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Family History

Like most folks, our family history is somewhat messy. Make that seriously messy.

Secrets and lies is an apt description.

I could not wait for Maureen to come home from her weekend trip so I could tell her about the phone call I made Saturday morning. While waiting for her to get off the phone Monday morning, this kitty ran across my path, eventually sitting still for a portrait.
The phone call was to a man I'd only just learned, in a crazy, round about way involving old letters, Matthew, and Nancy, is one of two living first cousins of our Mother, neither of whom I'd ever heard the first thing about, I might add. Hilary's Mother is the sister of my Maternal Grandmother. Got that?

Friday night, while discussing our upcoming trip with Nancy, she recalled hearing from our Mother once that she had a cousin in Kentucky. Well, at one time she had a bunch, however, she had no contact, as far as I know with any of them. Growing up, we thought we had no extended family which turns out to be just one of the secrets we are now discovering through Matt's ancestry research. Anyway, while reading one of the letters to Nancy, the name came up and she said--that's him! Okay, now we have something to go on. Of all things, the next morning I awoke to an article Matt posted to my timeline about the same man. You can read it here if I have piqued your interest. Because it was a two year old article, we were so hoping he was still alive, and I'm here to tell you that after our 90 minute conversation Saturday morning, he is very much alive and still thriving for that matter!

Now, we have changed our plans after much prompting on his part. Landing in Nashville early in the morning, we will drive to Paducah for lunch at his home, followed by dinner at their country club!! How crazy is all this? Pretty darn crazy, that's what! Nonetheless, he has some vivid memories of both my Mother and his Aunt Lottie as he called my Grandmother. Telling me so many things, I was overwhelmed, to be honest with you. To think we could have had contact with all of these folks who are now deceased makes me sad. Then too, all of the names so diligently researched by Matthew will now come to life.

Someone asked me why we were going there and my response is, because we can. And probably not a minute too soon as Hilary is 82, and has a brother who is 87. Then again, their Mother lived well into her 90's. Both Bruce and I are very excited about it all and can't thank Matt enough for setting this all into motion.

So what else is new? Socializing over the weekend. Sherrie came into town from Pennsylvania where she's nearly finished with teaching her semester. Thanksgiving dinner early she asked? Why not? We met more of her family and enjoyed a delicious meal.
That is her son kissing his girlfriend whom he met after Michelle's mother met Ben walking his dog down Appleton. She insisted he should call her, eventually doing so to stop her pleas. Lo and behold, it seems to be "love at first sight!"

We are very much enjoying returning to our Sunday ways, beginning the day with church. Although we were away for the eight years I worked on Sunday, the longing to attend worship service was always there. Nothing stopping us now! Following the service, driving down 17-92, I asked B to stop for lunch at a restaurant we'd yet to try. Serving what they call "Asian street food, it was delicious!
We are now very excited to take Matt and Tom there when they visit for Christmas. Gosh, they'll be here a month from tomorrow! How time flies.

Did I mention we finally turned the air conditioner off? For a few days the weather was glorious, now, however, it is back on again, hopefully for not too much longer. Sunday evening was still pleasant as we all visited during Hill's Happy Hour, followed by "Souper Sunday", hosted by Pam and Glen. The occasion? Glen's upcoming birthday. Pam, among her many talents, is a great cook and hostess all rolled into one. Finding a seat where we could, the men talked a little politics in the family room over their Corn Chowder, Pasta Fagioli, and Thai Chicken Soup.
Calling everyone into the kitchen for the birthday cake and ice cream...the host and hostess below.
If Glenn were on fb, I seriously think this would make a funny profile picture.
Lisa made a flourless chocolate cake that, although did not look so great, was scrumptious, as was the ice cream they claimed is the best ever made, Graeter's. Begun 145 years ago in Cincinnati, they very well may have a point. Both couples once lived in Cincinnati, so they were overjoyed to discover it is now sold in a few Publix around here. Hard to say which was better--raspberry chocolate or the mint chocolate chip.

It is that time of year again..the historical city calendar contest. This year I am fortunate enough to have had two photographs selected for the calendar, February and July. Yesterday afternoon the presentation occurred during the city council meeting.
The woman sitting next to me was there for her first time, expressing surprise at the height of Buddy Dyer, our Mayor, elected two weeks ago for his fourth term. She said he looked taller on television. :)

Not only are we happy to be in a worship service again, but we are happy to have opportunities to help others. For a few weeks now I've been bringing bags of food to the church and today I am thrilled to be the one who picks up all the donations and delivers them to their distribution point. As well, we learned about this Saturday's "basket brigade." Because we will be gone when the baskets are to be delivered, I asked all of my friends if they would like to get involved. Will anyone deliver my basket for me? I got an affirmative from Pam. Yesterday I bought all of the groceries..
As to the decorating the basket part, I left that up to Pam. Should you live in Orlando and want to do the same, check out the link above with all the pertinent details.

I'll close today with a gorgeous orchid from Pam's garden.
This is but one of about ten clusters on the same plant!!

Wish us luck on our great adventure,

Gail

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