Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I understand that life is fluid.

Every moment
Every thought
Every action
Every reaction
Every dream

Changes your every reality.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thank You, Julius

Julius and Marie

I met him in 1999 or 2000. I truly don't remember which. I was at St. Mary's Cemetery, as was more common in those days, documenting more headstones, photographing, cleaning. He was watering some flowers and visiting his deceased wife, Marie. He struck up a conversation and we chatted for a while.

Julius and Carolyn

My love for him began that day and grew. For the many who have made me feel like an outcast in the quest for genealogical history, he always made me feel like family.  And not the second-cousin, twice-removed that we were. He always made me feel like close family.

Julius and Marie and family

So did the rest of his family. I know he advocated for me and my genealogical cause to some who were reticent, uninterested, unwilling to give me a chance. I found out that his wife, whom I never met, was also a genealogist. I suppose that was my "in" with the family. That and my charming Bengel personality. ;-)

Julius and Marie and family

I hosted the first Bengel reunion in 2001. He was in attendance and very supportive. In January 2002, he turned 80 years old. A massive birthday party was held in his honor. And he made sure I was invited.

Julius and family

Of course, Steve and I went. I felt so honored to be included.


I'm grateful that his children know how devastated I would have been if I had missed the funeral and they made sure I knew. Thank you, Nancy, for knowing there was a problem when I didn't respond to your email. Thank you, Dave, for messaging me to make sure I was aware.

Julius and Marie and family

Thank you, Julius, for being you. For loving and respecting me and my genealogical quest. For treating me like close family instead of distant family. For helping me. For welcoming me into your home. For sharing your family with me. For being you. For being my stand-in grandpa. I love you. And I'll miss you deeply at the next reunion.

Julius and Marie

Julius and Me at his 80th Birthday Party

Rest In Peace
January 6, 1922 ~ June 21, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

City Life

I live in the city. I DO live within one mile of the city limits on the very opposite side of town from where I used to live (within one mile of the city limits). Approximately one city block from my house is a trail that used to be (when I was a youngin') part of a railroad system. Even when I was a kid, the tracks were no longer in use (it was sooooo frustrating riding the bus to school and HAVING to waste time stopping at those tracks when everyone knew a damn-train wasn't coming!). I don't know how far east the trail actually travels. I know that to the west of my house it becomes Falling Waters Trail.The Falling Waters Trail is 10.41 miles and ends in Concord. I love having my city amenities and living so close to this trail. And Buddy, of course, love all the scents on his walks down the trail.

Buddy loves his walks.
 Buddy is eager and ready to continue.
 The apex of this picture is about one block of the trail.
 It's hard to see in this picture, but a common occurrence in the woods along the trail is the spotting of deer. If you look real close, you can spot the brown of it in the center of the pic.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Giving Up

There comes a point in life where you realize that fear, negativity and unhappiness pervade every possible crack and corner of your world.  Sometimes the only logical thing to do is give up.  I've been struggling this year with a lot of things.  Mostly, I've been growing a better me. I saw this and it goes hand-in-hand with my "Positive Every Day" page.  I wanted to share it because, well, I think it's important! duh!! ;-) Have a blessed and beautiful day, my friends.
Some Things to Give Up to be Happy

Give up your need to always be right.
Give up your need for control.
Give up on blame.
Give up your self-defeating self talk.
Give up your limiting beliefs.
Give up complaining.
Give up the luxury of criticism.
Give up your need to impress others.
Give up your resistance to change.
Give up labels.
Give up on your fears.
Give up your excuses.
Give up the past.
Give up living your life to other people's expectations.