Thursday, August 10, 2017

Family history

I've been reflecting on family history, which I love, and wanted to share a couple of experiences.

Several years ago, after my dad's stroke, I was at my parents' house and answered the phone. The person asked for Robert Bogle. She obviously didn't know my dad. Didn't know that he went by Bob or that he'd had a stroke and couldn't speak. I just said he wasn't available.
She replied, While I have you on the phone, do you happen to know if this is the same Robert Bogle who would have been searching for information on Inez Fay on
That is my great grandmother, so I knew the answer. YES! She proceeded to tell me that her name was Linda, she was the admin on the Fay family genealogy page! And she had been looking for us!

A little history on my g-gran, Inez Fay. Her father, Herbert Fay, was supposedly an engineer working for the railroad in Mexico, an American with a young wife, Elizabeth Barrow. Gran was born in Colonia Diaz, Mexico. She said her parents left her with the nuns. Small problem, in 1901, Colonia Diaz was a former Mormon polygamist colony, no Catholic nuns in sight!
When Pancho Villa started raiding the northern towns in Mexico, Gran said her Granny Jackson swooped her up and took her home to New Mexico.
Jackson was Granny's 3rd or 4th husband, her Herbert Fay having long since gone back to Ohio.

So, Gran knew very little about her own family, but she had 2 brothers, one older and one younger, and a lot of hope. She purchased the Fay Family genealogy book and made a few notes of her suspicions.

Time loop back to my phone conversation with Linda. She was able to fill in the blanks and answer questions. Yes, Herbert had headed west, married, had a child, and then gone back to Ohio alone. Yes, he was the son of Philip Fay, had served in the Civil War, and was a Mayflower descendant with deep Massachusetts roots. The family history book she had given to my dad had finally paid off!

Generation after generation of names were now available to us, along with fabulous stories and links to make to our visit to Boston, Plymouth, and Salem, MA! (Not to mention my brother Tom's mission there.)

Fast forward again to last year when I decided to have my DNA tested by Mom and Tom had already participated, but I wanted access to the same information! It was fun to see the few close relatives pop up, as confirmation that contrary to my older brother's insults, I was not adopted.

With the middle name Fay as my guide, I gravitated to the members of that family that I found, including a fairly close relative who turned out to be my grandfather's cousin, the daughter of Inez' younger brother. Inez had maintained a relationship, if somewhat distant, with the small family that she knew. My "new-found" cousin recalled a visit from Inez when she was very young.

Shirley and I began to correspond. She is getting on in years, but loves to travel! Her nephew does most of her family history, but focuses on her mom's side of the family. Eventually she mentioned a family Bible that had come into her possession. It was Granny Jackson's. She had brought it with her from Sweden. There was some writing in it, but it was in Swedish and she really hadn't had much luck finding a Swedish speaker to interpret. As "luck" would have it, my mother-in-law was 1st generation American. Her parents were Swedish. She had recently passed on, but her brother, who served 2 missions to Sweden is still with us.

Shirley decided that she would send me the Bible. When I suggested that she could just send photocopies, she replied that she had no children, and she would like me to keep the Bible in the family, just share any information with her!

Not long after she sent the Bible (from1801!), I took it to David's uncle to inspect. He translated the writing, but I'm still working on connecting my ggg-grandmother Anna Skoglund (Fay/Jackson) to the Frodig Family in the Bible.

Not long after this, Tom connected me to another cousin, the granddaughter of one of Inez' half siblings, who had contacted him. We have also shared many stories about this interesting and tangled Family.

I still haven't unraveled the mystery as to why Inez was left with the "nuns" or if they were really LDS "sisters" or why the Fay Family had such trouble staying married. Luckily, my parents and grandparents have broken that tradition!

That's what I love about Family history, there's always more to be done.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Woman without a Party

I like parties. Since it's my birthday tomorrow, I was thinking about parties. Don't all rush to throw together some last minute bash with grocery store cake! That's not actually the party I want to talk about. This time, I'm talking political parties.

I find myself without one. I have been a registered republican since I was 18 years old and voted for George H.W. Bush. Say what you want. Ok, now shut it. I like the man! I like his idea of the compassionate conservative. I liked his 1000 points of light, and I like the Randy Travis song that they used to promote it. And, I don't even like country music, but this one makes me cry. Ok, that's not hard, a lot of music makes me cry. Hymns, Housemartins songs, Format songs, yadda yada...

So, for almost 30 years, I was pretty squarely lined up with the conservative thought of the Republican Party. You mind your business, and I'll mind mine, but please don't kill the unborn babies. Less regulation is usually good, but let's not put our little ones down in the coal mines. No one loves taxes, but let's make sure that everyone who's willing to try and work hard has access to education and opportunity. The closer to home you can keep your politicians, the better.

And then came the 2016 elections. They really threw me for a loop! People that I thought I understood were backing 2 of the worst political candidates I could possibly imagine. The days of Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy were long gone. Political power, drive, and deceit seemed to rule. My own party, that I had supported for years, nominated a man with morals I could never support to be President of the United States of America. I couldn't even have the necessary conversations, because I don't use the filthy language that I would have to describe. The pride, misogyny, racism, and ego were beyond belief.

In my opinion, the other candidate was equally distasteful, for different reasons. Mostly, I don't like her politics, but I also don't like her ethics. I finally decided that I would vote third party. The libertarian was not my ideal candidate either, but seemed the least harmful of the three.

I wanted to blame the Democrats and the press. If they hadn't threatened Ronald Reagan and both George Bushes as if they were Donald J. Trump, we wouldn't have Donald J. Trump! But, I always claimed to believe in personal responsibility, so if I didn't want to be a hypocrite, I had to lay the blame strictly on my own party. Why? How? You're freaking kidding me!!! I still don't understand it, so I won't try T explain it. I suppose the why is too much for me to comprehend.

Tomorrow is May 1. My birthday. I still haven't been able to say the words President Trump out loud, but somehow I cringe every time I hear a liberal say basically the same thing. How dare they ignore this monster they created! How dare I? Where is the love for our fellow man? Where is the decency that protects the man who leads this superpower of a nation? Where is my Party?

I tried to turn to the Libertarian party, but try as I might, it's not for me. I'm all for "Anything Peaceful",  but where is the platform? Are they for it or against it? I'm definitely pro-life, and I'm mostly anti-drug, and they haven't convinced me that drug violence is all based on its illegality. So, I just don't fit in.

I guess I don't need a party. I guess I'm fine on my own. But I sure do miss the red, white, and blue balloons and feeling represented by my government. I miss George Washington, and I didn't even know him. I miss Ron and George (btw, I was super excited to find out we're distant cousins!) I won't be back to the GOP, as long as it's ok to belittle people and demean others and act like naughty children.

I guess I'll paraphrase and adapt Ronald Reagan's famous quote. I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

wedding plans

Well, it appears about 6 years ago I left a few people hanging in this relationship story. In my defense, I had a baby at 42. He is a handful.

Let's play a little catch up. The year was 1989. The music was good, the hair was big, we all thought we were so mature and had no idea what life had in store for us. Girl (me) meets boy at church dance, oh so cliche… Girl likes boy, boy finally asks out girl. A whole new decade! 1990! Strangely, boy keeps meeting more girls! Boy and girl date and break up repeatedly. Barriers get broken, walls come down, tears are shed. Boy and girl decide they want to be together forever! Of course, this takes a whole year. 1991!

So now that we are caught up, and all the tears have been shed, it's time to tie the bow on this love story. Or the knot, let’s tie the knot.

There is this crazy little mating dance that we humans do, and Mormons do it even a little more strangely than the rest of you. We know we want to be together, but it's hard to say, and can get very silly once said. So, David and I have been dancing like the most awkward emus ever known to man, and the dance floor just turned to mush, and we are swimming in it. (If you can follow that metaphor, you've probably been there.)

We want to be together constantly, when we’re not together, we’re on the phone. We go looking at diamond rings for no apparent reason. I'm old fashioned, so I let him know that he'll have to talk to my dad first, if he wants to marry me. My dad is old fashioned too, and huge. A 6’3” 250lb former farmer can be a little intimidating apparently. Dad has begun his new tradition with his oldest daughter of refusing to call their date be their actual name.

David was referred to as “Wart”. Dad assures me it is a compliment, the nickname bestowed by Merlin on King Arthur, but David is not so sure. David makes “secret” arrangements to meet my dad at his office. Dad draws up a contract. It's not super formal, but it did require a signature, and did address that where his daughters were concerned, there would be no returns! Not sure who was more insulted by that one.

I was still working at Radio Shack, and David had made arrangements to pick me up some could go walk around the Mesa Temple. Somehow (maybe the lack of drama or maybe I was panicking) I failed to realize this was it! As we got close to the Temple, I told David I was hungry, and I'd like to stop for some fries. Jack in the Box was right there, although across the street from where it is now. (Did I see that it actually closed?)

Meanwhile, David is panicking because he has friends waiting for us at the Temple.

We get my fries and head to the Temple. We meander around the west side toward the front. David “notices” a box on the bench north of the entrance. He suggests we go see what it is. I reply that it would be weird to just go over to some random box sitting on a bench at the Temple! What if it's someone’s pizza? (Eye roll, nerd glasses, lol face) He insists. I resist. I would be mortified to know that Scott and Jacque (remember them?) are watching from the bushes. Because seriously, who leaves a pizza box with a diamond ring sitting on a bench unattended?

I finally realize that the box is a plant (but not that we are being watched). We approach the bench, and as I open the box, he gets down on one knee (I can see it In my mind, and we are so young!). I open the box, and it's not a pizza, but a giant cookie printed with, “Will you be my eternal queen?” And a diamond ring (that fit perfectly) in a crystal box. Neither one of us could talk. As my eyes welled up, I could swear his did too, and I croaked out “yes” in response to the cookie. And then we kissed, me and the boy.