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Friday, August 1, 2014

The family community

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 23, 2008

When I think of all my family members – those who know me best and love me anyway – my spirit is warmed. In this day and age, when our sprawling cities and transient population have created an anonymous society, it’s nice to know that with family we still have a sense of community. Even if we are living in far-flung places, the Internet has made it possible to keep in daily communication with loved ones.

This concept was recently illustrated in our family when my niece became pregnant. Being very young with no real resources of her own, our family is rallying around her. Some of us have taken her shopping, others have kept an eye out for good deals on used strollers and the like. Of course, a baby shower is being planned. Yours truly is planning a Facebook page that will list what she needs and what she already has, to be editable by her and I. Every time my niece despairs, someone drops something off or emails to touch base. She is amazed at how it’s all coming together.

Why do we do this? Without going into all the instinctual, sociological reasons, for us it’s about taking care of our own. My niece is “one of ours” and her baby is one of us. It’s not just her baby – she belongs to the family and we all have a stake in its future. I’d like to think we’d do the same if any other of us faced challenges in our lives.

Home to Scotland, home from Scotland

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 12, 2008

I’ve been away for a few weeks; only now getting back in the saddle. We went to Scotland, where we did some castle searching (and finding) and graveyard tromping. Tom wanted to go home to the place of his nativity and I wanted to do some family tree research. Took tons of pictures and absorbed the countryside. Ate huge and hearty breakfasts and relished thick brogues (“I know we’re talking the same language, but I don’t understand a WORD you’re saying!”).

It felt good to find my roots, or at least a couple of them. I found a family mausoleum in Dumfries and family gravestones in Closeburn. Now, rather than being just names of birthplaces in my genealogy chart, the towns have real structure and texture in my mind. Family history became more real to me and I was moved by some of the things I learned.

I’m still absorbing it all.

Somehow the world is now a much smaller place to me and history is much closer.

Scottish morning (click for full size)