Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering September 11th

I was looking at a bunch of genealogy related twitter feeds this morning.  Many had the same theme or question; where were you on September 11th?  Many encouraged you to write down and record where you were so those memories wouldn't be forgotten for future generations.  I got to thinking that maybe that wasn't such a bad idea, but for very different reasons then they had intended.

I wasn't at work on September 11th.  I was at home.  I was in bed.  I didn't want to face the day that I had a head of me.  Hubby and I were living in the apartment at the time and I was lying in bed watching a movie on AMC, for the life of me I can't remember which movie it was.  I know I had seen it many times before.  My memory makes me believe it was either a Doris Day or Danny Kane movie.  Needless to say I wasn't watching the news.  I was being lazy. 
I had recently gotten home from an awesome vacation to Hawaii, where the morning of the trip we found out that we were pregnant with Cameron. We had told our families about the pregnancy on Grandparents Day.  I wonder if they still have the cards?  Telling people added a little sunshine to a very sad stretch of days.

You see, my September 11th was going to be spent at the funeral home for calling hours.  My September 11th is about the loss of my grandmother, Ruth E. Robertson Haskins. 

My grandmother was born on May 19, 1923 and she passed away on September 8, 2001.  She was a great lady, who I miss very much.  I wish my own kids would have gotten an opportunity to know her.

So when I think about September 11th.......
  • I remember my grandmother.
  • I remember the energy it took to get through that day.
  • I remember my mom calling me to ask if I was watching the news.
  • I remember my inital feelings when I turned on the news.
  • I remember worrying if my brother was out of DC and headed for Marion safe and sound.
  • I remember watching the news with my family when the towers collapsed.
  • I remember talking to so many friends and family.
  • I remember worrying about friends who lived in NYC at that time.
  • I remember the sense of patriotism that everyone felt after that day.
  • I remember all of the innocent people who lost their lives.
  • I remember that day changed our lives forever.
  • I remember how much I miss our pre-9/11 lives, especially my grandmother.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This is Fred.  He is where I started in my adventure through my family tree, so I feel it is only fitting that this is where I start my blog.  To me he was grandpa great but was also affectionately called "Gramp".

He lived in the house my parents live in now.  I remember going to his house when I was little.  It was old.  He smoked a pipe.  He liked to sit by his window while smoking his pipe.  He had coo-coo clocks.  He had a huge garden in the back yard.  He had two rocking chairs that sat on his back porch.

This picture was taken on what we believed to be Fred's 90th birthday.  We now know that wasn't quite the case.  For what ever reason some where in time Fred lied about or changed his age.  This wasn't discovered until long after Fred had passed away and I would begin my hunting through the branches of my tree.

Why lie about your age? Who knew about it? When did he make the decision to change his age?  These are all questions I'll never know the answer to which frustrates me.  Family members have speculated that he lied about his age so that he could go to work in the factory at a younger age.  Some also believe it could have been because his wife Kate was actually much older than he was.  I wonder if she ever knew the truth?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My First Posting

So, I guess I am officially starting this blog.  I have messed with the layout, templates and format long enough.  It even took me forever to decide on a title.  I went with "A Couple of Whiles" because it reminds me of my grandmother.  I used to tell her this all of the time and it became a family saying so when I hear it, it makes me happy and brings a smile to my face.  I also know that it would make her smile too.  With all that being said, the time has come for me to just start writing and posting.  Not really sure what I am going to write about, well I know exactly what I'm going to write about but not sure of what direction it will take me. 

I have been researching my family history for about 8 years.  I go in spurts of being very addicted to hardly ever finding the time to open my tree or research a fact.  Right now, I'm somewhere in the middle but I do know that I really want to capture my thoughts, reflections and stories so that I can document all of the work that I have done.

Most of my research has been done using and various websites that I have found along the way.  I have visited cemeteries, libraries, accessed military records, vital records and taken a trip to the Dutchess County with my Dad.  My Dad is my partner in this endeavor, however we have also brought along my mom, husband and even my two year old son at the time.   We have become the keeper of the past and with this blog I will attempt to share my research as well as use it as a tool to dig deeper and find more family treasures.