Category: Genealogy

The Christmas Letter – 2014

Posted December 13th, 2014
The Christmas Letter - 2014

Mercy me—is the year almost ended? 2014 gave us adventure, romance, challenges and sorrow. Suspended as I am among so many feelings, none has gravity sufficient to pull me close. What consumes me now are the tasks ahead from collecting the turkey from Rumbleway Farm where our bird spent the best part of a year…

Down to New England 6: A Darning Surprise

Posted July 29th, 2014
Down to New England 6: A Darning Surprise

I just wasn’t expecting it. We were on the lower level of the Yale University Art Gallery, down among the American decorative arts, just poking about, trying to see a few more things on our way out of the building and out of New Haven. As we veered from a period room into a rather…

Down to New England 5: Monuments, Memorials and Memories

Posted June 28th, 2014
Down to New England 5: Monuments, Memorials and Memories

This was the branch that most frightened me, the one most perfectly positioned to do irreparable harm to the monument. Lower and smaller branches had already been removed, opening space around the slender column surmounted by its neoclassical urn. Four of us—two on the ground, two in the tree—studied the weight of the limb, its…

Down to New England 3: Jerry and Doffy

Posted June 24th, 2014
Down to New England 3: Jerry and Doffy

When last I saw him, the  blue and lavender and green plaid cotton shirt Jerry was wearing made his bleached-denim eyes bright. The reason to travel to Damariscotta, Maine, was to have more time with Jerry before he loses his way in Time, to have dinner with Doffy and make sure that she is not…

Matthew Adelberg: Lineage

Posted January 29th, 2014
Matthew Adelberg: Lineage

Matthew Adelberg turned twenty-one a few days past; when I look at the artist who once was a student in my art history classroom, I see something closer to the boy at his bar mitzvah. This exhibition at the Dadian Gallery at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC is Adelberg’s first solo gallery exhibition, and…

Sea Cloud 2: Swells and Sails

Posted January 21st, 2014
Sea Cloud 2: Swells and Sails

“The engine drives the boat through the water,” Peter Warwick, the naval specialist on the cruise said. “With the sails up, she moves with the water.” The feeling, the difference, was evident even to a landlubber like me. Last night as we sailed toward St. Barts, a squall blew up. I discovered this only because…

Sea Cloud 1: Bon Voyage

Posted January 20th, 2014
Sea Cloud 1: Bon Voyage

We passengers walk across decks and down hallways as though lost in the embrace of drink. The swells of the Caribbean as we traveled from Antigua to St. Barthélemy shift me from side to side, back to front, a spherical motion that I haven’t quite mastered yet. This is what Aunt Helen felt in 1934…

The Christmas Letter – 2012

Posted December 12th, 2012
The Christmas Letter - 2012

In the waning months of my “Year of Present Living” we finally got to Lithuania. Both of us acquired a whole bunch of new cousins in 2012, as well. That’s what happens when you shake those family trees with vigor and a little manic enthusiasm. Our dinner table, however, can always accommodate just one more…

Of Time and Family 4: Young James and His Katie Wed

Posted September 3rd, 2012
Of Time and Family 4: Young James and His Katie Wed

It wasn’t the wedding my heart yearns for. That wedding must wait until my Tattooed Boy is wrapped in love by some young woman who loves him and his family the way he will no doubt love her and hers. No, this was the nuptials of Young James and His Katie, friends since Middle School,…

Of Time and Family 3: Barking up the Wrong Family Tree?

Posted August 29th, 2012
Of Time and Family 3: Barking up the Wrong Family Tree?

In genealogy, I have found, it is always easier to see a connection than prove one, to imagine a family than establish one, to design a tree rather than allow it to grow. When we attempted to track down my Dear One’s Lithuanian progenitors, for instance, an administrator at the National Archives in Vilnius sniffed…