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The Questions You Wished You’d Asked: Writing Challenge

PART ONE This is both a Writing Challenge and an exploration. Please complete Part One before reading Part Two. For this Assignment you need to make a list of questions you wished you had asked or were able to ask, a relative who is now dead or unable to be interviewed. What I want you […]

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Family History or Family Fiction?: Exposing Secrets

Paul Chiddicks is my muse. Paul publishes popular articles in the UK version of Family Tree Magazine and also authors the Blog The Chiddicks Family Tree. He often writes something that is the impetus for my own blog posts. Such was the case this morning when I read his post Ethical Dilemmas and How To […]

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Just Say NO to Favorites! Writing challenge

I can’t be the only one who cringes everytime I hear the word favorite. No offense intended, but asking me for my favorite ancestor or heirloom is like asking a mother to choose a favorite child. Reminds me of those moral dilemma stories they gave us in high school, where you have to pick who […]

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What Is It About Boxes? Writing Challenge

I am rather sure I was a cat in a previous life. Don’t all cats love boxes? box. noun: a container with a flat base and sides, typically square or rectangular and having a lid. I love boxes—all sorts of boxes. Big cardboard appliance boxes, the kind we made into forts or houses or castles. […]

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Semper Fi: The Secrets They Kept

We ask our young men and woman to don the uniform and go off to fight wars in foreign lands. We mouth the words, “Thank you for your service”, but how much do we know of their losses? The wounds that we can see and the many we can’t see. The loss of friends, comrades, […]

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And What About Frank?: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 37

Not everyone in our family trees are people we admire. Sometimes they are unsavory characters that people want to bury the details of—but I think we need to know about the good bad and the ugly. Here’s my follow-up piece to Lulu’s diary. This is Lulu’s husband Franklin “Frank” Stewart MOSIER my great grandfather. Frank […]

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Comfort Laps: Writing Challenge

Our reminiscences are important parts of who we are. As we stitch them into narratives they connect us to our ancestors, sometimes in unexpected ways. I urge my readers to not shy away from writing about uncomfortable and challenging topics. My mother, for reasons that remain somewhat of a mystery, did not like to be […]

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Writing Challenge: What Did You Want to be When You Grew Up?

This is a common question we ask young people all the time. It is a question fraught with pitfalls. As a high school counselor, I devised a strategy for my students. I told them “Just figure out a school and some major or aspiration you ‘might’ want to accomplish.” Adults want nothing more than to […]

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The Circle Game: Loss and Healing

Dear Readers you may be wondering where I have been. I have been wondering that too. If one has lived a half century or more one has endured loss. Sometimes the losses are monumental like death or war, and sometimes so subtle we may hardly notice them. Then one day you wake-up to the passage […]

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A Love Letter to Young Genealogists

Dear Young Genealogist, Once upon a time I was you. I always had an interest in the past and unlike many of my peers I enjoyed hanging out with old people (gray haired retirees). I liked their stories and their points of view. I tried to imagine living through life without cars and planes and […]

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