Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Mom Tells Me

When I was about nine months old Mom started working on a genealogy book. It was about Dad's family and she tells me that it isn't very good. She wasn't that experienced then. She also tells me how she had to type letters to relatives asking and begging at times for information and old photographs. When she decided to put all that information into a family book, the old typewriter just wouldn't work. She rented an electric typewriter. I can't imagine producing a book on a typewriter, even an electric one.

Mom had a card table in the living room with the typewriter and paper on it, plus all her notes. Each morning she would cut strips of paper for my three year old brother to color and paste together in loops. She also photocopied the old family photographs for him to study. That would occupy him for a couple hours while she typed.

When I wasn't sleeping or playing in my crib, I was hungry. Mom would balance me on top of her feet, prop the bottle in my mouth and swing me back and forth on her feet while she typed. That's about like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. It seemed to work.

We grew up knowing her as Mom and somebody who went to cemeteries and talked to relatives. There were always books and family charts around the house. Relatives would come to visit or we would visit them. It was our life and I guess we didn't know anything different. Our friends couldn't name off relatives, but we knew their names and everything about them. When I was six years old we moved. I went to school and told my teacher and friends that we were migrating. Wonder where I got that word! Growing up genealogy was indeed interesting and fun.

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