Thursday, August 21, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Overstreet puts into words the mystery of why my taste in music embraces such a wide variety of genre and artists. Having been influenced at an early age by my father's love of Frank Sinatra and music of the Big Band era, during my teenage years I would have never admitted that fact outside of the confines of my yard. With age comes, hopefully, wisdom and I can bring Frank, Rosemary and Glen out of my adolescent closet and add them to my list of my 'salad days.' However, when I replay the highlight reel of the 1960s and early '70s the following 'vinyl' lp's come to mind:
#1 Beatles White Album
This album was such a force during the time of its release that the English department at James Madison Memorial HS added The White Album to its curriculum. Dissecting the words to Rocky Raccoon remains as one of my favorite class projects.
Text: Copyright © 2008 by Cindy Scherwinski
Friday, August 15, 2008
Somewhere in my library of treasured research books, buried within the chapters and paragraphs is a sentence that forever changed my approach to family history research. While I cannot recall the exact quote, or give credit to the author, in essence it said that every family needs someone designated as the Keeper of Everything. Up until that moment, I viewed myself as someone who's hobby was genealogy. Now I came to the realization that I was more than just the person that everyone tried to avoid at family reunions - the cousin/sister/aunt ("don't ask her how we are related!") chasing people down asking for family event places and wanting to know who has the personal effects of great Aunt Ruby. I was now The Keeper of Everything in my family. This designation includes recording for posterity, the 'isms of our family. My father's contributions will fill an entire chapter all by itself.
But without a doubt, one of my favorite family phrases was uttered one summer evening by my son, Jeff.
It was apparent from a very early age that Jeff had inherited his Grandmother Bergeron and his father's artistic talents. There was no detail too small that would escape Jeff's attention, eventually making its way onto his drawing paper. I have always wished I could see the world through his eyes; I'm convinced that the colors are brighter and the miniscule loom large. To this day, I treasure time spent with Jeff. We share a love of music and all things celtic and he shows me the delights of this world that I might otherwise miss. During the summer of Jeff's tenth birthday, he found a Blue-spotted Salamander and kept the discovery to himself until he shared his secret with me but only after I promised not to tell anyone else (aka his brothers). Jeff wanted to keep the intrusion on the salamander to a minimum to insure that he (and I) could observe it whenever we wanted - which we did until the first frost appeared in early autumn.
If memory serves me correct, one of my favorite Jeff-ism's, appeared to have come out of the blue one evening at the dinner table, all though I'm sure he had been mulling this particular thought over for quite some time.
What followed was a painfully detailed explaination that I viewed as the perfect opportunity to share my love of genealogy with my family. More than likely it was at this moment my children came to the realization that they should never ask the line of descent from any name, living or dead, that does not found familiar to them without expecting a long dissertation.
My delight in enlightening my family to the wonders of genealogy was met with a lot of blank stares, that deer in the headlights look I find oh so often at those family reunions. What seemed obvious to me - Grandma Bergeron is Grandma Space's daughter - just wasn't registering with Jeff. In the middle of yet one more way to explain why Grandma Bergeron was Grandma Space's child, Jeff interrupted me with the plea ...
Is it any wonder Art Linkletter made a bundle on "Kids Say The Darnest Things."
Monday, August 11, 2008
Photographer: Al Scherwinski
As a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, I look forward to the changing of the seasons. The move from winter to spring to summer to autumn and back again cannot be marked off any one specific day as we do a birthday or a holiday. It is the rhythm of life. The change from summer to fall is more than just a date on the calendar - it begins as a subtle, oh-my-gosh-when-did-that-happen change in the air. The sun makes its appearance a few minutes later each morning, the color of the late afternoon sun sets the stage for spectacular show of light at the end of the day. The sound of a cicada might go unnoticed among the crickets and the nighthawks - all signs of the Dog Days of Summer.
Sirius, the Dog Star, made its appearance, traveled across the sky and set, leading our ancestors to believe the star's heat, together with the sun, was the cause of the hot and muggy temperatures during late summer. The term Dogs Days conjures up images of white hot sunshine beating down on a parched landscape without a breath of wind. Dogs - prone to rabies were considered evil and possessed by devils - appeared irritable on the hot summer days.
But was it really due to the summers heat? Could it be that our ancestors misunderstood the lesson our four legged companions were trying to teach us?
Dog Days - I think the world would be a better place if we looked at our world from the eyes of our cocker spaniel's. To them it does not matter if 'the other side of the door' holds sunshine, rain or snow - the joy of being in just this moment is a lesson we can all learn from. How can you resist their invitation to join them in this wonderful dog day?
If I knew this was my last day on earth ... would I spend it cleaning and worrying about meeting deadlines ... or would I step outside - in the rain, snow, sun or dead of night - and enjoy a Dog Day?