Gone to Texas!

It’s too late now, she’s gone.

Gone like an overwhelming whirlwind of graceful etiquette and disorganized chaos.

At the aeroport, I thought it would be interesting to watch (from a safe distance across the concourse), as Nostalgia joined the weaving, serpentine cue that plodded slowing to the security screening area.

MiLady questioned my reasoning. “Why?”

“She might need bail money, again,” I replied quietly as I watched the disguised Olde Banshee chat it up with the many other travellers around her.

When it was finally her turn to approach the conveyer, a young security officer handed Nostalgia a grey bin.

With a big, warming smile, Gia aptly stuffed her purse, sweater and watch into it, without losing the attention of her fellow travellers still enraptured by her colourful commentary.

FGS2014

 

When it was time for her bin and carry-on bag to proceed through the x-ray machine, my Dear Olde Fossil some how managed to find a final way to embarass me — in a way so innocent that I did not even think of it.

She spun around, looked out over the concourse, spotted us (unfortunately), and then began to jump up and down with one arm waving over her head, as she screeched her typical air-raid-siren wail:

“Helleeeww!”

Alarmed passengers looked for the source of the disturbing commotion, and upon finding the bouncing, black apparation that was Gia, quickly gave her a wide berth in the direction that she was waving — MY direction!

Now, as the concourse was clearing a path wide enough to host a World Cup soccer match, two elderly women were hobbling across the way to the luggage carousels, when one of them noticed the commotion and went wide-eyed.

“Ethel!” the taller woman pointed out to her cane-weilding friend. “Look!”

Ethel looked up at her companion and then squinted towards the security area. “Eh?”

“Over there!” the tall one continued. “It’s Cher, and she’s waving! Quick, let’s wave back!”

Ethel looked again and shook her head, before pulling down her friend’s arm. “That’s not, Cher, Esther,” she said, “She’s that freaky, horror movie hottie, Elvira, that your grandsons kept telling us about!”

“Ohhh,” Esther replied, “Maybe I should take her picture instead, then?”

As Esther fumbled with the camera app on her stupid phone, Ethel said, “Ohh, just hurry up and wave, Esther, she’s leaving!”

MiLady bit her lip while I rolled my eyes, both of us in awe of what we were seeing and hearing.

“Will. You. Wave. Back. To. Her. Already!” my favourite girl said through gritted teeth. “She’s causing a scene.”

I looked over my shoulder and quickly found her: over 40yards away … still jumping … still waving … and still wailing.

And over 200 strangers were pointing at her … taking her picture … and waving back!

It was unbelievable, and I quickly found myself with one arm stretched over my head returning the wave.

And it was at that moment when the jumping stopped, and the waving … and yes, finally, the wailing. Then, without missing a beat, Nostalgia spun back on her heels, followed the young officer’s directions and disappeared from our sight towards the boarding gates.

“She isn’t causing a scene, Dear’st,” I said as we started our walk back to the van. “She’s being Nostalgia.”

Presenting: Nostalgia! (Part 2) #FGS2014

Friday evening, I had to work late. I normally work day shifts on Fridays (so not to miss #genchat), but some unforeseen situations created a viable solution that only I could provide … hence a closing shift.

It was after ten o’clock when I walked through the door. Hungry, tired and sopping wet.

As I prepared to announce my arrival, after shucking my soggy boots, I noticed one body too many in my living room.

MiLady and Paige were talking to unknown female that I could only see from the back.

I quickly reasoned that this young woman was another Gothic friend of Paige’s due to her dark, yet alluring, appearance. She was tall like Morticia Adams with straight black hair that reached almost to the floor! And this young woman’s apparel was equally eye-opening. She wore a dark crimson corset tied with bright-red ribbon. At her waist, a skirt in matching fabric stopped just above her knees. Strangely, there was not a hemmed seam to her dress; what should have been pleats clung like ivy trails to her lithe form.

A fine black lace draped over this unique garment, also to her knees, and covered her bare arms.

Calf-high boots completed her stunning appearance and were laced with matching red ribbon tied at the back and –

[Are those eight-inch stiletto heels?!? I asked myself as I tilted my head sideways to better judge the spike length she was balancing upon.].

MiLady saw my strange head movement and nodded curtly. My eyes widened in silent reply, quickly followed by a shake of my head. I had to apologize for all my staring.

“Sorry, Paige,” I called out sincerely, “I didn’t know one of your friends was visiting.”

“That’s okay,” Paige replied with a big smile.

Paige’s mystery friend giggled.

“Good evening, Dearie,” I announced to the young lady as she slowly turned around. “I’m Paige’s step-father, but you can call me …”

“RABBIT!” an all-too-familiar voice screeched with out-stretched arms, charging forward.

Wide-eyed and caught off-guard, her arms collected and drew me into her chest. I couldn’t breathe!

FGS2014

=======================

When I finally regained consciousness, the Dark Lady was bouncing in front of me, beaming proudly.

“Do you really like it, Rabbit?” she asked like a giddy school girl, as she twirled in slow circles to give me her total look.

The red corset quickly drew one’s attention to her fashion model measurements. The fine black lace that draped over her shoulders, left her neck bare to showcase a large red oval stone upon a thick, black silky ribbon.

Black eyeshadow and eyeliner accented her already dark eyes. Those same eyes that could pierce sharply through you like knives were capable of so much more — they now looked like they could burn!

Her lipstick was shiny, slick, and red … VERY red!

“Rabbit? Rabbit!” she called, waving a hand up and down before my frozen face.

“He’s speechless, Gia,” MiLady countered as my blank expression was still evident of a massive shock.

“Oh,” the strange apparition, that sounded so much like my Dear Olde Banshee, whimpered. “Is that bad?”

“You’ve just surprised him,” Paige chimed in. “It’s like you are a whole new person, he’s just met, and that’s a big adjustment.”

“Ohh,” she repeated slowly, then she paused. “No, that’s good!”

My mind fog finally cleared about twenty minutes after the black apparition had rushed upstairs.

“Column.”

“What is it, Dear’st?” my favourite girl asked, having been sitting at my side the entire time since my attack.

“Column!”

MiLady grabbed the cordless phone, turned it on and placed it in my hand.

“You need to call your Mom?” she asked.

“No.” I answered, shutting off the phone and locking eyes with her. “Call. Them.”

“Oh,” my girl said after a moment. “Do you have their numbers?”

I shook my head.

“Text them, Dear’st,” MiLady urged. “Warn them THAT way! You might not reach them all, but …”

“It will be another Alamo,” I whimpered as my girl looked at me wide-eyed.

All my fears were realized: Nostalgia was finally ready for her genealogical trip to Texas

And no one will survive her. (Not even “her Thomas.”).

Presenting: Nostalgia! #FGS2014

It was the first weekend in August — a long weekend, where Monday is a statutory holiday (in Canada, not certain about in the U.S. though.).

And what made it so special, you ask?

Well, I didn’t have to work any of it, for the first time in almost a year!

So, plans were to relax and enjoy doing very little due to the extensive humidity. (“Very little” actually meaning to catch up on genealogy research.).

Booting up my computer, I opened my browser and found far too many tabs open. Upon closer scrutiny, each tab provided information about the upcoming national conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies in San Antonio, Texas.

Looking them over, I asked myself: When did I leave these open?

As I slowly closed them, I found the majority of them detailed the sessions and biographies of the many speakers that will be in attendance.  I ended up reading them …

MiLady then came up behind me and glanced at my screen.

“Ohh, she did convince you to go with her!” she chided.

“Huh?” I asked unsure of what I missed.

“Nostalgia,” my soul-mate said.

“Oh,” I groaned, covering my eyes to prepare for the impending migraine that would quickly move into the spacious rental area between my ears. “What has she done now?”

“You’re going with her!”

I looked wide-eyed at my wife. “I am?” I asked, “where?”

“Aren’t you?” she asked back.

“Are you telling me to go with her?” I inquired carefully, “Because I told her that I will not be her valet.”

My favourite girl appeared shocked. “You did?”

“Yes, I did,” I answered truthfully. “Why do you think otherwise?”

 MiLady pointed at my monitor.

“Nostalgia was printing those same pages, last night.”

 Oh, no, I thought, scrambling to my printer stand.

 [No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!]

I opened the tray and peered inside … three pages occupied the compartment!

Dejected, I dropped to the floor and yanked on the storage door under the stand, still hoping.

The door swung open to reveal only three of six reams of paper and no ink cartridges!

“She didn’t use it all, Dear’st,” MiLady assured me as I pouted. “You still have …”

“Hot pink, canary yellow and lime green,” I said, pointing at each package before closing the door.

MiLady was shocked.

“Would you happen to know what was so important that she murdered 40 trees to print it?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, MiLove,” my girl quietly said, nuzzling under my chin as she hugged me. “I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask her?”

================================

Ten minutes later, I was still standing at the top of the stairs, contemplating the most cost-effective way to remove the paper-wasting pest upon the other side of that door. 

[A spray can of RAID is cheap.].

Rapping with the back of my fist, I was unable to say a word as the portal magically flew open after just one rap!

“RABBIT!” the Old Banshee squealed with a smile as wide as a hungry, man-eating Venus fly-trap. “I have so much to tell you!”

[Oh, no.].

Gia’s “welcome-come-in” greeting was really a yank on my (now, dislocated) arm as the door quickly slammed shut. My uncontrolled response to her greeting was me landing upon the bed face-first after a double somersault with a half-twist.

 Her words were garbled until I righted myself.

 “Gia,” I interrupted, finally sitting up properly after two minutes. “Don’t you know that you have been talking to my backside all this time?”

“Oh?” she replied a little disappointed, “And here I thought you were finally being a gentleman!”

“What did you need to tell me, Nostalgia?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“Congratulate me!” she announced.

FGS2014

“Congratulate you? Why?” I queried lingering on the last word.

“I have interviews that I must attend,” she said proudly as she scattered four inches of paper beside me. “And these are some of the sessions I have been asked to assist in the presentations of, and these are a couple of the plated lunch invitations, and …”

I rubbed my eyes as I tried to focus upon her overwhelming excitement, in preparation of my first attempt to try and comprehend her misinformation.

“Gia,” I asked fearful of the gamut of answers that she could give, “who will be interviewing you?”

She stopped and looked over her eyeglass rims.

“I don’t know,” she replied with a sincere and genuine smile, “I guess I’ll find out when I get there, won’t I?”

As my head reeled, I tried to find the right combination of words to compose my next question, while she described how she would be “assisting” some of the presenters.

["Take over" is more like it really!]

“What is …” I paused, as my mind went blank. “What is your first presentation about?”

 “Oh!” she beamed, “Something you should sit in on, Rabbit … you’d actually learn something!”

 I bit my tongue and forced a tight grin. “And what topic is that, My Old Fossil?”

“Genealogy through mobile technology!” she answered ignoring my pet-name endearment.

My hands cradled my weary head, as I painfully recalled two years earlier: Nostalgia’s discovery of a cellphone app to a major genealogy website and her insistent application of the same upon my raw (and, at that time, not backed up) research of over 40 years!

[To Be Continued]

Meeting Junior’s “Miss”

It was Friday … about three weeks ago.

 Not your typical Friday though — Nostalgia, Milady and I took a trip to the aeroport with Junior to pick up his “Miss.”

 Showing up 45minutes before her arrival, we found a parking stall with little problem.

 Wandering around inside like a quartet of tourists, we eventually located the terminal arrival screens and argued as to exactly which gate Junior’s “Miss” would be deplaning from.

 There are only five gates at the aeroport: A, B, C, D and E, where “E” is reserved for international flights; but there are over 16 carousels.

 “She’ll be here around 17.17 at gate B,” I read aloud. “And her bags will ride carousel 16.”

 MiLady looked around the lower concourse, her eyes focusing on a gate across the way.

(Is this is where I mention discreetly it was the wrong gate she was staring at ;)

 Junior looked out of place in the middle of the large expanse of floor. Carousels to his left and right. Two escalators and a large, wide staircase sat in front of him, while four large terminal screens hovered behind him.  Travellers bustled in all directions around him.

 It was strange to watch my son through it all. He stood like a Pacific coast totempole in British Columbia, towering over everyone. Impressive and immovable.

 Nostalgia was her typical self — chatty …  Annoyingly chatty.

 “There is nowhere to sit down,” she screeched before pointing back from where we came. “Unless we go waaayyy over there!”

 Junior stood silent.

 MiLady and I turned and reviewed the screens. We still had a 20minute wait. Flights from the American mid-west and west coast had arrived early, as did a couple flights from the northern quarter of our Wild Rose province.

 “One flight has been delayed thirty minutes,” Nostalgia announced.

 Junior scrambled and looked at the terminals wide-eyed.

 “Not hers, Sweetie,” MiLady said to him calmly. “She’s still on time.”

 My son relaxed and in three strides was back to his sentry spot in the middle of the floor.

 Three more flights came and went before the clock finally flipped to 17:17

 In one flowing move, we all turned towards the staircase and escalators and waited.

7:18

7:19

7:20

7:21

 7:22

Nostalgia was first to break the silence.

 “I knew it, I knew it!” she wailed, “She’s not coming!”

“Gia!” I growled under my breath, “Shut up!”

“The poor dear,” she continued, pointing at my oldest son.

 I looked at Junior, still standing in place with his arms folded across his chest. Staring down the emptiness.

 “I doubt her plane is at the top of the staircase,” MiLady implied, directing her comments to Nostalgia, who slowly got the hint.

 “Dear’st,” I then called to my soulmate. “Look!”

 As a thick and noisy gaggle of travellers came down to the lower concourse, Junior craned his neck to get a better look up the staircase and escalators, then bolted like a hunter’s dog flushing out a grouse in marsh reeds.

“Where did he go?” MiLady asked, too short to see over the exodus of travellers.

“Over there!” I pointed off to the left.

After a tender moment, Junior came back proudly with his shy girl in tow.

“Oh,” Gia commented quietly behind us. “She’s tall too.”

After introductions, it was evident: Junior’s “Miss” was terrified!

I leaned in and apologized to the poor girl telling her not to worry. Nostalgia normally has this effect on people.

Nostalgia’s Recruiting

It’s been strangely quiet the last few days.

Nostalgia’s been pouting, again. She has been unable to recruit anyone to accompany her to the FGS Conference in San Antonio.

“A true lady has an escort,” she growled, before spying me in the kitchen making some tea.

“Rabbit,” she then said sweetly, “why don’t YOU come with me to Texas?”

Oh, no,” I replied. “I’m not joining your entourage. I could not handle the embarrassment.”

FGS2014“It will be fun. I could introduce you to everyone,” she teased, clinging to my arm. “I know almost all of genealogy’s rock stars and royalty, you know!”

I chuckled quietly as I recalled details of Nostalgia’s cameo appearance in Utah, last February.

“Yes, you do, Gia. Yes, you do.”

“What’s so funny?” she asked, releasing me from her talons and taking a defensive step back.

“Oh, just remembering the Pirate Queen’s story of the Powder Mountain Flamingo!”

Nostalgia groaned and covered her face. “She promised that she wouldn’t tell you!”

“She didn’t,” I quipped, my smile growing devilishly wider. “She told her consort, and he told me.”

“Oh, do I want to know?” she quietly asked.

“Ahem!” I cleared my throat and began:

“On the glistening slopes of Powder Mountain, dressed in hot, neon pink, you were graceful like a flamingo …”

Gia’s eyes widened, a small look of surprise overtook her frightened face.

“Taking a run down the course, you swayed left and right — as if to music, although nothing played …”

The Old Banshee sat up, now beaming at the royal account of her snowboarding prowess.

“In and out, you carefully weaved past others that appeared to be still, until …”

She winced.

“A little guy wiped out a few feet from you, sliding into your flight path …”

“I remember him, the poor Dear,” Nostalgia cried.

“You somersaulted to avoid him,” I continued, “to the cheers of everyone near …”

She beamed proudly. “Yes! Yes, I did!”

“… but in doing so, you lost your balance upon landing …”

“Oh, that,” she sadly admitted, “that was very embarassing.”

“… and careened down the remainder of the course …”

“Thank you, Dearie,” she added, “that’s quite enough.”

“… like a deadly avalanche …” I continued obliviously.

“That’s enough, Rabbit,” she glared.

“… screaming ALL the way!”

“RABBIT!”

[Chuckling, I quickly took my cue and fled.].

Travelling Back in Time

Thirteen years ago, I “travelled back in time for a future” with MiLady. [Yes, I need to explain that.].

When my favourite girl and I got together, it was after six months of conversing over e-mails, and MSN.

We tried telephone calls but $500 bills (amassed after only two weeks) put the kabosh on that! She had also came out for a two week visit, as she had never seen Eastern Canada or the Fort Drum area of New York State.

Yes, she lived in Western Canada not far from the Rocky Mountains, while I was in the opposite direction near the Great Lakes.

As for my travelling back in time comment, that referred to the three time zones that kept hindering our opportunities to talk indepth. If it was noon in Alberta, it was already 2p.m. in Ontario!

But, playing on those words, I called her at work one summer afternoon.

“We are four weary (and very hungry!) men that have travelled back in time to make a future with you,” I had said when she picked up the phone.

And, here we are!

But now, I am wondering if History is destined to repeating itself.

Last night, Junior made a late night call. Late as in, MiLady had already gone to bed and I was in the process of shutting off the telly and lights before following after her. Add to it, Junior doesn’t call that late.

“Can I talk to Mum?” he asked. “I need to tell her something.”

“She went to bed,” I answered. “It is okay to tell me instead?”

“Hmmm,” he paused. “Yeah, okay.”

Junior then proceeded to tell me that MiLady and I would be able to meet his girlfriend next month. He had just purchased her flight ticket. She would arrive early Friday evening (around 5pm) from British Columbia, and would be staying until some-time-I-forgot on Sunday.

“Oh!” I said rather surprised. “That’s very nice.”

“What’s wrong, Dad?” Junior asked with concern.

“What’s her name?”

My son laughed after realizing that the last time he and I had a serious conversation was a few months ago. He then gave me the details of how they met back in high school, but her family moved to the west coast at the end of that school year. Then, they re-connected through Facebook.

“Remember taking me to the bus depot a few weeks ago?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I replied.

“It was her graduation that she invited me to.”

He then went into more details — this time, regarding his visit. He met her family and close friends, and everyone seemed very impressed with him.

“Of course, they would,” I commented proudly. “You were raised like an old-fashioned rabbit!”

Junior laughed again and continued.

“Dad, will you tell Mum to check her e-mail?”

“Okay, but why does she need to do that?”

“I sent her a copy of the flight intinerary.”

“Oh, that!” I realized, “Sure, I’ll tell her and we’ll take you to the aeroport to pick up your girl.”

[Silence.].

“Did I say something wrong?” I asked, now pacing across the living room carpet like a sentry.

“She goes back home on Sunday,” Junior said.

“Yes, we can take you back to drop her off. No problem, Son.”

“Dad … I’m going back with her.”

[Silence.].

“Dad?” my oldest said lingering on the word.

“Yes, Junior.”

“Are you okay?” [More lingering emphasis.].

“Yes, Junior.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m fine,” I answered slowly, “but you get to tell Mum that surprise.”

“She already knows,” came the shocker. “She just didn’t know when.”

We exchanged a few more questions and answers before hanging up.

I then went upstairs and told MiLady the conversation. She was not surprised, she did know most of it.

Returning downstairs, I sat in the dim lamp light of the living room and pondered.

Does History repeat itself?

  • Junior’s lady travels west to met his family. (MiLady did the same to meet mine.).
  • Junior travels back with her. (MiLady left alone, but I travelled back a few weeks later with three little men.).

====================

It was three in the morning when I next looked at the clock!

Nostalgia was sitting beside me, reading.

“Oh, you are awake!” she chided.

“Not for long,” I glared at her.

“Something’s bothering you,” she commented, “you are not normally this way.”

“Junior’s moving.”

Nostalgia’s face lit up. “Oh, good, he found a place! Will he be moving into the city? How close will he be?”

“Yes, he did. And yes, he will. And just under 14-hours of driving … He’s moving to B.C. On the island.”

Gia’s face froze for 13.18 seconds.

It was so serene, I loved it!

My Texas Wish List #FGS2014

I really wish I was able to go
And discover Texas, this year;
But work and family needs (Alas!),
Consume all my time, I fear.

But if I could go — and you want to know
There are things that I would attest
To do, so take heed, if you really don’t need
To be involved in my (pending) arrest!

[1] A riverwalk talk with a PirateWoman
(ThePirateQueen, if she is free);
[2] A photo with Thomas* and Joshua* (*MacEntee & Taylor)
(if they’re not too afraid of me)!

[3] A late venture to the Alamo
To take in its sun-bleached splendor;
And hear the walls as they each tell
Those who did not surrender.

[4] A little chat with Lady “Dear”
(DearMyrtle, for her to recall);
When she started her genealogy,
What was her first brickwall?

[5] Wander about until I am lost
(which is, very often, a habit);
Just to be greeted with the friendly question:
“What are you doing, Rabbit?”

[6] Expand my reference collection of books
On genealogy;
[7] And, hopefully, get them autographed
(If I can bribe the authours that be!).

[8] Then, get involved in “lightning convos”
As we wait for a speakers to start;
[9] Then reconvene and wrap it up
Before we all depart.

FGS2014

Fashion Sense #FGS2014

How do I know the FGS Conference in San Antonio is getting closer?

Nostalgia is re-packing, again — for the third time!

  • Three carry-on bags — three — full of cosmetics. (There! I used the word.);
  • Five weekend bags stuffed with her new wardrobe that no one, other than MiLady, has seen; and,
  • Three large (empty) suitcases.

My mind reeled at the thought of what the airports will charge to transport it all to San Antonio.

“Is she seriously taking all that with her?” I asked referring to Gia’s purchases from earlier in the day, as MiLady and I shared a late night tipple, upon the stone patio overlooking our wee garden.

My girl nodded and took another sip of her first margarita, then smiled approvingly.

I shook my head in disbelief. “You’ve seen her new wardrobe, Dear’st. Need I be worried?”

MiLady took another sip before answering.

“No, MiLove,” she said softly as she patted then rested her free hand upon mine. “You have nothing to worry about …”

“Good!” I replied, downing whatever it was that I was drinking.

“Although, Thomas might,” she giggled, “the poor man!”

With eyes as wide as saucers, I looked at my girl. She knew that she had to explain without my having to ask.

“I’ll need another drink,” she began, lifting her empty glass.

I rapped the kitchen window and Captain came into view.

“Refills, Sir.”

The door opened and Chef appeared to take our empty glasses as Captain came out with our new ones.

When the door closed, MiLady began.

The sun was beginning to set and the temperature had dropped to a slight chill, when she had finished.

“Can we go in now?” she asked rubbing her bare arms to warm up. “It’s gotten too cold.”

[Nothing.].

“Dear’st? Are you okay?”

I nodded, as I stared at my untouched beverage. My mind deep in thought. My face whiter than milk.

MiLady got up from her chaise and stepped behind me, before kissing my head and running her hands up and down my arms.

“What are you thinking?” she asked softly as she hugged me, still trying to warm up.

“Poor Thomas!” I downed my drink. “I hope he survives it!”

FGS2014

She Needs What for Texas? #FGS2014

Saturday morning last, Nostalgia rose bright ‘n’ early and recruited MiLady.

They were gone in 35minutes — and it must have been urgent; they took the van!

When they returned, it was very late in the evening and the van was encumbered with bags and packages. It took well over an hour with everyone’s assistance to unload it all.

And there were a couple packages that required Herculean effort to carry upstairs to the Old Banshee’s room, which began said conversation:

“What’s in this?” Chef inquired, as he huffed and puffed up the staircase. “Lead?”

“A dead body maybe?” Captain teased with a wide grin.

“Nah, box ain’t big enough,” his little brother answered. “Might hold a head.”

“Could fit a torso in this one,” I chimed in, pointing to Captain’s load. “Gia was saying that she was interested in DNA testing.”

Both sons screwed up their faces, delivered the packages and quickly fled.

I was leaving the room, after dropping off four shopping bags, as both girls entered very chatty.

“Hello, Dear’st,” my girl beamed, kissing my cheek and rubbing a hand on my chest. “Did you miss me?”

“Always,” I responded, returning the buss and lightly goosing her behind as she floated past.

“Rabbit!” Nostalgia chided. “That wasn’t appropriate!”

“Oh, course, it was,” I defended, “she’s my wife. Now, if I did that to you, that would be inappropriate.”
I paused, then after re-considered my words, I added, “Actually, if I did that to you, I’d expect an over-night stay and a thorough psyche evaluation.”

“If you did that to her, I’d expect a divorce!” MiLady added coldly.

I needed to change the topic … Very Quickly!

“What is all this junk?” (I knew this would work.).

“IT’S NOT JUNK!” Nostalgia screeched, almost in tears, as she ran to the bathroom and locked the door.

Yes, it was a surprise to me too.

I was dumbstruck — that never happened before!

I turned to my soulmate for answers.

“Gia went shopping for new clothes and asked me to come along as a second opinion.”

“Ohhhh,” was the most intelligent response I could muster with my deer-in-the-headlights look.

“She said she needed new clothes, new shoes, new hair …”

“New face,” I continued with a smirk.

MiLady backhanded me across the chest and told me to stop teasing.

“But it’s my only fun when she’s here,” I whined like a two-year-old. “I can’t pick fights with her anymore, she wins.”

Chef, Captain, Junior and Paige (MiLady’s daughter from previous marriage) all staggered in with the dregs of Gia’s shopping spree: six more bags and four more boxes.

Looking everything over, I noticed all the contents in the bags were black.

Black? That’s very odd, I thought, Gia has always been attracted to bright and vibrant colours.

I then gave the nearest box a light kick.

It didn’t move. It didn’t even budge — (but I was almost certain that I broke two toes!).

Cursing in Gaelic, I grabbed my injured foot and starting hopping in a circle. (It is very rare, if you ever get the chance to see a rabbit hopping on one foot. I will admit, it is not very graceful, but amusingly memorable.).

“What is IN that one?” I demanded, glaring at the object wishing I had Superman’s x-ray vision to inspect it followed quickly by heat vision to blow it up!

“Gia’s new boots, I think,” my favourite girl responded suppressing a giggle.

“All these boxes are boots and shoes?!?” I asked wide-eyed.

MiLady smiled. “Most of them.”

“M-m-most?” I stuttered. “What on Earth is in the rest of them?”

“Curling iron. Blow dryer. Makeup case …”

Flabbergasted, I blew up.

“What does she need all this junk –“

“IT’S NOT JUNK!” screeched from behind the bathroom door, surprising both of us.

FGS2014MiLady smiled wider. “Nostalgia wants to surprise a particular gentleman when she goes to the FGS Conference in Texas.”

It took a moment for me to comprehend what I heard, before I walked over to the door and knocked.

“Send it all back, Gia,” I said to the door. “You don’t need to impress anyone.”

Under my wife’s approving gaze, I waited for an answer.

[Nothing.].

“Nostalgia,” I continued, “I think I know you well enough to tell you: just be yourself.”

Still nothing, although the light under the door did appear to show slight movement.

“If they cannot accept you as you are, none of them are deserving of your company.”

It was then MiLady quietly hugged me and nodded that I continue, but I had a problem: I had nothing left! That hug distracted me!

“Besides,” I paused, failing to regain my track of thought. “How can you afford all this? Have you booked your flight and hotel room yet?”

A faint whimpering whine combined with a blood-curdling yowl was heard from the door.

“I’ll take that as a ‘No.'” I finished, scrambling to the staircase as MiLady quietly pleaded her way into the bathroom.

Once downstairs, I fell into my chair and nursed my injured foot as my little rabbits slowly gathered round.

I relayed my misadventures of the dangerous goods in their auntie’s inner sanctum. Their eyes widened — in reaction probably to my stupid box-kicking rather than fear of any of the shopping contents.

Chef was the first to ask, “What’s in those boxes, Dad?”

“Cement,” I answered, “and other road re-construction materials.”

Paige smirked, “You mean cosmetics, don’t you?”

“Same thing, isn’t it?” I winked back at her, as she shook her head and bravely ventured upstairs to assist her mother.

Our Ancestry By The Numbers

This is a brief outline for my relatives, curious of our ancestry and how we were a part of history, or more properly how we missed history.
=====================================
[1] Our earliest know ATKINSONs sailed from England five (5) years before an eighteen-year-old Victoria was crowned Queen of England!
[FACT: Victoria crowned June 28, 1838; to date, she is the longest reigning monarch. Queen Elizabeth II is currently second.]

It was February 1833, when they left for Upper Canada, but what else was happening in the World?

[1] British parliament had passed “The Factory Act” to regulate the labour of children as young as nine (9) years of age, in mills and factories.

[2] The United States of America was being guided by the experienced hand of her seventh president, a veteran of their Revolution, a general named Andrew “Stonewall” JACKSON.

[3] There was no Canada, as we know it, and, of course, no Prime Minister.

[FACT: The Dominion of Canada began in 1867. Before that, it was called Canada West starting in 1840. Prior to that, our country's humble beginnings were Upper Canada (later Ontario) and Lower Canada (later Quebec) starting in 1791.].

[FACT: First PM didn't take office until 1867, when John Alexander Macdonald, a Scottish barrister from a fledgling Ontario Street practice in Kingston, Ontario  reluctantly took the position that no one wanted.].

eiffel and liberty[4] When they got off the boat in New York City, that familiar & welcoming maternal figure of so many immigrants, Lady Liberty, was not there with her torch aloft!

[FACT: This endearing lady did not take up residence on Bedloe's Island and greet "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"  until 1886, when President Grover Cleveland accepted her from President Jules Grévy of France.].

[DID YOU KNOW: Lady Liberty looks out over the Atlantic Ocean for a reason? She has a little sister looking back at her from Paris, France.].

[5] And Ellis Island was just that, an island. Nothing more than empty real estate!

[FACT: It was designated as a federal immigration center in 1890; and it was another two years before a bustling trickle of 22 MILLION immigrants were directed through it!].

[FACT: Prior to Ellis Island, newcomers went through Castle Garden, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City. Ten MILLION arrivals came through this first official immigration center from 1855 to 1890. Both of these locations are now museums with respective websites.].

[FACT: Before Castle Garden, colonizers were channeled through Battery Park, because prior to 1855 there was not an official immigration-processing center. Shipping companies presented passenger lists to the Collector of Customs, and travellers made whatever declarations were necessary before going on their merry way.].

[6] But, our family members were not processed here either, because British Consul, James Buchanan had written a letter excusing them, their luggage and personal effects.

[FACT: Mr. Buchanan was British Consul in New York from 1816 until 1843.].

So, all this history, and we missed it due to no sense of of timing.

Hoping it isn’t hereditary.

 


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