Family History (in 2 parts)

Family History (part 1)


He was a Scottish man,

the father of my mother,

I never knew him (dropped dead on the job, heart attack, age 70),

but I heard tales

of his travels far & wide,

from Scotland to New Zealand, 

his mother & brother in tow,

trying to survive with ranching, from New Zealand to Mexico, 

still ranching, 

from Mexico to California,

still ranching (for awhile, then took a job as a customs agent for the railroad).

He met grandma (a German fräulein) in Chihuahua

& wed her in the States,

mother & brother still in tow,

much to grandma's woe--

they treated her like a servant, she said.

She (grandma) left Germany for Mexico following the first big war, following her brothers, 

there was gold to be found in Mexico!

She didn't find gold (that was the terrain of men) but she found grandpa,

& he adored her, the story goes.

So here I am,

a California girl,

by way of Scotland, New Zealand, Germany, & Mexico on my mother's side.

On my father's side,

well, that's a story for another day.

Qué vida loca!


Family History (part 2)


Papa, a young clean shaven man, left Québec on his bicycle

& rode to New York, 

seeking adventure & freedom

from Lord knows what, he never told me & I didn't think to ask until it was too late.

He somehow ended up in California & fell in love with an auburn-haired lady with a sprinkle of freckles on her cheeks.

He took up sailing & grew a glorious beard & joyfully sang French Canadian songs to us as we glided in his little red & white sailboat.

Mom wouldn't move with him back to Québec she said because it was too cold & too much work to raise 5 kids who she couldn't send outside to play without layers & layers of warmth on frozen snow days.

So Papa was satisfied with periodic trips 3,000 miles across the land piled into the station wagon, camping along the way, from California to Québec.

He gave each of his kids French names & sent each of us to Québec for one year to live with relatives & go to a French-speaking school.

Alors, a little bit of Québec lives in us.

Vive le Québec!


◄ Waiting for Heaven

Up and Away ►


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Mon 30th Jan 2023 03:35

Merci Uilleam! Impressed with your upside down exclamation point for Spanish. Just remembered that punctuation rule & figured out how to make the upside down one on my cell phone keyboard. ¡Gracias!

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 29th Jan 2023 09:18

What a story!
Also sprach la plume de ma tante!
Vive le Québec - et la différence!
¡Qué vida loca indeed😊!

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