I haven’t been reading – as much. I’m about half way through Testimony by Anita Shreve (Fortune’s Rocks is one of my all time favorites!) I’ll save my comments until I finish, though. I started Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (Pride & Prejudice continues), and while I haven’t completely given up on it, I just can’t get into it (yet).
Family reunion: Last weekend 78 of my relatives gathered at my uncle’s place. (He has a hunting lodge & the facility to host large groups like this.) It was the first ever Slaughter family reunion. These are the descendants of my great-grandparents – Manie Fain and Nathaniel Slaughter. (We had a impromptu competition of whether there were more “Fain’s” or “Nathaniel’s” represented, but I’m not sure who won. There were about 7 of each present.)
Anyway, I have been the unofficial family historian, and so with the help of a few from the generation ahead of me, we put this reunion together. It was a lot of fun. Many of the cousins who were there (my mom’s first cousins and their children), I had never actually met. And so, it was a lot of fun to learn about blood relatives who live and work in the same area as you, but you didn’t know. Even my cousins that I do know & have grown up with don’t see each other very often, so it is great seeing them as well.
(The other picture is of me with Howard; he’s the oldest and I’m the youngest of the grandchildren in our “line” – the Dye’s.)
Project Silver: My husband’s grandparent were Norwegian immigrants to NYC in 1919, and he knows very little about the family. We’ve recently acquired part of the family silver collection – almost 60 pieces of mostly spoons or serving pieces. When we got them, they were in awful shape. Black as coal, some of them. And so the first part of my project was to get them clean. Once clean, I started cataloging the hallmarks and maker marks on them.
Almost all of them are from Norway, and were made between 1891 and 1919 (when the family came to the US). So in a way, I’ve been reconstructing the family history with these pieces. For example, we’ve learned the confirmation date of my husband’s grandfather from one of the spoons.
Anyway, it all very fascinating stuff. And beautiful – some of the most beautiful silver I’ve ever seen. For example, this piece is a fish server. Under an exquisitely engraved “W” – (family’s initial) is “Fra Lysholms Arbeidere” which means “from the Lysholms workers.” We haven’t quite figured out the exact connection, but near the birthplace of the grandfather is the Lysholms distillery that makes a famous Norwegian liquor – Aquavit.
So, I’ve been immersed in family “stuff” for the last few weeks, and haven’t kept up with my reading. But the reunion is over, and now that the silver is clean, it will keep.
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