind, to them.  They didn't have the conveniences of today.  They weren't allowed to squander away their day reading a book or playing on the computer.  They had work to do...hard work!  I want so much for them to know how much I treasure everything I learn about them and from them. 

I have several granddaughters now (we started with mostly boys but thankfully, we now have quite a few girls).  I wish for them to know their heritage and hopefully from that they will glean words of wisdom and examples of strength and courage.  I hope they will be strong in their faith and leaders in their families.  That they will set good examples for their children and teach their children to be strong and courageous too.

On this day and all of the other days too, I wish all of you mom's - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.  For those not yet a mother, I want to thank you for the wonderful examples that you set for our children.  It takes more than a birth mom to be a good mother.  I want you to know how much I appreciate you also.  Thank you all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Senior Hiking #350

60° (Sunny)

26 Apr 2010…Maiden Rock to shore again…Tr #321…hike #350 (By Betsy)

The overcast sky eventually turned to hazy sun as we drove to the trailhead; temps were also a lot cooler than last week’s hike along the shore. I wore my sweatshirt jacket all day to fend against a light cool wind. The plan today was to hike down the Maiden Rock trail, a 2 mile steep descent to the lake, and attempt to walk down the shore to Evans Landing. We’ve done this hike twice before several years ago and the steep hike back up to the top is always a killer.

The beginning of the trail on this old Indian trail is quite pretty, meandering down thru dense old growth cedars. Surprisingly we saw patches of ice and snow in the low areas…I was wondering why my nose began to get cold! Crossing Maiden Creek, which begins from a spring about a half mile from the start of the trail, was not too difficult. What caused the most apprehension was the slick moss covered stones across its width. The last mile is as steep as we remembered…it would be so difficult without trekking poles…I never know how people hike without poles anyway…we can hardly walk without them any more. Getting old is not for sissies! Believe me when I say this was steep.

We saw so many wildflowers…lots of trillium, yellow and purple violets, Blue Eyed Mary, yellow mule ear, and the older purple trillium.

Finally down at the beach...of course, no one was there in spite of the fishing derby going on up in Sandpoint. There are three boat buoys, a fire ring, tables and an outhouse. We have never seen anyone at either Maiden Rock or Evans Landing, both of which are only accessible by boat or foot down the steep mountain trail. And of course, the huge Maiden Rock is right there in your face!

We had a snack and headed down the rocky shore line, but after getting thru the first boulder rocks, it got easier to walk on, and not as difficult as last week. We noticed so many sun bleached bones lying around today, and the pebbles and stones seemed so much smaller and smoother. Possibly prevailing winds made bigger waves and washed small carcasses up on to the beach when water is up. The lake must be wild during storms along this section. Ocean conditions do exit on our gorgeous 60 mile long lake which has depths of over 1000’. People have gotten lost and into trouble and some have died in the process because of boating or sailing in high risk conditions. It is a lake where conditions can change in 30 minutes and should always be respected.

Not even half way down, we were stopped in our tracks. A huge section of vertical rock jutting vertically down into the water prevented us from getting around. So we just stopped, ate our lunch, took pics, took in the view and got ready to head back. On the way back I picked up a few more wave smoothed stones. I also took my gloves off and put my hand in the water…yikes…it must have been 40°. I could only keep in for a nanosecond! Back at the beach, we ate some sugar snacks for energy for the two mile relentlessly steep climb back up to the top, which is always tougher than coming down.

Left home 9:30

Started down 10:15

Got to lake 11:25 ( 1 hour 10 minutes)

Headed down shore 11:35

Back to Maiden 1:20

Started back up 1:30

Got to truck 2:55 (1 hour 25 minutes)

Total miles hiked 7+ miles

Total hiking time 4 hours, 40 minutes

Elevation gain/loss 1169’ in 2 miles

P.S. For those who have been reading my reports for almost 7 years, know of Rosie, my 3 lb Yorkie. Rosie died this week, way too soon, and I will miss her terribly.

R.I.P. Rosie Ann 1997-2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Genealogy - Check out the Neighborhood

For years I have been tracing my family lines until I hit what many call "Brick Walls" on every line.  I use a program called Roots Magic to record all of the information I have gathered.  It allows me to make some great documentation on every bit of information I find for my ancestors.  In the past, I have taken each line and searched and searched for the next clue or link in my lines.  About a year or so ago I changed my tactics for doing research.

After I entered all of the information into my Roots Magic program, I then began evaluating what I had recorded.  I discovered that I had overlooked many clues when I first researched these documents.  By carefully recording everything found and applying that documentation to every person involved, I found subtle clues that suddenly became more clear to me.

These brick walls baffled me for far too long.  After some much needed prayer and great pondering, I decided to approach my research from a completely different direction than before.  One main phrase I began to use with myself was "Think out of the Box".  I amazed myself at the difference I began to see. 

With the wonderful information available online with websites such as family search, Cyndi's List, and Ancestry, I found it easier to go back to the original source and see what "other" information I may have missed.  I began checking all of the neighbors in a particular town in a census (I found my Smith family that way).  I made sure that I documented each piece of information I found for each name it applied to.  That takes some extra time but it is well worth it in the end.  I also entered names of people that I "thought" might belong to the family and put an (Asterisk *) in front of their name to clue me in that this may or may not be a member of this family.  This way I could record all information I found about this person and keep it where I would constantly be checking to verify if this was or was not a true relationship. (Please let me know if you would like further instruction on this phase of research and recording).

Here is what happened with my Smith family.  In the past, I would look at Smith and run the other way.  My Smith's didn't have middle names (at least no record of middle names) and the first names were like Henry and Jacob.  So one day I began poking around the neighborhood where my Jacob Smith lived (found in the 1850 census with his wife and a boy named John).  I went throughout the neighborhood and wrote down all the Smith's (it wasn't a huge neighborhood thank goodness).  I found several male families and an older family (John and Nancy) that could have been my Jacob's parents - but no proof.  I went to the 1860 census and found Jacob but John (Junior) was now living with this couple (John and Nancy) that looked like the parents.  I documented everything I found and entered all of these male kids as possible brothers to my Jacob.

The thing about the Internet is that new information is constantly being entered.  Sometimes the information has been there all along but maybe we didn't look for it in the proper way.  Well, I decided to check out a John Smith (Senior) with the age of the man that could have been the parent to my Jacob.  What I found was a "will" listing all of these kids I had found in the town (where my Jacob lived) with this John and Nancy as the parents and MY JACOB as one of the children.  Not only that, it listed all of the girls in the family by their married names and the names of their husbands.  This was the proof that I had needed to tie this family together.  All of this was found because I checked out the neighborhood

Next I began researching the side lines (such as a great great great Aunt's children and grandchildren). I found some grandparents living with their grandchildren (of course under a completely different household surname). I would continue to check out each neighborhood as sometimes cousins would move close to each other. I was amazed at how just taking the time to document every bit of information for every person began to lead me to other clues that I had not either noticed or that only became available to me because of searching these side lines.

I do this documentation and side line searching for every name. I never used to keep information on these side lines, but by recording this information, I discovered that some of that information became the proof I needed to connect my direct lines. It brought home to me that this is really a very small world at times.

An example of this is our Davis line.  We had a Jacob S. Davis married to Louisa. Jacob died before 1850.   I knew they were the parents to our ancestor Lafayette and he had a sibling Amanda.  Through research I discovered Amanda was married to a man named MH Cobb.  I searched for Amanda but found nothing.  I searched for Louisa and found nothing.  Finally I searched for MH Cobb and found him with his wife Amanda living with her mother Louisa and her brother George.  All of them were living in the home of Louisa's parents Benjamin and Elizabeth Jenkins and Louisa's brother Edward.   What a find!  Three generations in one house.  They were in a complete different state than I had been searching.  I then searched the neighborhood and found more of Louisa's brothers.  This information led me to a recording of more information that someone else had prepared. Had it not been for the out of the box search for MH Cobb and the neighborhood search, this information would not have connected this family together.

Now I always check out the neighborhood for each person I am researching.  It takes time but it is well worth it in the end.  I document all of those possible relatives because you never know when they can take you to a direct line where you had previously had a "Brick Wall".  Remember to Think Out of the Box and open your mind to other possibilities such as finding relatives by Checking Out the Neighborhood.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good People are Still Out There

I know that the world seems to be changing in many ways but this last week I was reminded that there are some really good people out there.  They are willing to give of their time, energy, money, and anything for the good of their fellow man.

My husband and I went to "help" our son build his garage.  I am really not sure how much help we were but I guess we went to show our support in whatever way we could.  My husband's health has not been good, in fact, he spent the last four months recovering from a very serious infection that almost took his life.  Our son wanted us there so we willingly went.  I had the wonderful pleasure of babysitting so mama could also help on the garage.  Mine was not work - mine was pure delight!  My husband did the best he could with his limitations.

Anyway, we got there on a Friday and our son had planned for a big work day on Saturday.  He had asked a couple of friends if they could help.  Those men and several others showed up ready to work.  Well, not only did they come and work on that Saturday but several came throughout the week to volunteer their time and knowledge.  Some even took off of work.  What a surprise to walk out early in the morning to see men pulling out equipment and ready for work.  Honestly, we would not have been able to accomplish the work that was done without their help.

While we were with our son, I got word that my sister-in-law was in a car accident where she totaled her car and ended up in the hospital.  Immediately after the accident, a man came over to help her.  He stayed by her side to comfort and assist her.  A truck driver and a young family also stopped by to assist.  They managed to gather all of her belongings from the car and sent them with her in the ambulance.  The first man followed the ambulance to the hospital.  A policeman appeared at the hospital to give my sister-in-law a ticket (even though she didn't hit anyone, it was her fault that she hit a mile maker).  This "good Samaritan" man handed her the money to pay the ticket ($110.00).  He also stayed at the hospital until he knew that she would be okay, then disappeared.    (She did track down his name and address as she wants to repay him for his wonderful generosity.)

I do not think I am a selfish person but I don't seem to think of the little things that can make such a huge difference to someone.  I know that these men that showed up to help my son had busy lives.  My son didn't even know some of them very well.  How thoughtful of them to show up, knowing that the work would be dirty and hard, but they did it anyway.  And the man that gave the money - he gave it with no thought, just handed it to her and told her to use it for the fine.  Generosity to a complete stranger!  How many of us would have done that especially with money so tight these days? 

I was reminded of another generous offering that my husband and I received.  Years ago a friend of ours sensed that we were in a desperate way.  We never said a word to him or asked him for money yet he handed my husband an envelope one day and told us to use this for what was needed and do not worry about repaying it but to help someone else if the time ever arose.  My husband is not one to take handouts but it was given in such a way that he could not refuse it.  It was $100.00.  Today that might not seem like much but 30 years ago, it was a great deal.  I have never forgotten that.  Both my husband and I together and separately have had many occasions where we could pay this forward to others.  We are reminded of that generous gift and hope that our helping others can repay him.

I am also reminded of the everyday tasks that people do for one another that go completely unnoticed.  How many times I hear of my children taking cookies or even meals to someone that they may or may not know very well....just because they wanted to share.  Or the cards of encouragement sent to help someone that may be down or alone.  I see this all around me.  It makes me know that there truly are good people out there - ready and willing to give of themselves - not expecting anything in return.

To all of those wonderful people out there that give up their time at home with their families to assist others in whatever they are needing done and money from their pockets, and all of the generous acts of kindness, I thank you. You are amazing. You have been such a huge example to me.   I just want you to know how much you are appreciated.  Thank you!