Can’t complain

“Cousins by the dozens.”

A California cousin sent a dozen cartoons to put a smile on my face. A North Carolina cousin sends obituaries (via email) for me to document with our forest of family. It makes me sad to document the passing of folks much younger than myself. It makes me glad to reflect on my good health and ability to effortlessly navigate the computer and

I’m knitting the families together in my database. All in onein “the Frantz tree”I have “the Brubaker tree” and “the Eikenberry tree” and “the Blocher tree” etc, etc. The obituary indicates this daughter married an Eikenberry and another daughter married a Blocher (etc, etc). A generation back, the Brubaker husband had a Frantz wife. It’s truly a beautiful picture.





Living Will

An RVing lady-friend sent the following:



I, ____________, being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means. Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of pinhead partisan politicians who couldn’t pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it, or lawyers/doctors/hospitals interested in simply running up the bills.

If a reasonable amount of time passes, and I fail to ask for at least one of the following:

______Vodka on Rocks ______a Margarita ____ a Scotch ______ Glass of wine_______a Bloody Mary ______a Gin and Tonic _______a Tee Time ______a Steak _____ Beer ______Lobster or crab legs ______the remote control ______a bowl of ice cream ______the sports page______Sex ______or Chocolate,

it should be presumed that I won’t ever get any better.

When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my appointed person and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, and call it a day. At this point, it is time to call the New Orleans Jazz Funeral Band to come do their thing at my funeral, and ask all of my friends to raise their glasses to toast the good times we have had.

Signature:__________________________ Date: _____ __

NOTE: I also hear that in Ireland they have a Nursing Home with a Pub.

The patients are happier, and they have a lot more visitors. Some of them don’t even need embalming when their time comes…

It’s okay not to be okay

This was a message on the Facebook page of a friend. Thanks Patty.

This 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home yesterday. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”
She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”
And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less, & enjoy every moment.
Photograph by Karsten Thormaehlen

Another milestone…

…and not another birthday (ha).


Honestly, I cannot believe I’ve entered five-thousand new individuals to my Ancestry database in two months. One-thousand in ten days, two-thousand in twenty-days. And every individual has two to twenty “source” records attached to their name. I don’t copy from other Ancestry members. I like to think I approach each individual with the precision of a surgeon. “Don’t make a mistake.”

I like to think my computer skills–and my love for ancestry–is a gift from God. Furthermore, I like to think I’m giving a gift to countless individuals who search for their ancestors.