Thursday, February 26, 2015


Cold and gray again today and last night it stormed up a witch's brew of wind and pouring rain, lightening and thunder. The power flickered on and off as I made cookies for Mr. Moon and Vergil to take hunting this morning and for Vergil to take home to his pregnant bride. Pregnant ladies need cookies as much as hunters, you know.
Anyway, yes, the storm and today's gray and I've been texting a friend this morning and we've discussed it all from genealogy to cooking and on from there and it's nice to have a friend like that.
Mr. Moon and I have taken to watching "Genealogy Roadshow" on the PBS and it is fascinating. Those people can find anyone's history! When we were watching the other night, my husband said, "I'd like to know your family history."
"Well, I would too," I said. "But I think everyone's family history is probably pretty fascinating at some points. Boring as hell in others."
I don't know. I just don't seem to have a great need to really know all the details about my family history. I think it's interesting but it doesn't change who I am or what I am. Might explain more of it. But isn't it all just a sort of crazy crap shoot? All the millions of sperm that get get sent out and the relatively few who hit the target and and then the resulting human babies who grow up to live their human lives? Some live lives of great adventure and are maybe even famous or infamous and some live lives of possibly quiet desperation or perhaps contentment, raising their own babies, feeding chickens, taking joy in the every day.
And really, those are the stories on the show that make me cry. The people born to former slaves who managed to grow up and raise huge families and support them and even buy property by sheer hard work and determination and who hopefully, passed on those hardworking, determined genes to their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren along with the houses, the land.

As to my history? Well.
I know that my mother said that my father was in the KKK at one time. Or maybe it was his father. I know that my many-times great grandfather was a plantation owner, i.e., slave owner. Can I be proud of that? Of course not. But they were who they were and their sex lives led to me being here. I have their genes and I am not a racist any more than I am a musician the way one of them was or a genius investor the way a few of them were or a brilliant lawyer the way some of them were.
And as to the women who I am just as related to- who knows about them? I feel certain that if I went back to census records and found their names they would be listed as "Housewife," because most of them were.
So am I.

Ah well.

The hog dogs are at it, barking fiercely. Luna, the outdoor cat is especially vocal in her bitchiness this morning, the chickens and ducks are doing what they always do. Here I am, my children are alive on this earth, my grandchildren too, one more coming. The lines continue, I think of Mr. Moon's own grandmother who was widowed early and supported her three children and doctored those of her community too poor to go see a real doctor, who wallpapered her house and collected beautiful china and made quilts to pass on, and Christmas cakes for so many that the batter had to be mixed in buckets. I am glad that her genes are part of some of my children's too. And that her son, my husband's father, was a part of all of my children's lives because it's not just the genes that influence the coming-up generations but the love and the examples set as well.

It's not just the pirates and the rogues and the kings and the queens and the rich and the famous who determine the future. It is all of us in a myriad of ways, some involving genes, some not.

At least that's what I think. I could be wrong.

Good morning.

Ms. Moon


  1. One thing I know about family history is that people clean it up for their little family tree charts. I remember when my aunt told me that she wouldn't be listing my son since he was, ahem, illegitimate. There are plenty of other little cover ups in our family. Genealogy is like history in general, it's spun, tweaked, sanitized, and written by the "legitimate."

    Well. Who knew I had that rant in me this morning?
    Anyhow, Good Morning to you, Mrs. Moon. Perhaps I'll be nicer today now that I've had a rant.

  2. Denise- Exactly! Yes! And who knows if the children listed are actually the true children of that father? Charts and family trees can only tell us so much. The rest is probably far more interesting, don't you think?
    Rant here any time. I do love a good rant.

  3. Genealogy for other people fascinates me -I love that show Who Do You Think You Are that traces family histories of celebrities and they go out and find their ancestral links.

    For me, I find it less interesting. My immediate families are largely chosen and not blood related, since I have no siblings and my only brother and sisters and nieces and nephews are no more related to me than the Moon clan is. Which is to say they are a part of me, as are you. Sometimes that matters more.

  4. I'm like you not bothered how I got here. At my Grans funeral I was told dark family secret by a slightly drunken Aunt that Gran took to her grave with her. My great great grandmother was a gypsy who lived in a horse drawn Barrel top wagon and smoked a clay pipe. Also on Fathers side I have Italian blood and despite been born English I never in my life could stand in a queue. LOL I came out of FB closet at same time as posting one. Mr Moon keeps coming up as someone I might know. Lovely pic of him and you in each others arms. Maggi xx

  5. Family history is just story, and the story's details depend on who is doing the telling usually. Perspective is everything. Interestingly, although you aren't that interested in family history, you are creating a magical treasure trove of it here for your grandsons and their offspring. How lucky they are! And how lucky we are, too. Hugs, dear Mary.

  6. I was into geneology several years ago. My maternal grandfather came from Mexico to the U.S. at the age of 17 and never saw his parents/siblings again. No idea why his seven kids didn't get much info from him, but I tried for a while. No Bueno. (LOL)

  7. Background, family, connections, ancestors ... none of it really means anything, in my opinion. To me the important thing is what kind of a person an individual is; how they treat others, especially others who are more vulnerable than they are. I know that who and what and how we are is partly a function of our genes and upbringing, but there is also a big part of it under our control, and we must do our best to be our best. That's what I think, anyway.

  8. I actually love hearing about my ancestors --or stories from the olden days. I am watching this PBS special called "The Italians," and it's remarkably similar to the stories I've been told by my relatives -- I have even searched through the crowds in the photos and movies they've shown, looking for someone familiar. I like how traits and cultural things, even muscle memory is carried through. I definitely have always identified more with my Italian half than my Scottish or Syrian quarters. I don't know why that is -

  9. Family background can be fascinating, but it has very little bearing on who I am now. When I read about all my ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, for example, I wonder how they'd feel having a gay, liberal descendant like me? :)

  10. Luckily I hear that some Mormons go back through records and posthumously baptize not just their own relatives, but ours too. Hopefully Mormons are right and then someday we'll all end up in heaven thanks to their industry.

    We have some good stories about some of my relatives in the wild west. I believe them because I like to, and not because I have any certainty of their truth.

    I read an interesting thread about Laura Ingalls Wilder, recently, and some story she told, but never wrote down, about Pa. In Laura's story, Pa was part of a group of vigilantes who murdered a family who had themselves been luring in unsuspecting travelers and murdering them all, for money and for fun. On this thread, several people with roots in the great plains spoke up to say that this story was a part of THEIR family lore as well. Apparently everybody's Pa in Nebraska, or was it Kansas, helped hunt down these murderers and take them out. Every last one.

  11. ^^ I love that story about Pa! I love LIW, and have been reading a lot about her lately.

  12. My mother did all of our family history and genealogy dating back to the early Virginia settlers. Who knows what they were like? I wish I had some inkling of the lives of these people who are my ancestors. It is interesting stuff.


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