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Daily Archives: July 17th, 2022

Found another huge bolete today. This rain has the 'shrooms Poppin.

Around here (all over Alaska) you’ll hear someone define how Alaskan they are by how long they’ve (or their family) resided here. From there, if more evidence of their Alaskan acumen is needed, they’ll list their experiences especially the near death ones. The more rugged and raw the experience the greater the Alaskan Spirit. There must be an obligatory bear story, it’s a prerequisite.

We can’t help it. It’s like a giant game of one-upmanship. Until we find that Old Soul who embodies the spirit of Alaska. But it’s a celebratory game, we stand in awe of those who’ve survived whatever Alaska had to throw at them.

Most new Alaskans that I run into, like myself, have a relatively short pedigree. And sadly, we differ in that their quest for Alaskan experience is a tad bit lacking (non-exist). Occasionally I run across that special newcomer who wants to try all the Alaskan things, but they are increasingly rare. Maybe I need to meet some different new Alaskans.

But life for us “imports” goes further back than when we crossed the state line. When you meet a new Alaskan the first thing you ask is where they came from. Pay close attention to their answer. Generally one uses this litmus to determine how long you think this current “Alaskan” will stick around.

Beyond my current employment of becoming more Alaskan, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time exploring my family’s roots, seeing where my people haled from. What roads – oceans ultimately brought me to this point. It’s been fairly enlightening. Modern technology makes tracing your lineage so much easier than just 50 years ago. Even without a genetic test.

Much of this work has already been done for me, I get to enjoy the fruits of my ancestors labor. I’m thankful that they had the foresight to search and record our family history. My maternal Grandmother’s side is quite well documented thanks to books published like H. H. Beeson’s book on our genealogy. And the fact that many of my very early ancestors were Quakers. Those Quakers kept excellent records! This gives us ample data to reconstruct our tree.

Websites like My, Ancestry and countless others provide a plethora of info and simultaneously profit handsomely from folks like me searching the forest for our trees. So many relatives adding family information makes it even more simple. And it’s fun to discover you have a a previously unknown third cousin twice removed doing the same thing as you are.

My Dad’s side is a little is a little more work. But it’s there, just gotta know where to look. Determination, it’s hereditary.

At this point I know 14 generations back to England and Holland on my Grandmother’s surname branch. It’s amazing to see the names and dates of my ancestors, some of which we share. I particularly like it when a letter or note was written, you can get a glimpse of their existence through their words & experiences. Like many family’s from the early American years, my people were determined and hardy souls. I’m thankful they passed a little bit of that down to me.

Most of us want to know where we came from. Some of us get the privilege of finding out. The past offers encouragement for the future. And it reminds us to make our existence here count.

So while I strive on with being a good Alaskan, mother, friend, daughter, sister, partner, employee and human I hear an echo in the distance… What will your life story tell?