Monday, May 11, 2015

Celebrating Family

It has been a month since I last wrote a new post and finally the time has come to share in celebrating family and all that it means to me. But first, I must share that an article of mine has been published in the APGQ (Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly) in the March 2015 issue. It took two years of waiting for just the right moment to send it to Christy Fillerup, who assumed the role of editor of the APGQ sometime last year. She was also in charge of SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) as director for several years. After returning home from SLIG in January and waiting to give her some time to get back on track, the article was sent and I waited to hear from her. 

It was a great moment when she wrote back that she wanted to publish it in the March 2015 issue. Then the wait was on and finally on May 10, 2015 the email came with access to the March 2015 issue. What a joy to download the issue and find my name in writing with a wonderful layout for the article. Finally it was time to share with the people who helped me in the process of putting together the article. The article is, "Milton Rubincam, Preserving a Legacy." Milton's son David was very instrumental in moving the article forward. In a way we are celebrating David's family, and especially his father. Oh, how we love our parents. My mother always exhibited such joy in the genealogy work that keeps me busy. So, to families everywhere, please celebrate who you are and preserve the history of your families. 

After completing my mother's probate (two years in doing so), my husband's mother passed away on April 26, 2015. Our children now have no living grandparents, and only a few great aunts and uncles. We miss those who have gone on before us and want so to preserve the history of their lives. Just how to do that is a very reasonable debate. One way for me to do so is writing this blog. While a month lapse in writing is unusual for me, when the pressure is on something has to give. The last two weeks were very intense as our youngest daughter and her family came to spend time and celebrate their grandparents. Truly our children know very little about their grandparents, so now it falls to me to share the bits and pieces that are captured in my memories. Gratefully, both my mother and mother-in-law wrote in "Grandmother's Memory Books", which they were given by me several years ago. Even though my in-laws were divorced my mother-in-law was very balanced in the things that she shared. There is such a book sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for me to fill in the blanks. 

Blog posts are a wonderful way to share our memories. After writing a blog post, it is saved on my computer and a paper copy is printed to be filed by topics. The families covered who are related to us will be placed in a special notebook. There is a notebook that holds all of our family Christmas letters, which capture many events that occurred in that year. Then there are all of the picture albums and pictures not yet put into albums. During the last two weeks many pictures were taken and some shared on Facebook. It makes me feel very tired to think of the work involved in preserving at least some of the pictures for the future generations. What will interest them about our lives and how we lived?

During the last two weeks we had many wonderful experiences. The first Wednesday we went to an indoor jumping facility for children called "J J Jump," in Clackamas, Oregon. For almost three hours the grandchildren: girls ages 7 and 4, boys ages 6, 4, and 2, jumped, ran, climbed, swung through the air, and jumped some more. There was even a play room for the two year old. Then the next day on Thursday we went to the Portland Zoo, six adults and five children, to have a great time looking at the animals, petting some, eating elephant ears, and me riding around on a scooter. Yes, I finally broke down and used a scooter, as the neuropathy in my feet no longer allows me to walk that far. It was great to be included in this adventure. The weather was perfect, it was not crowded and we had nothing to hurry home for. We did have a very nice dinner that night with most of the family coming to our home. 

By the time we got home some of the children were feeling sickly and as time went on almost everyone got this nasty bug, flu and cold like symptoms with an awful cough. For some reason so far it has passed me by. We went on with some days at home just letting the children play with grandma's collection of toys or the Wii downstairs. The cousins were very happy to play together and at times did their school work together. Grandpa went to work on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. On Sunday our oldest daughter and her boyfriend had the visiting daughter and her family over for dinner. On Sunday I worked at the Family History Center for three hours and on Tuesday I taught my class for the Community School. In between we did some shopping for food supplies, it is amazing how much food a crowd can go through. 

Then came the big day on Wednesday, when we headed for the Oregon Coast and a house at Nedonna Beach. Over the years we have spent many vacations at the beach in rental houses. We were even able to use an early entry offer and accessed the house in early-afternoon. This house was perfect for our large group of sixteen. We had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a loft, two living areas, a nice kitchen and a deck outdoors with a grill and picnic tables. For the first three days it was just my husband, myself, and the two families with the five grandchildren. The weather was fantastic, just right for playing on the beach, building sand castles, and flying kites. We were amused that the cheap $2 kites flew perfectly for even the youngest grandchildren. Then they were able to access the tide pools and get close to the sea lions. Playing in the surf has always been a favorite of our children. 

Our oldest daughter and her boyfriend showed up for a few minutes on Friday, but were having their own getaway at a near-by hotel. The oldest son and younger son with his girlfriend came later in the evening. Saturday was probably the most active day, even for those who were sick. Some went crabbing, and even though they did not catch a crab, they met a nice friend who shared one she had caught. For the meal that evening they had clams, crab, mussels, and oysters. That is not my kind of food, but the rest of the meal was fantastic - filet mignon, linguini with alfredo sauce, fried asparagus, bread and drinks. Later we had root beer floats. 

Our younger daughter's family prepared to return to Wyoming via Portland. We said some sad goodbyes, even the children were sad to part. Hopefully our next trip is to visit them in Wyoming. We used the extended stay option and did not leave for home until mid-afternoon on Sunday. What a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day, especially when our mothers and grandmothers are no longer here with us. Before leaving we took a few moments to pause and appreciate all that we have been blessed with by having these wonderful women in our lives. 

Celebrating family can be done in many ways. Key to the celebrating is creating a record of our time together and then later having it to recall those memories that are so fleeting. Life is so precious and capturing the highlights is a way of preserving those memories. Serendipity moments are often those that we have forgotten or were not aware of. In providing a written or pictorial collection of those memories help us through the tough moments when we must move forward without those who have passed on before us. May you find joy in your journey and encouragement in the journey of others. 

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