Sunday, December 28, 2008

Old Friends

I know it's been a few weeks since my last post, but it has been a hectic few weeks. I had several photo restoration projects that I finished, several Christmas parties, work, and my own shopping that had to get done. Thank God for my sweet husband, he really helped out with all the shopping and the wrapping. I don't know what I would do with out him. Anyway.....Christmas was wonderful! John Wesley is having a blast with his new stuff and Robert and I really enjoyed the time off.

Saturday after Christmas, my dad and I visited with an old friend (Gloria) that we had not seen in about 20 years. We had thought of her and her husband often and tried to locate them several times. We finally found them about six months ago, and were finally able to visit them. They couldn't believe that we had been looking for them for so long. She actually said she couldn't believe that I thought that much of her. This is the lady that taught me how to crochet a granny square and inspired several afghan projects that the whole family took part in. I guess being a kid and her being an adult with kids of her own I can see how she might have thought that I didn't really have an attachment to her, but I did.

I am amazed at how my curiosity has grown about where all my friends have all gone as I've gotten older. I guess most people follow the pattern of finishing school, going to work, having kids and getting into that routine of taking care of family and working. Then as your kids get older and they get ready to move on with their lives you start to reflect on all the time that has actually gone by and you remember the friends that you haven't spoke to in years and have lost contact with. Well, I am working on changing that and with a little help from another friend and the Internet that all might change.

Sunday, a friend sent me an invitation to join Facebook so that I could view her profile. How cool is Facebook? I found several friends that I went to school with (20 years ago or more), I couldn't believe it. I know we all have friends that come and go, but when you find friends that you haven't seen or spoken to in years you realize how fast life really is going by. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that all those friends were in my life. I know that they may not become an active part in my life now but it is nice to find a place where you can catch up with what's going on with them and remember all the fun times you had growing up.

I look back and remember a lot of good and bad times I had with those friends and think of how those people impacted my life. I will say that those years definitely influenced who I am and how I treat people today. I am no better or worse than the person that stands next to me. I may make judgements at times that I should not make but I am quick to rein myself back in and remember that I don't walk in there shoes and they certainly don't walk in mine. So...good, bad, or indifferent I try to learn something from all my relationships and treat people with the respect they deserve and sometimes even with respect they don't because who am I to judge.

Today....I say find an old friend....remember the good times and the lessons learned from the bad.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Positive things in Life....They are still out there!

A lot has gone on with my family and friends lives in the last few years. We have lost several loved ones, dealt with a lot of financial difficulties, and had to deal with several major family issues. Lot's of negative impacts to our families. With all these terrible things happening it is easy to see how we get completely distracted by all this negative energy and how that negative energy seems to just continue to pour out of people. I had a friend the other day say that, "this is just a season, and it will pass." I see my family and friends trying to see the positive things in life, but that negative just seems to keep creeping back in. What is going on?

As our lives continue to evolve, I think everyone tends to lose sight of the important things in life. Today, Life seems to revolve around nothing but what we have, what we don't want to lose, and just the udder chaos of everyday life in world of satellite TV, video games, computers, cell phones, etc..... When do we take time for our families? When do we take time for our selves? Is there ever a moment that we can just stop and think about what we are even doing to ourselves and our families?

I see people around me every day that could care less about being part of a family or even a work team. There are so many people that can not see past their own petty issues to want to help someone accomplish even a simple task. I do have my own issues too and I have my days, don't get me wrong. I am not perfect and never have claimed to be! However, even if I have some kind of petty beef about something, and I see that something needs to be done, or that someone needs help (even if it is someone that could care less about helping me), I get up and help. I figure that even if it doesn't change that person's laziness, or carelessness, or whatever issue they may have...I am not going to be that way. It is not in my nature to just let someone else handle it, or say that ain't in my job description. Like my boss has said so many times, " We get paid to work, We don't get paid to play, If we got paid to play they would not call it work". And I am sorry, but unless you are getting asked to do something dangerous or something that is completely outside your understanding, why not just do it, why has it got to be ...."that isn't in my job description"? To me this is just the devil at his best. People just harbor so much resentment when asked to do something, and never seem to get past it and that attitude seems to breed more negative energy. You would think people would want to do for the company that provides them a job. Look at how many people right now that would love to have your job, that can't even find work at a fast food place. HELLO! It's time for people to start appreciating what they have and taking care of it.

If people would try to look at what is really happening and look at the big picture, maybe they could see past all this petty stuff in life and move on to what is really important. God, Family, and Friendship! I know it is far fetched to think about everyone you come in contact with as a friend but if people would just treat other people with consideration, and understanding maybe everything else would fall into place. I try to treat every person I come in contact with respect and consideration even driving down the road. What is wrong with, walking past someone and acknowledging their presence with a smile and a hello if they make eye contact, or holding a door open for someone, or helping pick something up that someone else dropped and handing it to them, or not blocking a driveway and letting someone get out of a parking lot? What is it going to cost you?, 30 seconds....5 minutes? Big Deal! That's better than wasting the 15 to 30 minutes at work talking or goofing off that you got paid for that you could have helped someone complete a job task. Why not do something nice everyday for someone even if it is just smiling, saying hello, holding the elevator door, or even saying THANK YOU! Think how good it feels every time you do even the smallest good deed. If everyone would make that kind of effort, think about how that POSITIVE energy could grow.

Now family, It used to bother me every time I had a family member ask me for help with something. And several of us had a lot of animosity between us that has sense gotten 100% better after some realizations about family members fueling some fires. I was so wrapped up in what was happening in my own household that I didn't want to see the big picture with the entire family and how the whole family was effected by our fire starters. Well, as I have gotten a little older and more into my family history, lost several loved ones and really realized the importance of keeping the whole family close. I see how little we communicated with each other about was was really going on. That negative energy just bred more negative until it snowballed into an almost hate for several of my family members and after a few reality checks things took on a whole other dimension. I and the other family members are seeing things for what they really are and realized how petty a lot of our differences were and just in the nick of time. Since our kind of reuniting of the family we have really been there for each other. I am truly humbled now by all the wonderful things I missed out on with my family because of that negative energy and am doing everything I can to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I know that I can't always do everything I want to with or for my family but I am sure looking at my time with them in a whole new way. I try to see things from there side now and not complain if I am needed. I try to see any inconvenience to me as an opportunity to share something with my family and be a part of a moment that I might have missed if I had not been inconvenienced. So it is no longer an inconvenience, it is a memory, a memory of doing something good for my family and showing them that I love them and I will be there for them. Get away from the T.V, video games, and other things that just don't matter and do something with your family or for them. Do something for your neighbor or your friend. You never know when you might need them and they might just be there! Find the positives!

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."- Scott Adams

Monday, December 1, 2008

"There are Gains for all Our Losses"

November 16, 2008, Our Family lost another family member. Robert Anthony Fisher, December 4, 1966 - November 16, 2008. He was 41 years old and is survived by 2 beautiful daughters, 2 sisters, 1 brother and his mom and dad. His family was very hard hit by his death that was not at all expected. His death was such a horrible lose.

I personally never had the pleasure of meeting Robbie, but did get to hear lots of stories about him as a child. My husband, Robbie's cousin, actually lived with his family for a while as a child and grew up with Robbie. I have heard Robbie's dad and my husband talk about him often and from everything I've heard, he was a wonderful person and truly loved his family. He loved to spend time with his daughters and loved to fish and play darts.

My husband and I picked Robbie's mom and sister's up in Tennessee and drove them to Florida to be with the family and go to the viewing. Robbie's mom talked all week about the many phone calls she had with Robbie over the last couple of months and talked about Robbie and his oldest daughter's trip up to see her a few months ago. She talked about Robbie wanting her to write down all the things she knew about their family history and to gather family photos. He wanted it for his daughters and the rest of the family.

My experience while in Florida was just overwhelming. This family has not been all together in years. Nana is now 83 years old and it has been at least 25 years since all her children and grandchildren have been together at one time. As horrible as this death was it brought this family together like nothing I have ever seen. I know that families are usually brought together during times like this, but this to me was different. Everyone gathered everyday at Maxine and Steve's house. Everyone, was together, sharing stories, memories, food, and friendship. The kids played together and everyone took pictures. The bonds that had been lost seem to reconnect. It was awesome to see so many people so happy to see family they had not seen in years.

The family had decided to have a early Thanksgiving together Friday. No one knew when this many family members would be together again and wanted to share one more day together before going home. It was a great day! Nana, all her children, and almost all of her grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great great grandchildren were there. There were a combined total of 10 people not there. And we got lots of pictures. I remember someone saying to Nana, "Do you see all this Nana.....This is all your fault!" LOL! If all her descendants had been there (including the in-laws) there would have been 52 of us. Before everyone left, Maxine and Melissa had a list going around getting addresses for everyone. There were several copies made before it was all said and done. It was an amazing day!

As horrible as it was to be there for the reason we were, It turned into such an Amazing time for my husbands family. I feel like his cousin Robbie, in spirit, was right there in the middle of it all enjoying his family being together. I have a feeling that his death created a time of bonding that will not be lost any time soon. They say that good things come from bad things. I have to say this family coming together was a really good thing. Today ....while at my sister's house I was looking at her blog and on her profile she had this quote and I knew that this would have to be the title of my post today and I truly believe it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Remembering on Veterans Day & Restoring Memories

This past week, I have had the pleasure to restore several photo's of my family and several for a friend. I wish I could explain the feeling it gives me to restore a photograph of someone that is no longer with us. When I complete a photograph for someone It gives me a sence of being part of keeping their spirit alive and in the present.

I feel that our loved ones stay close to us even after death and in restoring a picture some how I play a part in keeping that spirit close. Maybe....It's knowing that that person or the memory that that picture brings to the forefront isn't forgotten.

I believe that my passion for doing genealogy and wanting to restore photos for people came from an experience my family had when my Uncle was recovered from Vietnam. I feel that I need to tell the story behind my interest in finding my family and my interest in photography and photo restoration so that people can understand why I do this.

I have an Uncle that died in Vietnam (May 10, 1967) before I was born, he was considered MIA, until 2005. I grew up hearing stoies of him from my mom and my aunt and always wondered if he was really gone. I had always had a sence that he was still around us. April 2004, I found the Vietnam Memorial Wall Page and saw where a friend had left a message. That message triggered me to start looking for other friends of his. I had no idea, until almost a year later that there was a team in Vietnam that same week that I made my first contact with his friend Frank Morrelli, that his remains and the remains of his comrades that died with him were being recovered. From the start of my first contact until I had information leaked to me that his remains had been found, I felt like my Uncle Mac was with me guiding me to find more information. When we found out that indeed his remains had been recovered, I knew that even though I did not know him in life, he was using me to prepare my family for his coming home. He and his comrades were laid to rest 38 years later on the anniversary of their deaths in Arlington National Cemetery.

This was the most awesome experience for me. I felt a part of my uncle's life, I was finding his friends and hearing stories of his life. I was part of keeping his spirit alive. I will never forget the people I met and the things I got to participate in because of my Uncle Mac. I made a scrapbook for him to remember him and carried the incomplete book with me to Washington, I had no idea how I was going to complete some of the pages for that album until a friend of his gave me a photo to complete a page and the pictures taken there helped to complete this book. Every picture told a story.

Take care of your pictures & Don't forget the stories!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Family History

I didn't know a lot of my family growing up, why? I still don't quite understand how my mom and dad's families grew so apart. I have heard stories from my dad about how close his whole family was growing up and how they grew apart after he moved to the small town I still live in. I can understand how distance can create barriers and make it difficult for families to be together, but it still bothers me that there were never any occasions that our families, his cousins and Aunts and Uncles, ever really got to know us kids. I remember meeting some of my Great Aunts and Uncles at funerals and a few brief visits at my Paw Paw's house, but nothing significant enough. This may sound terrible, but I wanted to go to funerals just so I could meet some of my family even though it wasn't a good time for that. I wanted to know who they were.
I am not sure that my mom's family were ever close. I know that growing up my mom and her brothers and sister moved a lot due to the fact my grandfather was an immigration officer, but I never heard many stories of them having a lot of real family fun together.
I guess that is why I do genealogy. It's like detective work trying to find out who they were, what they did, where they came from, etc...etc. I want to know them and I want the rest of the family to know and remember them. I am guilty of not spending enough time with my family and guilty of not seeking my living family members that I didn't know, out sooner, but I am trying. I have made several family connections just researching our family history and it has been so awesome. I found one of my dad's cousins that he had not spoken to in a long while, Claudine, she is awesome. And in the last couple of weeks heard from another cousin of my dad's, Shirley Ann. We have all been trading information and pictures. Both, Claudine and Shirley Ann had pictures of my great grandparents and other family that I had never seen. How awesome is that? The biggest disappointment I have had doing genealogy research is realizing that one of my grandmother's sisters had just passed away a few years ago. I didn't realize that she had any living siblings (very bad assumption on my part). My dad's mom died of breast cancer before I was born and I have heard lots of stories about her from my dad, my aunt, and a few other people that knew her. I feel personally cheated that I didn't get to know my grandmother at all, and to find out that she had a sister still alive until a few years ago, hurt me inside. I had a great aunt that I could have known and some how been close to my grandmother at the same time.
This is the point of my blog today.....Get to know your family, Don't wait until it's too late. Be a part of your family. It may not seem convenient at the moment, but you never know what wonderful memory may come out of that time together. Don't miss out!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It was a Party!

Yesterday, my Dad, Robert and I went to a birthday party for my Uncle Jim. We had a blast! My Aunt and Uncle are into so many neat things. They have a little farm and are both into collecting, taking care of their pets, animals, gardens, bees, and things they can make themselves. They are both so down to earth and very thrifty, I have to say. They love raising their own food....meat and vegies! They love old things and love using them. I hope that one day, I will be as cool as they are.

Back to the party... Started with us getting there a little early so we could help out. Jim and Robert ran around outside getting power going for lights, stereo, running the grill, and boiling the peanuts. Aunt Pam and I worked on getting food outside, organizing food and drinks that were coming in from guest. They wound up with between 30 -35 people all together. Jim and Aunt Pam had the yard fixed with about 4 different seating areas under the big tree next to the house. Had candles and christmas lights for after dark which turned out really cool.

But the best part.....

The people, what a wonderful group of people. Jim and Aunt Pam have some awesome friends and neighbors. Everyone seem to get along with everyone. I didn't get to sit and talk to every person there but the one's I did get to sit and talk to ....Linda, Joyce, Connie, Shanon, Elizabeth, Bill, Jackson, Scott, Peggy, Michael, Justin, Jody, Kristina and several others (I am horrible at remembering names)......All so cool! I enjoyed talking to and being around everyone. Great food...great people and a nice way to start the Fall season. Thank you Aunt Pam and Jim for inviting us. We had a great time and look forward to doing that again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Public Library!

This week I actually made it to our local library. I sometimes forget the resources we have right at our fingertips. I have wanted to buy a few books ever since getting my new camera but just haven't wanted to spend the money. The way things are with the economy, it is getting harder to justify spending on the wants of life and I have really had to start thinking about the necessities and figure out creative ways to have my wants without spending a bunch of money. Anyway, back to what I was saying about resources, Monday I had a few minutes to kill while waiting on my son to get out of school, and I didn't want to spend a dime anywhere. Ah ha! The library, I can check to see what kind of books are available on photography (my #1 hobby right now) and check to see what our library has to offer as far as genealogy (my #2 hobby when #1 needs a break). Wow! Checked out some great books and found that our small county library has a genealogy room. I don't know why I haven't thought about checking there before. Major Duh on my part.

I think we make our lives so complicated sometimes with all the conveniences we have around us that we forget that we can simplify things and save our selves money at the same time. Why spend all that money on books that you aren't planning on keeping when you can just borrow and return it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Where to begin?

This is my first time at blogging and I am still not quite sure where I want this to go. I guess I start by telling a little about myself. I am an amateur photographer (very amateur), newbee to genealogy(off and on for about 2 yrs), and love sharing all my pictures and found family history with my whole family.

I work full time as a Secretary four days a week. I am married to a wonderful man and have a 18 yr old son that will be graduating high school this year. I have 3 wonderful sisters and 4 nieces, 3 nephews, all live within walking distance except for my youngest sister and her daughter. They are in Texas, Her husband is currently serving our country in Iraq. I miss them so much.

I am hoping this blog will give me an outlet to talk about my passions and give my friends and family a place to express things that mean a lot to them in there lives. I would like for this to be maybe a place for us to talk about our current goals in life and give our kids a way to express themselves.