27 February 2007

Being a Director

Shortly after we moved here, I was asked to become a Director of our homeowner's association, which I did. At that time, the homeowners had just taken over responsibility from the builder. I have served on the Board of Directors almost all of the years since. Recently, I checked on the past rosters to see how many people have been Directors. We are a community of 72 homes, of which 10 current residents have served. Some homeowners have lived here longer than I, but have refused to get involved except to complain about everything from the water temperature in the spa and pool to not enough gravel in their yard to their tree didn't get trimmed. It's amazing to see how petty some people can become.

Well, they'll have to get along without me to beat up on. Tomorrow is my last day as Director, as I have turned in my resignation. Yep, I'm done! For good! I've climbed out of the barrel. And I'm willing to bet that none of the complainers will volunteer to take my place.

16 February 2007

Chasing Ancestors

Grandma and I subscribe to Ancestors.com and use it just about every day. They have census records indexed up to 1930, and have begun transcribing ship's lists. I've been looking for the ships that brought my grandmother and grandfather here from Germany. My grandmother was about 7 when she, her mother and 2 sisters arrived; my grandfather was about 16 when he arrived accompanied, I believe, by his 13 year old brother. One clue is that the census records list the year they said they immigrated. To check the information, I logged onto Ancestry.com to find their records. Well, it wasn't that easy. First of all, they aren't indexed under their surname of Goebel; in 1910 and 1920, they used Gabel. And in the 1930 census, the transcriber listed them as Gorbel; I notified Ancestry about that error. (The one sister was listed in one record as Mangler, instead of Manzler.) To find the Gabels/Gorbels, I looked for their next door neighbor's record, then went directly to the image of the census sheet.

Now, in 1910, my grandmother said she had arrived in 1884 and her sister said 1882; in 1920, they said 1886 and 1885; in 1930, it was 1884 and 1885. (I'm sure that 1884 is too late, because their mother was married in February; I suspect 1882 is correct.) My grandfather was consistent at 1891, but his brother listed 1892 and 1894.

The ship's list aren't indexed prior to 1890, so I've been looking at the actual images, beginning with December 31, 1882 and working backwards. Right now, I'm back to 07 October 1882. My hope is that Ancestry gets their ship's list indexed before I go much further.

I haven't tried to find my grandfather's ship yet. I'll need to use Gabel and Goebel for his surname, and Heinrich and Henry as his given name. Hopefully, the transcriber will have read the information correctly. And his brother was Martin Heinrich Goebel in Germany, but was Fred Gabel over here.

That's what makes the research so much fun - to work through all the twists and turns to find the correct information.

11 February 2007

Frankie Laine

According to the morning paper, Frankie Laine has died. In the 40s, I went to one of his shows in downtown Rochester. I don't remember much about the show except that, when he was introduced, he came leaping onto the stage. It took him about two giant leaps to get from the wings to center stage.

05 February 2007


I write letters, lots of letters. Everyday. To family, to friends, to my homeowners association, to politicians, to governmental agencies, to the Editor. Letters pro this, that, or the other thing. Letters anti-whatever. Philosophical musings. Poetry. Anecdotes. Family history. You name it, I've written about it.

The only thing is - they're written in my head and not down on paper. So all these words of wisdom rattle around in my skull and only occasionally see the white of paper.

So to all you who decry my lack of correspondence, please note that the grammar is here waiting for release, and someday soon it may break free.

04 February 2007

A Tough Winter

The newspaper reported that January was the coldest since 1979. Just about all of our shrubs have been devastated by the freezing weather, especially the Bougainvilla. I'm anxious to get out there and start trimming the dead branches, but the correct thing to do is sit on one's hands until the new growth starts to sprout. That way, it's easier to determine where to cut. Actually, I'd like to replace all the Bougainvilla with anything that has less debris, like Banksia Rose, or Pyracantha, but Grandma likes the beautiful color.

The FBR Open (golf contest) was delayed the other day because of frost on the course. Must be tough on the golfers to have to sit and wait for Mother Nature.

Daughter Gail called this morning to report that her breast cancer surgery went VERY well, and that her husband had been out clearing the driveway of snow. He has received official notice of his retirement date - April 1 - so they are already listing all the places they'd like to visit.

We think we're out of winter now that the temperature is to hit in the 70s.

It's going to be a good year!