Friday, December 26, 2014

A Grand Christmas

It was a whirlwind day of Christmas, yesterday. It started with the routine thinks of checking my e-mail, going on Face-book, posting an old postcard from my growing collection, and grabbing a bite so I could take my medications. Then, it was gathering the final things to go to my sister, Kathy’s house for brunch. After the meal and gift openings, Kathy pulled out some old photos and we began to sort them. We divided the ones that belonged to our immediate family and she stored the rest for safekeeping.
My sister lives in Indian Head, Pennsylvania. It is the house that my grandfather, Edson Thomas built and that Kathy and her husband, Douglas, have beautifully remodeled.
Then we came back to my house near the little town of White, Pennsylvania. My daughter, Anna’s boyfriend, James drove to his house to open gifts with his family. We got the evening meal ready while we waited and my son-in-law, Eric, reattached the wires to a new television that I bought. My old one had developed lines and made watching it a distraction. My daughters, Anna and Amanda were cutting and creating in the kitchen, while my granddaughter, Hannah, was being her usual curious and rambunctious self, playing with whatever she could find. The toy basket isn’t as interesting at the other things at Pappy’s house.
As I sat waiting, I remembered something that my sister had said and connected it with a photo I had placed on Face Book as we waited. It was a photo of my grandmother, Anna, in 1903, when she was only 18 years old. The thoughts were of those unmarked pictures and perhaps my aunt, Dorothy could recognize some of them. I called Dorothy and made arrangements to meet later in the evening.
The Christmas tree had already been lit and my new treasured Christmas bulbs were incorporated into the hordes that were already hanging on the tree. James returned and we opened gifts. The usual “snowball fight” with discarded and balled wrapping paper didn’t happen and I am not sure why it didn’t.
Finally, it was time to eat. It was not a fancy meal, just a hearty soup, two large, freshly-baked, sandwich rings, and cookies for dessert. I finished my meal and bid the family adieu. I was off to Dorothy’s house for some reminiscing and perhaps some labeling of some other photos. Her son-in-law, Don Hodge was there. He is a family historian and into research into family lineages. I knew he would be there and I was especially eager for him to see the photos and to glean what he could from them.
Dorothy did recognize a few more photos and did enjoy looking at them. Don and I talked and he shared things about family burial plots in Donegal, the Nedrow-Fergueson cemetery in Somerset as well as our ancestors burial spots in Bakersville, Pennsylvania. They were the first Beck’s to arrive in America from Germany.
He photographed many of the photos that I had brought. It would help him with faces and names as he did ore research on our family. I enjoyed talking with them and renewing bonds that time had frayed. I enjoyed the evening.
It was time to go home and to settle down, put the feet up, and relax before bedtime. Al in all it was a busy and productive day.

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