An evolving genealogy

Geography Girl

Image by brentdanley via Flickr

Ever since Mr. Moore’s 6th grade class when I finally discovered a textbook that made sense to me, I have had a soft spot for geography and geographers. The far off adventures told in pictures and stories of the world and its peoples captivated me like no math or spelling reader could ever hope to. In particular, pictures of my ancestors toiling away at a coal seam outside of Cardiff in the south of Wales prompted my imagination and to this day, I thank God one of them jumped a boat to the New World.

Geography or setting plays an integral part in my fiction writing. If I can have the setting clear in my mind, I can write almost anything. Since it is summer, and the heat shows little sign of caving, I daydream about a business trip for research purposes, of course. Maybe a sandy beach with a cabana for a romance scene, a cool mountain clime with a remote spring-fed lake for a murder plot, or perhaps I will tackle my genealogy with a miner’s tale and head for the south of Wales.

I have helped to change the meaning of the term “toiling” for my lineage. Instead of  timbering, scaling, or sumping, and living in mortal fear of getting crushed to death by a British ton of anthracite coal, or developing pneumoconiosis, I daily face paper cuts, mental breakdowns from self doubt, and I live in fear of boring myself to death.

Yeah, I should definitely go to Wales and share “war stories” with my brethren. I am sure they will be sympathetic.

What did you discover in 6th grade?



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9 Responses to An evolving genealogy

  1. margaret says:

    I learned how to “pass notes” without getting caught….since I too was in Mr. Moore’s class (the year before you), perhaps you found one of my crumbled notes that got stuck in a desk being passed between myself and your sister…what a goldmine those notes would be for the start of a juicy story!
    Again thanks for the memories… Mr. Moore was my favorite teacher!

  2. steve says:

    I guess I was her favorite soft spot! Oh how we like to travel and explore. Great post.

  3. JoAnn says:

    In the 6th grade I discovered the beauty of the opposite sex and that kissing was way more fun than jump rope!!

  4. Samantha says:

    That I was taller than everyone around me !

  5. Jodi Purdy says:

    In 6th grade at Wessagussett School I discovered the story behind the name of my school and all the surrounding streets in North Weymouth. Mr. Alex was a new teacher, he had spent many years in Northwest Africa in Sierra Leone working with the Peace Corp. A North Weymouth kid growing up in Fort Point, he returned to his roots prepared to teach his students about African culture and the truth about the founding of America.

    He took the class on a walking field trip up to Great Hill and shared his knowledge of our Founding Fathers. What I learned that day stayed with me for nearly 40 years. In fact, what I discovered about my Pilgrim ancestors would lead me on a lifelong journey of self-realization. The history of my neighborhood, my Town and my Country would lead me to my destiny. The memories of my youth would lead me to creatin an online reunion and then to this
    Blog! I’m so glad I would stumble upon Sally Writes and learn that we are once again connected. I remember finding out that we shared a lineage to the Penobscot People of Maine! Well, today I learned that another connection is to Cardiff, Wales; the birthplace of my boys Great-great Grandmother, Mary Cousins, who would marry John Patrick Quinlan of Waterford, Ireland. I look forward to reading more of your work Miss Sally!!

    • Sally Sally says:

      Those 6th grade teachers have a far-reaching impact on us for sure, Jodi. Such a small world. When did we talk about the Penobscots? wow! Yes, indeed, I have Penobscot blood in me. Looking forward to more of your North Weymouth insights. Sally

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