When you choose to marry a Southern man who was raised in rural Georgia, you could get a guy who has a great work ethic, clever hands, piles of stories that would make any preacher jealous, and some mighty good sayings which make great points in few words. The kind of sayings that stick with you like Bible verses. You can’t shake them off.
It is part of my story is that I was lucky enough to marry such a man. His name is John Cox.
One of Johnny's favorite sayings is, "You let everybody know your business you ain't got no business." Which simply means some stuff in your life isn't meant to be blabbed about all over creation.
Despite that piece of good wisdom, we live in the days of instant communication where, at times, many of us probably overshare. For example, I have a small group of facebook friends and I let all of them know what terrific human beings my grandkids are; along with what the sky looks like when we take a walk on our beach. In turn, I love reading similar posts from family and friends about the enjoyment and happiness they are getting out of the things and people that fill their lives. This helps balance out the overwhelming contention and downright nastiness of almost all our political leaders; not to mention the "talking heads" on media competing with each other to tell us what they think we should believe.
Always keeping Johnny’s saying in mind, along with the known pitfalls of all this communication, why on earth would I choose to write a blog?
The answer to that question lies in a pile of letters my great grandfather and his family wrote to each other. Through those handwritten letters I have learned about their lives; what was hard, sad, ordinary and joyful to them. Because of these letters those ancestors now feel like real people not just names on tombstones or in census reports. I want to try and leave that kind of digital and printed record for the generations following us. So great grandchildren or great nieces and nephews have a sense of the people we were, and what it was like to grow up in the middle of the last century. I want to look at why my family with its deep strong roots firmly anchored in Pennsylvania and New York since before the revolution; have in just one generation, scattered across a host of other states and two countries.
Letter to Daniel Bush December 1844
I'm also spurred on to write a blog because looking up through the branches of my family tree there are just five living people now older than myself. That is both shocking and scary. Many days I feel like a thirty year old trapped in a seventy-two year old body who has just realized that the end is closer than I ever thought it would be.
I have many questions I delayed asking my parents or grandparents because imagining a life where they wouldn't always be there to answer did not seem conceivable. But despite some lack of information and detail, I want to tell what I know of their stories. I'm going to attempt to write chapters which hopefully will be more in depth than a facebook post. I plan to share a family recipe or memories brought back by watching the ocean at sunrise. I want to tell of how my beliefs today inform my life; or how it felt to downsize and dispose of just about everything we had accumulated over a lifetime to move away to a tiny home. I'll certainly share some of the genealogical research so it doesn’t get lost. Seventy plus decades of living life ought to give me plenty of good material to muse about. (I love that word "muse". It is a good 19th century word and gives a sense of actually thinking about what is being said.)
Being honest, I write because I enjoy writing and it gives me time with my mostly happy memories. It is the privilege of advanced age to reminisce and it is privilege I’m going to gladly embrace. I hope you'll drop in on regular visits.
Coming up... Why weren't we Methodist, Lutheran or Quaker?
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