Category Archives: personal chronicles

4042 miles

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; or, in this case, a journey of a little more than four thousand miles began with four simultaneous tire rotations (4WD!).

I recently returned from a three week exploration vacation qua business trip to the great, spring-filled north. Leaving behind the hazy and sinus-choking 95 degree weather of Savannah, GA, I ventured to the bright and pollen-sinus-choking north of Baltimore, MD and Syracuse, NY to participate in all the pomp and circumstance of this:

commencement

It was wonderful to reconnect with friends and classmates to see how the semester ended and what lies ahead for everyone. I was able to spend quality time with some of my favorite people and visit my favorite spots (namely, this place:)

Now, not knowing when I would again be in the great North, I took the opportunity to jaunt up to Canada for some destination family research. I think by now I should have my genealogist record card fully punched–on-site research at NARA, at a county record house, at a genealogical library, at a historical society, and at a remote location. Boy, and what a location!

Trenton View

Okay, okay, more accurately it was here:

Quinte Library

located in:

trenton sign

(but the bay was the view from the floor-to-ceiling rear windows of the library!)

Trenton, Ontario is a beautiful little city on the Bay of Quinte, located off of Lake Ontario. I came here specifically to look the 1800 – 1850 Newcastle District (Durham and Northumberland, Ontario) census records. These records have been microfilmed and are easily located at a number of Canadian archives sites. They are not, however, so easily accessed from Savannah, GA. So, while I could have ordered them from FHS, I think a 500+ mile side-roadtrip was obviously more practical.

I mean, just look at this place!

trenton sun dial

After a few peaceful days in Trenton in which I was able to look through some records and attend the Quinte branch meeting of the Ontario Genealogical Society (surprise bonus!), it was time to hit the road again. The next stop on the trip was Augusta, Maine by way of Hemmingford, Quebec, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. To be sure, Junior (my beloved Subaru) traversed more vertical miles in that one jaunt than Indy (my previous car) covered in the entire four years I’ve lived on the East coast! I sure have missed mountains.

But, that is a post for later.

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interlude

It’s been an insanely busy couple of weeks. I am incredibly pleased to announce that tomorrow I’ll be Convocating with my MSLIS in Library Science and a Certificate in Cultural Heritage Preservation (the larger Commencing will be on Sunday). This graduation ends 13 years of nearly continuous collegiate pursuits, and, oh, what?.. 25 years of schooling. To say that I’m disoriented by my changing life roles may be an understatement.

So, seeking to ease the transition, I’m doing one of the things that I most love to do–road trip!

(Although, I far prefer my Subie Forester! Sign and actual vehicle found at the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum: http://tacm.com/. )

Included points of interest include Baltimore, MD; Syracuse, NY; Trenton, Ontario; Hemmingford, Quebec; and finally, several destinations in Maine.

The best part of this trip is that it combines the poignancy of visiting distant friends, the intellectual thrill of on-site research, and the soul-soothing balm of exploring new roads (and if my ancestors are any indication, I’m a predisposed rover!). The only downside is that I can’t get “Life is a Highway” out of my head…

“…Through all the cities and all these towns, it’s in my blood and it’s all around”

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Long day’s journey of the Saturday

Given the nature of the weekend, I wished take a moment to share a passage that I cherish.

“There is one particular day in Western history about which neither historical record nor myth nor Scripture make report. It is a Saturday. And it has become the longest of days. We know of that Good Friday which Christianity holds to have been that of the Cross. But the non-Christian, the atheist, knows of it as well. This is to say that he knows of the injustice, of the interminable suffering, of the waste, of the brute enigma of ending, which so largely make up not only the historical dimension of the human condition, but the everyday fabric of our personal lives. We know, ineluctably, of the pain, of the failure of love, of the solitude which are our history and private fate. We know also about Sunday. To the Christian, that day signifies an intimation, both assured and precarious, both evident and beyond comprehension, of resurrection, of a justice and a love that have conquered death. If we are non-Christians or non-believers, we know of that Sunday in precisely analogous terms. We conceive of it as the day of liberation from inhumanity and servitude. We look to resolutions, be they therapeutic or political, be they social or messianic. The lineaments of that Sunday carry the name of hope (there is no word less deconstructible).


But ours is the long day’s journey of the Saturday. Between suffering, aloneness, unutterable waste on the one hand and the dream of liberation, or rebirth on the other. In the face of the torture of a child, of the death of love which is Friday, even the greatest art and poetry are almost helpless. In the Utopia of the Sunday, the aesthetic will, presumably, no longer have logic or necessity. The apprehensions and figurations in the play of metaphysical imagining, in the poem and the music, which tell of pain and hope, of the flesh which is said to taste of ash and of the spirit which is said to have the savour of fire, are always Sabbatarian. They have risen out of an immensity of waiting which is that of man. Without them, how could we be patient?

—George Steiner, Real Presences, pp. 231

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