Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘#Nostalgia’

Chas and Mattie

I go through phases with Ancestry.com.  Whole months will go by that I don’t visit the site even once.  Then randomly I will sit down with the intention of only spending a few minutes online, look at the clock and like a flash 3 hours have gone by.  I totally fall down the wormhole.  I pour over names, research census records, check dates, count children, look at death records…

Speaking of..

This is the death record for a woman named Martha Barnett, who died in 1919 in the teeeeeeeny town of Cedar Creek, Texas (21 miles from Austin, near Bastrop).  Her cause of death was “NO DOCTORS” (what the hell does that mean?).  I also believe her to be my great, great, grandmother.

My mother told me that she thought some of her family was from central Texas and gave me her grandparents names.  Thus starting the madness.  From there I got their parents names, and from there I got their parents names and all the kids names, and all the random “laborers” that lived with them in their houses in 1810 etc etc etc.

So, it seems I come from a long line of farmers and housewives…..I suck and both farming and housework, by the way.

I would have made a terrible 1800 frontiers woman.  Afraid of my own shadow, the “woods”, tetanus, brown spiders, spindly black spiders (black widows!), hard work outside, drafty houses, sun damage..  I will exhibit an almost violent reaction to having to (gasp) hand wash something.  Just to name a few of my near-phobias…(You totally want to be my friend now, don’t you?)

Sorry to say that their line of work was not “aristocrat-ing” or “bourgeoisie-ing” – I would have been awesome at that!

I kid, I kid.  Sortof.

Anyway, learning that the thriving metropolis of Cedar Creek was only 30 minutes away from where I live now was kinda exciting.  Learning that Martha (above) and her husband, my great, great grandfather Charles John Barnett are buried there was even more exciting.  I loaded up the doggies, and the fiance and we went on a little trip to check it all out.

As we drove through the country side, we talked a little about what it might have looked like in the mid-1800s.  And, what brought them over to central Texas from the deep south, anyway?  And, why this area in particular?

I need to do more research.

But until then, I discovered not only my great, great grandparents graves in the cemetery, but a whole mess of presumed relatives.  Creepy/crazy!

And, look – someone cared enough to put yellow little flowers in front of their graves.  Isn’t that my job?  The totally neglectful great, great, granddaughter – ugh!

Thank you to the sweet soul who is looking out for them and cared to make their headstones pretty.

Who are these people?  What were their lives like?  How did they all die, and why so early some of them?  What brought them to Texas?  And to Cedar Creek (the sticks, even now)?  How long has it been since someone from their family visited them?  What does “NO DOCTORS” mean?

It’ll take time, but I aim to get some questions answered.

Thanks for reading this very personal entry!

XOXOX

 

Advertisements

How do you say goodbye…to a house?

This is my parents house.  The house that they and their four children have lived in since the early 70s.

**Hard to believe right – I know.  I was actually born in the 70s.**

This house hosted countless dinner parties, graduation parties, engagement and wedding parties, luncheons for non-profits, Halloween parties, birthday parties….HOLIDAYS and more HOLIDAYS.  (My family is blended religiously and spiritually, so we celebrate a LOT of holidays!)

When I was born, my parents brought me home to this house..

Evidence…

Just look at my dad rocking the cool.  And me, rocking the red, old man face.

Here is my mother standing in front of the house with me as a wee babe.  (Is she wearing a robe?)

Anyway, it’s easy for me to become super nostalgic about this house.  Kinda funny, it seems it is easy for my friends to become nostalgic about this place because they kinda feel like they “grew up” in too.  When I posted this picture on my personal Facebook page of the moving truck out in front of the house a few weeks back – I got about 25 sweet responses.  And several texts and emails with sad faces and “oh, how I will miss that house” notes.  I was so touched.

My parents moved into the house in their 30s and joined a bustling neighborhood of other 30-somethings with young children and more children on the way.  There were built-in neighborhood babysitters.  Well worn bike routes, neighborhood rules (always “be home by the time the street lights come on!”), passageways scoped out in the alleys and everyone knew the older couples that would give you candy and look the other way when you ran through their backyard.

With this change in our family, it is interesting to look back at the changes in the neighborhood.  All of those 30-something parents with their young children have moved.  First, the children when they grew up and found their legs.  Then the parents when their houses were too big, too much for their needs.  My parents and the other families replaced older folks that’s families changed and grew up and out.  Now, my parents and their friends are being replaced by new families, with young children and more children on the way.

It’s easy for me to get super nostalgic and sappy about these kinds of things.  I miss the house already.  So weird that when I go home to visit my parents next time, I won’t in fact be going “home”.  And, I probably won’t ever go in that house again.  Odd.  My heart says all of that, my head says – your parents need a more manageable circumstance.  One that makes sense for them.  Sadly, this big ol’ house just doesn’t anymore.

I went home to help clean up and clean out.  And as I laid in bed the last night in that house, I thought about what the house wants for it’s new life.   I think it wants to be filled with young people again.  Kids that will run in it’s alleys, climb it’s trees and play in it’s yard.  It wants swing sets, baby pools, bikes and dogs.  It wants to be lively and happy and filled with families from the neighborhood – having drinks and laughs on the porch in the summer.  And trick or treating in the fall.  And, after a long day playing out in the neighborhood, it wants them safe at home….when the street lights come on.

XOXO

%d bloggers like this: