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Archive for the ‘My thoughts’ Category

Delivered On: May 3rd 2009

Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell

Connecting With the Generations

Something deep within us wants to connect with those who went before us: our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other family members. When we know who they are—their life stories, their triumphs and failures, their strengths and weaknesses—we gain a better sense of who we are. In a sense, their stories become our stories. We not only learn from them, we feel strengthened and inspired by their lives and experiences. We may even find ourselves thinking, “If they could do difficult things, so can I.”

But what if we never knew our ancestors? What if their stories were never recorded? How can we begin to reconnect with past generations? Start with those who are still living. Talk with them. Listen to their stories and write down their thoughts, feelings, and memories. What you learn might lead to information about more distant ancestors. If nothing else, you can record your own story.

One teenage girl wanted to know more about her grandmother, so over the course of several months she sat down with her, asked questions, and recorded her grandmother’s answers. Those answers taught her, made her laugh, and deepened her love for her grandma. She then sent out copies of their conversations to her extended family. They all felt they had received a great treasure, and each learned something new about Grandma.

We don’t have to be experienced genealogists to begin researching our family history. Malachi spoke anciently of children’s hearts turning to their fathers.1 That’s all we really need—a sincere desire to connect. With a little effort, we can come to know and love those whose lives flow directly into ours.

1 See Malachi 4:6.

Program #4155

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Ack! I’m back.

Sorry about the interlude . . . it’s been a weird, distracting couple of weeks for me . . . and it’s been hard to get focused on the daily routine kind of things.  But we’ve still left Dewain and Zola and the apartment hanging for way too long.  Sorry about that.  I’m working on doing better.  We’ve had rain. We’ve been working on our garden.  We’ve survived the multiple birthday parties and holiday celebrations hosted here at our house.  We’re trying to teach our kids to work by example, and this includes fun work, like our family stories.

Just yesterday I was trying to teach my 7-year old daughter about perspective (umm, following a large meltdown over not getting Skittles at the grocery store, and how the MMs we already have at our house aren’t as good as the ones at the store).  There’s nothing like reviewing the stories from the past to help put things into perspective.  I’m grateful for the lessons learned from Grandma and Grandpa, even if they didn’t know they were teaching us.

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Home Again

Sorry for the delay in posting. I was having experiences with my living relatives recently. We had a lot of fun. We’re home safely again and I’ll start putting these letters up again soon.

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Since I finally started Grandma Zola’s letters, I’ve been reading through her binder.  There was a stack of letters with no dates, just time and place notes such as “The Room, Saturday, 8:35 p.m.”  Last week I read through those and realized that those letters all came from a similar place and time.  I was able to put them in order, as best as I could, from context clues in the letters.

We’re going back to the summer before Grandpa left for Europe, while he was still training in Southern California.  These are all letters from Grandma.  She knows she’s pregnant, and she’s trying to find a place for them to live.  I  enjoyed this break, so I’m going to post these next, probably several letters at a time.  I hope you enjoy them too.

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Yesterday I received a very fun email from a very distant relative, “We are 9th cousins, once removed. My name is Walter Nieber.”  He’s been doing research on the Rudd family and found us while researching the Rudds.  He sent me quite a bit of information, which I have published on it’s own page (“Rudd Family” page at the top of the blog) on this site,  here.  I feel very blessed to have made this connection because it gives me more information than I had previously about this family line.

I hope you enjoy this information as much as I have.  There’s so much I don’t know about my ancestors.  I know that Grandma Zola did a lot of family history.  I think she’s still helping us do our own research.  However these connections were made, I’m very grateful.  Thank you, Walter.

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Second-hand scanning

I came home from Thanksgiving dinner with lots of leftovers, including an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo scanner.  It installed successfully this morning, and I’ve been able to add some photos that I’ve had.  Now, I’ll have to see what else we can add to this site.

From talking with Melanie on Thursday, I learned that there are many more letters from this time than just the ones that I have.  The letters were copied (but there were too many to do all of them), and then were going to be sent around to the uncles so everybody could have a chance to see and read these.  I would love to find out where the originals are, copy them and get them all typed up here.  Does anybody know who has these letters now?  I would love them, please, please, please.  I’m trying to get them all together on place.  I’ll take really good care of them while I’m compiling information.  Please, please, please.  (I know – I’m begging.  It’s for a good cause, right?)

Here are the only two photos I have from this time.  I’m guessing they’re both taken in Southern California, but I don’t have any details associated with time, place or circumstance.

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

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I woke up around 5:00 this morning to soothe a troubled boy . . . and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Instead, I came down and typed up two new letters since I missed a couple of days.  The first one is from 11/19/1944 (8 pages) and then nearly a week later from 11/24/1944 (7 pages).  It’s amazing to me as I type these letters how much of my Grandfather’s voice I hear as I recognize his words and phrases.  I’m trying to catch up so that Grandma & Grandpa’s letters are from about the same time frame, so we’re getting a lot of Grandpa’s letters here.

Forthcoming will be long letters from Grandpa from 11/25/1944, 11/30/1944 (Thanksgiving Day that year) and 12/5/1944, and then a series of V-mail letters (one-pagers) as Grandpa’s gone out into the field.  After that, it looks like I need to finish sorting the binder, but I’ve seen February, June and July of 1945 as I flip through.  [I just finished sorting, and I found a letter from 11/29/1942, a couple of years earlier – I’ll type that one next, and just throw everybody off.]

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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Coming soon!

I ended up spending my Saturday morning arguing with a new 3-in-one printer/scanner/copier that prints and copies – but refuses to scan (still refusing!).  I have an October 1944 letter from Grandpa waiting to be typed, hopefully Sunday afternoon.  Not sure where’s writing from in t his one . . . we can only imagine.  I hope you’re enjoying this trip back in time, because I sure am.

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Surprises await us all

I just finished sorting through Dewain’s binder – I have letters from 1944-1945.  I also have some life history/journal entries that Grandpa wrote between 1979-1986 that I’ll type up when I get there.  I’m looking forward to this journey.  I have been threatened with promised access to thousands of family photos and other things when I’m ready.  I’ve already had offers of scanning help and more.  I love having a reason to connect with my extended family.  We’re all so good at going off and doing our own things . . . and unless we’ve heard otherwise, we know we’re doing just fine (isn’t that right?).  I am grateful today for the 2-3 hour long naps my son takes so I can sort and type without interruption (and it’s okay to ignore the dishes in the name of family history, right?).

I think I’m going to work through Grandpa’s 1944 letters so we’re all up to speed together before we go back to Grandma’s letters in 1945.

Off we go . . .

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Work

I find that I want to go through the binders and put the letters into order as much as I can before I type more.  Please bear with me.  I haven’t read through these before, and I sense a little preparation will go a long way.  I hope to have another letter up later today – but I’m also pressed into service for my family, and for the moment, the living will come before the dead.  (I’ve got to start by getting us to school on time and my baby hasn’t let me put his pants on him yet . . . 5 minutes to go!)

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