Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Since we were having Easter dinner here in two days, I thought it might be time to put away the Christmas cards. I take one last look, keep the letters and photos (which after 55 years is now a huge box for my kids to go through when I graduate to the next phase) and toss the rest.
Three things I have to pass on to you.
1) NEVER send cards with sparkles! My goodness. What a mess. My couch and jeans were covered.
2) Please, always write your last name!!! By the time I sort and throw the cards out, the envelopes are long gone and I get confused by all the Nancys, Jims, and Johns.
3) Third, I was rereading a handwritten note from my cousin Sharon and since she is (I assume) a U.S. citizen but has lived in Canada since her marriage 55+ years ago to Angus, she is paying attention to our election, but is seeing Canadian news sources. She writes: “Only Cruz and Trump use the words radical Muslims. I just heard Islam may not qualify as a religion under the Constitution. It only contains 15% religion and the rest is political ideology, which could take you anywhere even violence, depending on who is running the service even having you pledge allegiance to them. Maybe there is something going on here.” I had heard something similar—that it is a cultural ideology not a religion.I know this doesn’t sound like a Christmas greeting, but she also included her travels, health report and weather for Toronto. And it is all handwritten!
Then going through the cards I found notes I hadn't responded to, so I phoned Ann, a local call, who had scribbled something about genealogy that really puzzled me, but she was referring to a chapter in a book from 2003 that I had contributed. Stories of Ohio; tales my grandparents told me, by Dorothy Briss.
I had a note from my college roommate, Dora, and attempted to e-mail her but it bounced, and I looked her up on Google and phoned her in Boston. We had a great chat. Among the cards were some that had been returned to me that I had sent relatives in a nursing home years ago, which included an address for a cousin my aunt had requested. So I googled her, and found out she had died in late December. She and I had corresponded for years about genealogy, but I'd never met her. She's been a Church of the Brethren missionary in Nigeria, and one of the memorial suggestions was for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, because that was the area where she served. Marianne Michael was 98.