Nov 5, 2014

California Adventures, day 1

So yesterday I left my home and half my family behind in Idaho, to travel to the mysterious and magical place of my childhood. I have my four youngest with me, while the four older stayed behind with Jeff. I'm here to watch my two little sisters while my parents journey to China for the last time to adopt a daughter. I'm also here to introduce my children to the fairtyales of my childhood:

the grocery store of yore, at the edge of the ponderosa groves

Where milk is twice as delicious, so it has to be twice as expensive.

The garden full of mystical asian pines and small, quiet pools where there are no goldfish because Herons feel right at home coming to steal them

And parks have three-story slides that adults are hesitant to utilize, even with the goading of their offspring

And creeks are populated with squirrels which are likely to be capable of speech

and there are gremlins

and giant things.

I'm also here to do some family history. My mother's the first convert, and so a lot of the history is oral, or in jumbled piles in boxes. I brought my scanner and my laptop. I'm transcribing and scanning.

I'm also planning on visiting a few places--a graveyard an hour away in Wheatland where my grandmother and grandfather are buried and one three hours away in Sonora, where some of my ancestors are buried.

My mother has never been there to see them. I don't even know if they're there for sure.

There are some family history mysteries to solve. I don't know the name of my great, great, great, great grandmother Silveira-Pereira. She and her husband perished in a shipwreck off the coast of Maine in 1839, a year where there were lots of terrible storms during the early winter months, and many ships wrecked and many people died. I am going to the county library in the place where the Silvers settled a hundred and fifty years ago. I've heard there's a lot of information there on the family. Nobody's gone there to investigate. That I know about, at least. It's possible that a name is written somewhere on a stray piece of paper, or on a record. That is my goal this trip--find the name of my four-greats grandmother. THey were the generation that immigrated from Portugal... the next step after finding her, would be to go over there, to the Azores Islands. A job for my brother, probably-- he served a Portuguese-speaking mission in Brazil.

While I was writing this, my four year old daughter went outside to play. For some unknown reason (mostly because she is my daughter) she decided to remove her shoes. She just stepped on a digger pine cone and cut her foot. Can I claim her as the ninth generation of californians, now that the red dirt of my childhood is literally in her veins?

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