Simply 6 Minutes: Long-Lost Relatives

I feel badly that I haven’t been here for a while. So many bloggy things going, you know how it is…

Anyway, you no doubt recognize the orangutan in the picture above. Many of you already know this, but the word "orangutan" means "man of the forest," which is also the meaning of the name Holton. So, I feel a particular kinship with them. Time hasn’t been especially kind to them: they’re now only found in Borneo and Sumatra, and they’re now a critically-endangered species.

On and off over the last several years, I’ve been trying to trace my genealogy, and one of the things I did was to have my DNA examined. Both Ancestry and 23 and Me will check your DNA and tell you approximately where your ancestors are from, which changes as they see more and more DNA samples. Another thing that 23 and Me does is to try and indicate if there’s anyone else in their database that might be a relative.

About a year ago, I was matched to a woman I had never met who they said was a first or second cousin. Most of the time the match is not that close, and I won’t try too hard to follow up, but this was a little too close to ignore. Turns out that she’s my paternal grandmother’s niece: her father was my grandmother’s brother. And I had never met her, even though she lived in the same neighborhood only a couple of blocks away. She knew more about me than I knew about her. I kind of lost touch with her. I think I’ll try and contact her again…

Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.

Writers Workshop: Birth Order?

Image by Hanna Kovalchuk from Pixabay

I was the first born in my family. Apparently, that’s supposed to mean something. Mom, who was the first born in her family, read a book called The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are and swore it was just like her and, by extension, just like me. I haven’t read it myself, and evidently the Kindle edition is unavailable, so I Ducked "first born traits" and found this article, a list of "7 Interesting Habits All First-Born Children Have In Common." Well, we’ll see about that…

  1. "They’re More Independent": In reading their description, it sounds like they mean "can keep himself occupied and entertained while his parents see to the other kids." OK, that fits.

  2. "They Care For Others": I can’t say that I was a caretaker for my brothers (as often as not they took care of me), and that seems to be the main thrust of this "habit." So no.

  3. "They Are Leaders": I wouldn’t go so far as to say this. Ringleader, perhaps. Once, I met with several people I worked with, and asked them what’s new, and one guy said "we’re all waiting on you." The implication being they were waiting for me to do something and they’d follow my lead. I, of course, did nothing, and ever since I feel like I let them down. Clearly others see me as more of a leader than I do.

  4. "They Work Hard": HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No. At least I don’t think I do.

  5. "They’re More Likely To Take Direction": This would fit pretty well, actually. There have been many times that I’ve waited for someone to tell me that it was all right to do something, and consequently missed out on doing a lot.

  6. "They’re Better At Picking Up A Second Language": Hard to say. I wasn’t all that good at Latin or Greek. On the other hand, when I was a supervisor and had a crew of guys from Mexico, I was able to pick up some Spanish, more or less on my own. That was more a case of survival.

  7. "They’re Less Likely To Engage In Risky Behaviors": I have to admit that this is true.

Still, I wear the mantle of "first born" with some unease. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to be the first born. Mom did say that she had a miscarriage before me. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like not to have been the oldest….

Share Your World For July 19, 2021

It’s that time of the week! Melanie asks the questions, and I sorta-kinda answer them…

Are justice and the law necessarily the same thing? In a word, no. In five words, no no no no no.

Which kitchen appliance do you use every day? I don’t use any. Mary, on the other hand, uses the percolator, the electric kettle, the microwave oven, and depending what she’s making for dinner, the Breville oven, the range, or the Instant Pot.

I just liked the way this looked…

What is one thing you’ll never do again? Drive, play the guitar, write with a pen. Losing the function of your dominant hand really sucks.

Takes my mind off the last answer

What event escalated very quickly? I guess I’ll have to say Covid because I can’t think of anything else right now…

Feel free to share something that made you feel good from the past week! Kip continues to improve. He’s in therapy now at the hospital and is scheduled to go home in a week. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers!

Top Ten Tuesday: 1971, The Next 10 (#11-20)

One of my favorite years musicwise. This was the year I finished grade school and started high school.

#20 – Eric Burdon & War, "Spill The Wine": One of my favorite songs from this period, it was War’s only hit with Eric Burdon. It reached #3 in the US and Canada and #2 in Australia.

#19 – Sly & The Family Stone, "Thank You (Fallentinme Be Mice Elf Agin)": Issued in December 1969, it reached the top of the Hot 100 in February 1970.

#18 – Dawn, "Candida": This was Dawn’s first single. It came out in July and worked its way to #3 in the US, #2 in Canada, #9 in the UK, and #1 in Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.

#17 – Neil Diamond, "Cracklin’ Rosie": Reached #1 in the US in October, and was his third million-selling single. There was a brand of wine called Cracklin’ Rosé that might or might not have been the inspiration for the song.

#16 – Jackson 5, "The Love You Save": Two in a row here by the Jackson 5. This was a big record in the summer of ’70, spending six weeks at #1 on the Soul chart and two weeks at #1 on the Hot 100.

#15 – Jackson 5, "ABC": A slightly earlier hit, this came out in February and eventually knocked The Beatles’ "Let It Be" out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100. This also spent four weeks at #1 on the Soul chart.

#14 – Vanity Fare, "Hitchin’ A Ride": Reached #5 nationally, but was a big hit in Chicago, where it reached #1 on both WCFL and WLS. It also reached #3 in Canada and #2 in South Africa.

#13 – Bread, "Make It With You": From their second album On The Waters, this reached #1 in the US and #2 in Canada.

#12 – Ray Stevens, "Everything Is Beautiful": Reached #1 in the US, Canada, and Australia and #6 in the UK. His next hit record was "The Streak"…

#11 – Three Dog Night, "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)": A Randy Newman song, it reached #5 in the US and #4 in Canada.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 13, 2021.

Weekly Song Challenge, Week 26

Mary B has gone patriotic for the Independence Day holiday this weekend. And I’ve gone all instrumental this week.

A Song with Red in the title: Johnny & The Hurricanes, "Red River Rock"

A Song with White in the title: Perez Prado, "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White"

A Song with Blue in the title: Leroy Anderson, "Blue Tango"

And that’s it from me…