In the last several days, amidst the shopping excursions, refinig the lists, the efforts to clean up the house well enough for Santa to find his cookies and milk, and after enjoying a bit of what I called a "Wandering Weekend" (it's my own theme in which I sometimes take a couple of days to simply enjoy genealogy on the internet with no goals in mind), I have found myself thinking often of those great souls who have come before us.
I am lucky because I still have both of my parents with me, and although I do not pepper them with questions all the time related to their immediate relatives, I can't help but see them within their actions. For example, I know enough of the work hard but also love full personality of my paternal grandfather to see many of hus traits in my father, just as I see so many of the actions of my maternal grandmother in my mother.
When my mother and I went the other day to purchase Springerles, a cherished German cookie my grandmother made every year and I know she learned to make from her mother, I couldn't help but to stand there and think of those women years ago standing in a kitchen rolling out that dough--- and I felt connected.
Sometimes I find myself getting too caught up in learning the next birthdate or finding that elusive source that meshes one generation into another and as a result look at my ancestors as a name on a piece of paper.
But more recently I have found myself thinking of them as men and women, with dreams and desires, joy and tragedy, imagining their horses and carts on the same roads we travel to get to the mall today. We as genealogists are that strange breed that looks forward to going to the cemetery in hopes of finding another piece of our heritage. This Christmas I find myself instead carrying them around throughout all the daily events, imagining them doing the same activities within their era and I am fascinated and blessed in the journey.