Sunday, January 24, 2010

What I Do When I'm Not Doing Genealogy

Aren't you thankful that Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is hosted by Randy Seavers instead of NBC? Who needs all that drama!! We can always rely on a good time - and no Sunday morning hangover! This week's mission (which I hope everyone has decided to accept is:

"Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc."

I'm a born-again stay at home Mom ... only in this chapter of my life, I am enjoying my role as Mom to adult children. Our oldest son (soon to be 36) and our beautiful daughter-in-law live in Michigan's Upper Penisula; son's #2 (age 33) and #3 (age 31) live nearby which allows for a lot of time to tell them how much their Mom loves them.

Photography is an activity I enjoy and share with my husband of almost 38 years, Al. Combined with outdoor activities, I am rarely without my camera.

I love to travel .... I have been fortunate to have made several trips to England and Scotland with my favorite traveling companion - my mother. Memories of each trip never fail to bring a smile to my face. It is a rare moment when I am in front of the camera so photo's such as the one below - taken at (one of) our favorite restaurants in London, Pont de la Tour, are special.

Dogs - like genealogy and family history research - has taken on a life of its own. From the moment I laid my hands on my first field bred English cocker spaniel, I knew they would always be a part of my life. It was also my introduction to the world of dog behavior and training. We purchased Casey from Badger Kennels in 1991 which was the start, as they say, of a beautiful friendship. Jim became my mentor, introducing me to upland bird hunting, something my husband had always enjoyed but now we added a merry little cocker to the hunting team. I will always be grateful for Jim sharing his wealth of knowledge on dog behavior and helping me understand the order of the pack. Our lives have been forever changed by each one of the cockers who have come into our live, each one unique and a joy to train and work with. The Anahar line was established in Scotland by Denis and Dorothy Douglas; having several of his dogs earn the title of Field Trial Champions. Now in their 80s, Denis and Dorothy have graciously opened up their home in Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire to Mom and I on several of our trips. Sixteen years after our first introduction to the Anahar cockers, we continue to work with Badger Kennels to keep the Anahar line of cockers going. Our son Jeff took the Anahar line in a new direction when, at his mother's insistance, he entered his dog Riley in a Dock Dog event. Proving little dogs can fly, Riley held the #2 position in the nation for dogs 17" and under, two years ago placing 7th at the national event.

                                                                              Photographer: Al Scherwinski

When the entire family gets together, a bit of dog hair in your potato salad is to be expected. In 2009 we lost two of our beloved dogs - matriarch, Emma (second from the left) at the age of 14 and her 12-year old girl, Lucy (far right). Seen in the photo below with my nieces, Alissa and Becky, is our son's Flat-Coated Retriever who is convinced she is one of the cockers.

When I'm not filling up my digital card and computer with photographs or running Camp Cocker - I am involved with the D.A.R. The Daughters of the American Revolution is a volunteer woman's service organization dedicated to historical preservation, education and patriotism. I made my application on John Space, who served from the state of New Jersey. John was a descendent of my mother's father's line. After informing my Mom we were making our application to DAR, she has enthusiastically added "Daughter" to her life description.

While it seemed as if helping others with their membership application and genealogy was a perfect fit for me in DAR - I have really enjoyed exercising my creative side. I am the editor of our chapter newsletter (which of course allows me a venue for my photographs as well as a chance to share my love of nature and silent sports). During the past state administration I served as editor of the state newsletter, created a monthly e-letter for the state regent, created all the handbooks for state events, magazine ad's ... if it looks like public relations and media, I have a hand in it. I also played a role in our state regent's successful campaign for the national office of Vice President General in 2009.

During this time, I produced two full size, full color calendars that were sold to benefit the State Regent's project. I was especially proud of the last calendar which was dedicated to our veterans. Between the State Regent and I, we were able to assemble our special family relics that spanned four generations of military service to our country for the cover shot.

Dubbed "the Daughter with the camera," I'm known for catching those moments that are not the standard "stand and smile" photographs - such as the petal perfect butter rosettes on our table during the State Officer Dinner.

Finding beauty in the ordinary and sharing my love of nature - passed on to me by my grandfather, shared with my husband and children - is what helps define who I am and keeps me centered when I'm not tracking down those elusive ancestors.

Copyright (c) 2010 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski


Randy Seaver said...

Thanks for the little look into your real life. Withp ictures too! Cool.

All the best -- Randy

Deci said...

Thank you Cindy for the encouragement on my DAR application and the useful information. And thank you for your blog. Deci


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