I love ornaments. Without the ornaments, a Christmas tree is…just a tree! Growing up, our family had a hodge podge of ornaments-some glass, some paper made by my sisters or my own hand from school, plaster, etc. It didn’t really matter-it was beautiful and it was magical.
One ornament stood out among them all. An antique Victorian ballerina. I don’t know what it was about the ornament that so entranced me but I looked forward to seeing her on that Christmas tree every year. My mom remembers her from when she was a little girl. When Mom married, Grandma passed it down to her.
Considering how much this ornament meant to Mom, I was surprised beyond words when for my first Christmas with my wife, I opened a box to find all the ornaments that I had grown up with as a child – including that ballerina. Tears running down my face, I carefully touched each ornament. It was possibly the best Christmas present that I’ve ever received.
We proudly hung these ornaments on our tree for the next several years until we moved back to Montana following my medical discharge from the Air Force due to disability. We moved into student housing so Kara could go to school. While there, someone went through the shared storage room and stole all our Christmas decorations including the priceless ornaments. Not only did the ballerina disappear but ornaments that my Grandmother crocheted. Ornaments for my kid’s first Christmases, their favorite Disney characters, etc. Invaluable, priceless heirlooms gone in the blink of an eye.
Our family is still trying to find ornaments for our tree after almost 5 years. Maybe I’m just looking for that magical ornament, the one that stands above the rest.
While I’m trying to reduce my overall clutter, there are a few items I would dearly love for Christmas. I’ve done my research on these items, read the reviews, etc. On to the list.
Flip-Pal mobile scanner – this is an amazing device. It allows scanning of scrapbooks, albums, etc. While the device is small, the included software is not. The one thing I absolutely love about it is the portability. I can have it beside me on the couch so I can scan those old family photos!
Magic Wand Portable scanner – you might be asking yourself why another scanner. I see the above scanner more for photos and such. This would be excellent for documents, books, manuals, walls, etc. If you haven’t seen the videos on this device, you should! The sky is the limit.
The Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 Book for Digital Photographers – it does deal with photography and might seem a little strange for genealogy purposes. One question: How many old photos do you have that need work? I have lots. I’ve used an awesome restoration service that I’ll be posting about this upcoming week but that’s around $20 per photo! I need to learn how to do this myself. By the way, Photoshop Elements 9 is selling at Costco for the amazing price of $50 due to an instant $30 rebate! Zoinks!
Genealogy conference – it’s been a little dream of mine for a few years to go to Salt Lake City in December during their big conferences. All the Christmas lights, carriage rides and much needed genealogy help!
My ultimate gift, ultimate fantasy would be a trip for my wife and I to the Netherlands. I have so many living relatives there: my grandfather’s brother, Dievertje, Henk & Elso and their wives. These are my roots. I would like to go before I lose the use of my legs to walk the streets that my father walked when he was a little boy.
One of the blogging prompts today was taking a simple Halloween quiz. Since it’s been a while that I last posted, it seemed the easiest to start.
The results of the quiz are:
You See Halloween as Scary
The scariest thing on Halloween is you! You definitely don’t want any kids in costumes crossing your path – and you’re willing to scare away any who do.
You are an overachiever and quite popular. You’d save the world if you could.
Your inner child is creative, patient, and whimsical.
You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.
You’re prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind… even if you don’t admit it.
You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.
Wow. I guess my mood was bad this year! I do see some problems. While I have come to see the darker side of humanity and those that want to destroy America’s freedoms, I don’t hate mankind. Being scared out of my mind does not sound that fun to me.
The one I most agree with is that I am traditional. I like things simple and comfortable. Want to know a secret? Don’t tell anyone! If I could get a Star Trek uniform (First Contact version), I would definitely wear it every year (most likely, more often than that!!)
Interested in knowing your Halloween personality? Go to What’s Your Halloween Personality? I’d love to hear your results!
From genealogy database:
Randall M DODDE was born on 30 Jan 1944. He died of suicide on 15 Oct 1992 at the age of 48 in Conklin, Ottawa, Michigan, United States. Suffered from severe depression. He was buried at McNitt Cemetery in Chester Township, Ottawa, Michigan, United States (Plot: Section A, 37-f). Randall served in the military U.S. Navy.
Thanks to Find A Grave for providing the grave marker!
I found this site last week while doing a search for Vogel Center Cemetery as I mentioned in another post. I was amazed by the level of detail and the sheer amount of data. Digging further reveals that Histopolis has over 125,000 links to genealogy sites. Um, that’s alot! Their database includes over 125,000 cemeteries and information on over 200,000 towns, cities, states, etc. Amazing.
It’s easy to use. Give it a try. You’ll want to automatically add it to your favorites!