Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Family Fun Times

There's a bit of symbolism in this photo.  Galen from Chicago is swinging from a limb on a Scotch pine tree in our front yard.  Cousins from the west whom he has never met have swung from that same tree over the years.

So, I would call it the "family tree," and that's pretty cool because Galen represents a part of our family tree which only came to light about 20 years ago, thanks to the wonders of technology. 

My grandmother's name was Lillian (Lily) Short Halter.  We have visitors this week from the Short family in Chicago, and it has been a blast getting to know each other better and spending time putting the pieces together on family-related puzzles. 

I spent some time yesterday afternoon telling Mari and her children what I knew of my mother's story, which involved her losing contact with the Chicago Short family for most of her life.  

The reconnection occurred when she was about 79.  

Prior to that, I had posted some information about my mother and her sister on a genealogy website, hoping for some reconnection.  I think the information remained unnoticed on the site for a couple of years.  

Then, one day in Chicago a lady named Karen was surfing through information on that same genealogy site. 

As I recall from Karen's initial story, as her eyes landed on my post, she practically went through the ceiling with the excitement of finding a long-lost branch in the family tree.  

Yes, Virginia and her sister June had remained mysteries to the Chicago Short family for decades, all because their mother Lillian Short Halter died in Wallace in 1924 when Virginia was just 3 years old.  

After Lily's death, our mother, her sister and their dad moved to the Trinity River area of Northern California.  

Later, when her aunt from Michigan came and retrieved her and her sister, Mother did most of her schooling even through college in Catholic boarding schools in Texas and Michigan. 

Because of this situation and because she was under the guardianship on the other side of the family, she lost contact and knew little or no information about her Chicago maternal relatives.

So, when that genealogy information about Mother and her sister June met with the eyes of Karen in Chicago, things happened fast, opening up a whole new and fascinating dimension of the family tree for those of us in Idaho.

We have since had the good fortune to connect with several of those family folks, here in Sandpoint, in Austin, Tex. and in Chicago. 

It's been a great ride and continues to get even better this week as Mari and her family spend time with us. 

Of course, another important family tree was involved with yesterday's visit when Mari, Galen and Signe joined the Lovestead Lodgepole Society.

We'll continue the fun with family today.  While Galen and his dad are skiing the slopes of Schweitzer, Mary, Signe and I will do some sight seeing.  Later in the day, we'll all go to the Colburn ranch where they can visit with more family and enjoy petting a horse or two. 

Great fun, and so meaningful. 

Happy Wednesday. 

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