|Unidentified family - from Bill Bean collection|
How much do you love history? How much do you enjoy delving into genealogy? I’ve found that those who love this stuff really love this stuff. Simple as that.
Perhaps, then, it is forgiveable for me to wander beyond the lines of my own tree and stumble upon the delights of other family histories. To me, there is something so compelling about knowing about those who make up your family line.
After Saturday’s post, and after driving to the airport yesterday to pick up my husband from last week’s business trip, I was reminded of another airport scenario that so stunned my sense of family.
It was Christmastime, granted, so the travel crowd was different from the usual Monday through Friday set. Our family was getting a late start on our holiday travel because, at that time, my husband had a job that required some work on weekends and holidays. You guessed it—despite having a bright-eyed little daughter all aglow with the wonder of Christmas, Dad had to put in twelve hours on the job. And so, here we were, two days later, waiting at the airport for our flight back east to spend what we could salvage of our Christmas with family.
While waiting, I got a real education in what other people do for their holidays. Clue: it seldom involves family.
We seem so taken with the holiday trips that take us away from family. The excitement of going to a bedazzled getaway destination far supersedes the concept of a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving at grandmother’s table.
Oh, I can understand the little infractions—going to the lake with some friends for Labor Day, for instance—but how little we value time with family.
Perhaps for those whose families are not spread to the four corners of civilization, the scenario might be different. After all, if mom and dad live down the street, you can see them any old time. But I don’t think every case I overheard at the airport that day represented such a situation. And I have since met a lot of people who don’t even know the names of their own grandparents, let alone spend holidays with them.
I wonder if, in reflection on this situation, there is something that rises up in me, wanting to be fascinated not only with my own mysterious family history, but deeply yearning to instill that same love in the hearts of other people for their own families. If so, perhaps that explanation may serve as my penance for those still puzzling over why I would want to wander from my own family’s path to explore the wonders of another’s family history.