Oct 312018
A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Genealogists and cemeteries go together like peanut butter and jelly. So exploring cemeteries is nothing new to me. I’ve tip-toed through broken stones and overgrown lilac bushes in the cemeteries of German villages in Ukraine, hoping to find a shard from an ancestor’s grave. I’ve bumped over gravel roads to find the country cemetery out […Read more]

The C in DACA stands for children

 Dakotas  Comments Off on The C in DACA stands for children
Sep 062017
The C in DACA stands for children

My Grandma Lydia was just 4 years old when her parents brought her to the U.S., an immigrant from what was then the Russian empire. She was pretty lucky compared to today’s Dreamers. Laws about entry were a lot vaguer, no passports required. Germans from Russia were often sneered at as “Rooshians,” but she lived […Read more]

Visiting Your Ancestral Town 2nd Edition!

 Ancestral towns, Dakotas, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine  Comments Off on Visiting Your Ancestral Town 2nd Edition!
May 182015
Visiting Your Ancestral Town 2nd Edition!

It’s here! The 2nd edition of my book, “Visiting Your Ancestral Town,” is now available with a special price of $12.99 through 5/30 at Amazon. Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors? “Visiting Your Ancestral Town” encourages you to follow your dreams, gaining a deeper understanding of your family roots […Read more]

Apr 012015
A Letter to the Governor

Some family stories can be proven. Some can’t. But sometimes those stories leave a trail of clues. My dad was the first of his siblings to go to high school, although he was the sixth born of 10 children. In a farming family during the Depression, high school was unnecessary and a poor substitute for […Read more]

Puddle-jumping to Christmas

 Ancestral towns, Dakotas  Comments Off on Puddle-jumping to Christmas
Dec 222013

I think it was the smallest commercial plane I’ve ever been on. Every seat was a window seat … and an aisle seat. Sitting in 1A, I could just about reach out and touch the pilot. None of that bothered me. I’ve been on small planes before. It was when I realized that the “flight […Read more]

Jan 302011
Snow Tourist

Traveling is all about visiting new locales and seeing interesting and unusual sights, isn’t it? When you think of exotic travel, the Taj Mahal or Great Wall or the Parthenon or Pompeii may come to mind. But for someone like me, from Seattle, where annual snowfall is only about 7 inches (according to NOAA), seeing […Read more]

No Way Out

 Ancestral towns, Dakotas  Comments Off on No Way Out
Jan 172011
No Way Out

If you’re stuck in a blizzard, there are worse places to be than a cozy house overlooking a snow-covered lake, with internet access, satellite TV, and a well-stocked freezer and pantry. My ancestors who settled on these prairies had a much tougher time when they encountered blizzard conditions—crammed together in a sod house, the sheet […Read more]