Illness & Injury – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Illness and injuries have greatly affected my personal life unlike the previous week’s natural disasters.  Many of my readers will remember my ongoing saga with my knee last year which has really been my only significant injury.    I do have arthritis and some problems with my back but nothing that generally stops me from doing my daily activities – it interferes way more than I would like but so far hasn’t stopped any of them.

My brother broke his arm when he was about 5 (and broke the cast a couple of times after that but that story shall remain in the immediate family for a few more years anyway!).   He also had an injured knee when a drunk driver hit him one rainy night when he was in high school.  But so far, he has managed to not have too many injuries.

My sister had a few minor injuries and one set of stitches just over her eye when she was about 9 or 10 because she was watching a bird in the tree instead of my cousin hitting the baseball but again no serious injuries.

Illnesses haven’t been so kind to our family.  Both of our parents are now disabled (Dad due to a heart condition and mom due to several different conditions). 

My grandparents also had their share of illnesses.  Mom’s mother had many diseases including diabetes and heart conditions and eventually died after an 11-months several trips to the hospital.  She spent the last several weeks of her life in the Springdale Hospital in 1990.    She had many illnesses that caused her problems throughout her life as I remember it.  Dad’s father also had diabetes and died at too young an age from Lung Cancer.  Dad’s mother died from liver cancer in 2006.  Mom’s father died in 2004 after several weeks of illness.

Among the various aunts, uncles, and great-aunts and uncles, there have been many cases of cancer, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few of the diseases.  Our family doesn’t seem to get to live easy lives but we do persevere and most of us find ways to enjoy our lives regardless of our set of illnesses.

Week #11 – Illness & Injury

Week 11: Illness and Injury. Describe your childhood illnesses or injuries. Who took care of you? Did you recuperate in your own bed, on the couch in front of the television, or somewhere else?

Disasters – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

I am a bit late with my post on Disasters but here it is anyway:

There have been many tornados and thunderstorms and winter storms throughout my life but none of them played any significant part in my life or how I lived it.   I know that storms can be devastating but they haven’t hit me or my family that I know of to a degree that would really change our lives.  Thunderstorms and Tornados are a common occurrence in Arkansas so the threat is always there but you come to expect them and as long as they don’t destroy your home or kill or hurt one of your family you just try to live your life without really considering them.  Storms have destroyed some property and so forth but none of the family has been seriously injured or killed by a natural disaster. 

As a kid, when we lived in Green Forest, we did spend some interesting hours in the storm cellar of my aunt and uncle while all the adults would stand outside and watch for the storm to pass overhead.  I don’t really remember a lot of fear at those times, it was more of an inconvenience to me than anything else to have to go to the storm cellar but I know that my Mom was more afraid of the storms.  I use to have fun talking with the cousins and playing with the toys we would always grab to take down there.  The only thing I used to worry about was being in the cellar – I have always been a little claustrophobic and when they would shut the door it would really bother me.


Disasters – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Week #10 – Disasters

Week 10: Disasters. Did you experience any natural disasters in your lifetime? Tell us about them. If not, then discuss these events that happened to parents, grandparents or others in your family.

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 5, 2011 through Friday, March 11, 2011.

Week 9: Sounds – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Sounds is kind of a tough one for me but here is my entry.    Some of the sounds I remember are the sounds of music and TV shows.  There is the sound of the bionic man and woman from their TV shows!  The music of Elvis and the great Country Stars of the 1970s.   The theme from Cheers.  The meows of our cats as we lived through the years.  The sound of birds on an early spring morning as I walking to school.  The sound of water on the lake as we were fishing or camping.  The sound of the twigs crackling in the campfire.  The sound of my brother learning to sing the saxophone in junior high.  The music that plays in the background of Pac-Man and other video games. 

Week #9 – Sounds

Week 9: Sounds.  Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood. These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 26, 2011 through Friday, March 4, 2011.

Week 8: Technology – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

I missed week 8 too but here is my entry for Technology:

Technology exploded during my childhood.  From the time I was a little girl until now there has been incredible progress in every area of scientific exploration!  It is sometimes completely unimaginable to me how things were when I was a little girl compared to the technology that is available to my niece and nephews and the information explosion that has taken place in that time.

When I was first born, the United States had not sent a man to the moon!  Pluto was still a planet and computers were computation devices that took up rooms and processed punch cards to store data.  Now a computer that would have taken up a complete floor of a very large building is not held in your hand as a cell phone.  As a little girl, we got only about 20 or so channels and our TV didn’t have a remote control (that was something that was shown on TV  as an advance for the distant future on Star Trek!).  Although parents did have remote controls in the form of children who got up to change the channels for them!

I was in high school the first time I ever used a computer.   It was an APPLE that was programmed in BASIC programming language.  The program had to be retyped into the computer anytime that the computer was turned off or rebooted.  I also worked on a word processing device in high school in my typing class.

When I was in college was when I really started to use computers.  I was a junior in college when I got my first home computer.  I bought it used and got a virus on it the very first weekend!  It had a newer operating system on it than I had access to so I had to call the guy I bought it from and beg for a copy of his operating system startup disk so that I could get back into the files I had already loaded onto the computer!  It was a tremendous buy at the time $700 and it had 4MB of storage memory (Hard drive space!).  I thought it would surely see me through the rest of college and that it would probably even see my brother and sister through college! 

I got my second computer about 2-3 years later and it had more storage memory (probably a few hundred MB) and the operating system was on 25 or so 3 1/2 inch disks.  I again thought that would be a computer that lasted for probably 10-20 years. 

I have since been through at least 5 computers after that.  Now I use a laptop that has 3GB of RAM memory and 150GB of Memory storage.  Dad is now using a laptop with 4GB of RAM and a 320 GB Harddrive!  Mom has a netbook!  My Brother and Sister and their families all use computers.  In fact, my youngest nephew who is four years old spent time playing games on the old laptop the other day and one of his favorite things for me to do with him is show him the videos of Volcanoes we find on the internet. 

The internet was just beginning to come into its own while I was in college.  Chat boards and AOL Chat rooms, Instant messaging and email were just becoming widely used. 

When I was in high school and I had to do a paper on some subject, I had to go to the library and search through numerous reference books and encyclopedias to find the information for my report. It was usually at a least several years old.  Now, when my niece and nephews have to do a report, they look on the internet and find the information!  My oldest nephew who is 10 does his presentations on powerpoint.  My neice has her own cell phone!  My nephews want cell phones!  I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was in college!

When my niece and nephews have a sporting event or a school program I got and take photos and videos and I can post them on facebook for all the family to see within minutes from my cell phone!  My mom would take photos and go get them developed and we could look at them a week or so later!  The grandparents would be lucky to see them a month or so later!

The advances in technology especially in computers make my genealogy research possible!  I can only do my genealogy on weekends and evenings because I work all day during the week.  Without the records available on the internet I would make little progress but with the internet I have added generations and hundreds of records!

Week #8 – Technology

Week 8: Technology.  What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 19, 2011 through Friday, February 25, 2011.

Week 7: Toys – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

Well, I missed posting during the actual week but here is my entry for the week of Toys:

One of my favorite toys when I was a kid was Barbie Dolls and an old bag of quilt scraps that my grandmothers had given to me.  I would make entire fashion ensembles for my little Barbie’s!  They were the best quilt scrap dressed barbies in the whole world – at least according to me and my sister. 

I also had a bike that I would ride for hours each spring and summer.

My most favorite toy though didn’t come along until I was a young teenager when we got our first video game system for Christmas in the early 1980s.  The Atari was shared by me and my sister and brother and we played that system for hours and hours!  I could only play a few of the games because I wasn’t then and still am not very coordinated!  But I was the family Pac-Man Champion!  I got over 200,000 in one game and I remember this because it caused a very big fight with my sister when my turn lasted well into her favorite TV Show that night and she wanted me stopped so she could watch her show. 

The main game with the system though was a game called pitfall where the little guy had to be guided to run and jump over things in order to find the prize at the end of each level.  By myself, I never got passed the first scrolling screen when you had to time the guy jumping to catch the rope and then quickly use it to jump over this big pit full of alligators or something that would kill him if he fell into them.  Now, I can verify that it was indeed a very good game because my sister and brother played it often and I think she even made it all the way to the end of the game! 

The Atari systems have made something of a comeback in recent years as a quick hook to the TV game for younger children but they were clearly the predecessors to the current WII, Playstations, etc.

Week #7 – Toys

Week 7: Toys.  What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 12, 2011 through Friday, February 18, 2011.