Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rainy Days

In her later years, my mother began our telephone conversations with a weather update. "Are you okay?" she'd start. "Yes mom, why?" I already knew the answer: she'd called to advise me of the tornado over Tulsa and to remind me to stock up on candles, fresh water and canned soup. When we were children, our home in Dallas had a fallout shelter in the back yard and at the first scent of metal in the skies, we'd scamper across the wet grass, bedclothes under arm to sit in the damp darkness and listen to the wind howl overhead.

The skies today are gray with a low-hanging fog lying heavy on the lake. A pile of research notes, journals and several wads of first drafted letters to the Board for Correction of Naval Records crowds my keyboard. I'm not sure how to finish the drafts. And not ready to turn my back on them either.

Sometimes my research takes me in directions I'd not expected. For all of the sunny day discoveries I've made, there have also been gray days. Generational grandparents, uncles, and cousins who were slave owners. Some who fought honorably in wars; some who did not. Some who worked hard to support their families and communities, and some who turned their backs. I can't undo those events, but I can pick through the scattered pieces of their lives and shed light on their contributions, their successes and marvel at our ability to endure.

4 comments:

  1. Very interesting post. It made me think about how all families are really pretty much the same whether they were rich or poor, where they lived, or during what period of history they lived. Being a student of the Civil War, I went to the National Archives many years ago and did research on a relative of mine who fought in that war. Quite frankly, I was surprised with what I discovered, in light of what had been passed down by the family. I'm curious about your draft letters to the Navy Board of Correction. I'm sure there is a story there!

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  2. Hi Donna,

    This is the first time I have visited your blog. So I haven't followed the story. But I do want to complement you on the look of your blog. I didn't know Blogger could do such things. I moved to Wordpress.org a long time ago for more options.

    So, I gotta ask....what program/plugin are you using for you Picasa photo stream, and for your share buttons?

    Best to you and Walter. Give a hug for me.

    Mack is turning 1 in a couple of weeks....time flies!

    Wendy

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  3. Hi Bob...there are always stories. This time, though I hope there's a happy ending.

    Wendy...I'm just using one of the templates submitted by a developer. Better use through reuse. The other options are applets offered by Google. Walt returns the hug!!

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