Wednesday catchup


Rita, At the Vet’s offie where she works on the day she discovered she was pregnant, and last week wearing baby dad’s shorts. He doesn’t need them, he’s in Yemen with the U.S. Military.

Oldest son Richard flew in from San Diego last week for a gathering at the Navy Yard.  As usual he got together with David and me, and his sister Connie, for a meal at Connie’s favorite Thai restaurant. Beforehand Richard had come by our house where he spottted the growing pile of gifts for Granddaughter Rita. Goodness, he said and laughed.  I told him this is why they call us GREAT grandmothers.

All my children are now in their fifties. Connie, the oldest and soon to be a grandmother, will be fifty-five in the fall.  Seems strange to see my kids with white hair, but there they are, siting across the table from me complaining about medical issues not unlike friends my age. Where did the time go?


Meanwhile, I continue to work on my family tree.  Re-read material concerning her family tree I had received from Aunt Audrey, including letters she wrote before artthritis stayed her hand. “I wish I had done this in my forties,” she says in one letter. Having plowed through much material over the past few years, I can concur.

I began my search for information about my family decades ago. This is a huge undertaking.

This past week,  I have been working on mom’s paternal grandmother’s tree, which takes me back to the 1700s.  Great-Grandmother’s (MP2*) name was Lena.  Lena migrated from a village on one of the outer islands in Zeeland, (Zieikzee in Schouwen-Duiveland**).

Finding Lena’s last name was a bit tricky.  She arrived from Antwerp on the Josephine in mid-nineteenth century, a passenger in steerage speaking little English with a ten-month old baby in her arms, a husband and six children. The Immigration officer at Ellis Island spelled her name Maij, other later records spell it de Maij.  Still others spell it Dag or Day.  Turns out it was probably Day all along.  Written in cursive, ‘y’ sometimes looks like’ij.’  remember how the teacher told us to ’round our loops’ when we took penmanship?  Well it matters.  Cursive matters.


I loaded seven more bags of books into sacks for a trip to Goodwill, including many art history books, two by a Dutch artist, Piet Portvliet, whose father’s family came from the same area of Zeeland (Island of Tholen) as my mother’s father’s father’s family.

Portvliet tracked his family back to the 1600s by drawing sketches concerning the way he thought the everyday life of each looked.  His books are a work of love and very illuminating.  They make me grateful for running water and laws against animal abuse as well as cruel and unusual punishment of humans.

Portvliet stopped with the 1600s because, he says, the Nazis bombed all the older records (before 1600) to smithereens in WWII. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know the Nazis blew Rotterdam to hell. I also know Aunt Audrey found material in The Hague about her family that dates back to the 1500s.

Years ago, a couple of fellow enthusiasts at the Census Bureau told me that researching past the 1400s is difficult, because of the Black Death.

I don’t know how far back I will go in my geneology quest, but I have found that the English, Dutch and German records are all pretty extensive.


Thank goodness Spring is almost here.

Surgery yesterday for another melanoma (number 7).  Dr. says it’s genetic in my case.  My osteo guy cancelled my appointment tomorrow…the weather in the 70s and sunny, I imagine he will be on the golf course.

Now, I’m off to walk my dogs.  Will be around to visit blog friends today and tomorrow.

**Schouwen and Duiveland were poldered together and lie behind the huge dikeworks begun after the flood of 1953.

*MP2 = Mother’s father’s great-grandmother


23 thoughts on “Wednesday catchup

  1. I’m glad they’re catching all of your melanomas. Those are scary.

    I know what you mean about seeing our kids age. I was taken aback to see gray hairs on my kids’ heads. How can that be?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. IT is indeed strange to see one’s offspring developing grey hair – and yes, the oldest is getting towards 50. Lovely to look on down the generations though.


  3. I love all the ancestral things. Mother’s family has traced itself back to before the Mayflower. My father’s family, which dropped the last E, notes that a forebearer was King Henry the 8th’s comptroller. 1500’s there, and 1620 before. That’s more than enough for me. I have concentrated on recording the kids and grandkids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So several of us had ancestors in the same boat🤔. I didn’t know about mine. Dad was not terribly informative except about war heroes. Mom recorded part of Dads side in my baby book. She probably heard it from a sister or his mother. She talked about her family all the time so I had more info about the Dutch side.

      Nothing beyond me in my tree. No kids, grandkids etc. I figure they can fill in the info later.


  4. Question: Does your pregnant daughter have any restrictions about working in a veterinary office? I just remember when I my wife was pregnant she couldn’t empty the kitty litterbox — some disease she could pick up (or was she just “playing” me?!?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, she moved back home with her mom and sisters after she found out she was pregnant. Together they have nine dogs and several cats with litter boxes others change. She works part time with the vet who previously employed her and mostly with dogs. Rita’s specialty is dogs. She has her own cat and a black Lab. I’m changing my header to show the cat again.


    • Could not find the photo I mentioned, but to answer your question, I don’t know if she has restrictions on cat boxes, but they are not an issue for her I think as she is super careful concerning health issues. Rita stopped smoking and drinks nothing caffeinated, so I am sure someone brought up the cat box issue with her. And yes, its real. These is a virus or paracite in cat fecal matter tht affects only pregnant women.


  5. I cannot get over my amazement that all my children are now as old as I am. It’s a miracle! (Our four are all in their 50s as well; the oldest will turn 57 this year; we retired at that age. Our kids will not be able to do that. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My kids are still in their 30s. I was 32 when the first was born.
    My first grandkid was born when I was 61.
    Now I am 70.
    As for books, I always say that we should donate them so others can read them. Why hoard them at home, when they are rarely re-read?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Two cute photos to start your post off with. How lovely to be expecting a great grandchild. We have been having fun with our genealogy search. Gregg’s mother’s ancestors came over on the Mayflower, which we have known for some time. We even got to see their name on the plaque in Plymouth, England. She also has several ladies who were given the first name of “Thankful” in their line. I love to see all the names, some are so unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gregg and I are probably distantly related as several of my ancestors came on the Mayflower or later during the Great Puritan Migration and intermarriage was very much practiced.

      Never saw any plaque in Plymouth England, however, as I never got further west than Devon (sniff).

      All these English and Scots ancestors are on my Dad’s Mom’s side. My Mom’s family was Dutch from the Netherlands and came mid-nineteenth century from Zeeland and Groningen.

      We have a few Thankfuls’ in our line, plus a Salem woman charged and cleared with crime of witchcraft, as well as a judge who oversaw at least one witch trial. Accused was exonerated, I’m happy to report.


  8. Enjoyed Rita’s cute face and baby news. Nice to see the family growing. I recall when my kids first left home as did their cousins all being about the same age. A few grandparents had died and I thought “our family is shrinking.” But now those kids have kids and I may last to see some great-grands and the family has grown huge!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My son turned 40 and I cannot believe he is that old – because it means I am SO old! It is hard to get used to. Cannot believe I am 65. That age used to sound old. Not so much anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Time, and age, is a surreal experience. Sometimes, it’s easier not to think about it, but then it stares you right in the face. My daughter is almost the same age as I was when she graduated high school. It’s difficult to wrap my brain around. Thanks for visiting my blog today. It was lovely to ‘meet’ you! Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It must be wonderful to see great grandchildren adding to the family. They carry a piece of all those generations you are finding out about in your research, connecting generations over the centuries. I love how you connect the generations now to your predecessors in your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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