early work, fall colors begin

c. 1968 ~ Barbara’s early genealogy work

One thing about staying home during the pandemic is having gobs of time to sort through all the family stuff I’ve been grumbling about for years. The other day I discovered the above chart, created by me when I was eleven years old!

When people see how passionate I am about family history they often ask how long I’ve been researching my tree. “For as long as I can remember,” is my usual reply. Well, now I have proof I was doing it at least since age eleven. 🙂

Looking at this made me smile because it has so many mistakes, mostly the spellings of some of my cousins’ names. And using nicknames where I wasn’t sure of the full name. But I did the best I could after interviewing my parents. No dates. I was keenly interested in the relationships.

After I found this chart and drifted down memory lane for awhile, Tim suggested we go for a drive up in Ledyard because one of his friends said the trees were starting to show their fall colors. It was a beautiful Sunday drive! Please enjoy a little glimpse of our autumn. I have a feeling because of the drought it might go by too quickly…

9.27.20 ~ above photos taken along the roads in Ledyard, Connecticut

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
~ Pablo Neruda
(The Poetry of Pablo Neruda)

Local COVID-19 update:
Ledge Light Health District is tracking an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in southeastern Connecticut. People are letting their guards down. We decided to try a take-out order on Monday — it was delicious — and then heard this news and decided we won’t be doing that again. Numbers are now higher than they were in April. People are gathering and not following protocols.

LLHD recorded 60 new cases during the week of Sept. 19-25 and another 43 new cases this weekend alone. Those numbers compare to a low point of five new cases a week in mid-August.

New London County now has 1,959 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 14 people are in the hospital and 115 have lost their lives. That’s 339 new cases and 7 more in the hospital since September 9 when I last reported. We were startled to see our part of the state the new area of increased concern on the news. Living in our bubble has become a comfortable routine yet this is raging all around us. It’s unsettling. A reminder that we’re doing all this staying home for a reason.

On Tuesday we decided to take another leaf peeping drive, as it was too humid for a walk. The weather people said that the colors are coming two weeks early because of the drought so we might be headed up to the Quiet Corner of Connecticut sooner than planned for our autumn drive. Still a lot of yellows for now but we did see a few rust and orange leaves…

Lantern Hill, elevation 491′ (150m), North Stonington, Connecticut
9.29.20 ~ Maple Lane Farms, Preston, Connecticut
9.29.20 ~ along NW Corner Rd, Preston
9.29.20 ~ along Cossaduck Hill Rd, North Stonington

We are under a gale warning today as we get some badly needed rain. Waiting to see how many leaves will be left on the trees tomorrow!

in the thrall of winter’s solstice

12.7.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.7.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Because I am an early bird and a creature of habit, every morning I lay out in little trays our morning prescription meds (4 for Tim and 3 for me) and vitamins. A couple of days ago I suddenly realized that I had just taken most of Tim’s pills and vitamins. The shock paralyzed me for a few moments. Am I losing my mind??? For the rest of the day I worried about the effect his pills would have on me – one of them was definitely just for men – and worried about my brain’s increasing inability to pay attention. A few days later now and I’m still here and breathing so evidently no lasting harm done.

12.19.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.19.11 ~ Groton, Connecticut

I’ve always been too easily startled and confused. And like most dreamers I do spend an inordinate amount of time living in my head. (One reason I was a sympathetic fan of the J.D. character on “Scrubs.”) But this latest episode was most unsettling. And I can’t even remember what thoughts were distracting me when it happened.

Mid-December is thus one of the most positively magical times of the year. Things are possible during December’s darkening days that are not even dreamt of at other spokes of the Wheel of the Year. We should use this magic as a vehicle for deepening our awareness of the world around us and preparing our souls for the ongoing pilgrimage of our lives. A seeker of Wisdom in the thrall of Winter’s Solstice should consider their celebrations as a spiritual pilgrimage or even a quest, during which, through the disciplined use of the spiritual imagination, he or she may encounter one’s own truest self along the way and in communion with Spirit.
~ Montague Whitsel
(The Fires of Yule)

Years ago in therapy I learned that if one feels weird on a particular day for no apparent reason it is sometimes helpful to see if it is an anniversary of some event that has left unresolved feelings lurking around in the subconscious mind. I didn’t have to dig too far to figure it out… But after figuring it out I had to deal with the feelings of regret and sadness and the fact that some situations don’t lend themselves to being neatly settled once and for all. Collateral damage from my spiritual quest… But deepening my awareness of the world around me, and inside my head, has helped.

12.11.11 ~ Preston, Connecticut
12.11.11 ~ Preston, Connecticut

No kids around this year to decorate the Tree so Tim cut a small one and I decorated it myself. Tim’s been working 17 days straight and I’ve been trying out vegan holiday recipes for our Solstice Party. Still haven’t completely settled on a menu. And we’ll be going up to see Dad and Auntie for Christmas. So it will be a subdued holiday season, but that’s OK, I’m content with the blessings we have.

12.11.11 ~ Preston, Connecticut
shake, then bundle ~ 12.11.11 ~ Preston, Connecticut