Friday, April 27, 2012

Who's the Boss?

While I'd like to tell you that my husband wears the pants in this family, I'm sure he'd give you a story to prove the complete opposite.  The truth actually falls somewhere in the middle, I think. If not, then I hold a weightier side, but that's because he's quicker at giving in  than I am.  He's wiser too!

I always try to discuss things with Mike before any decision is made, unless it has to be a snap decision, which is very rare. We often discuss things to death before we make a decision, not arguing about things, but each considering the other's opinions and concerns.  Eventually we do come to some agreement to do it, to not do it, or to modify it and then do it.  

Before we were married we decided to see a counselor. We got along so well, but we'd both been married before, and once in awhile some issue would rise up that was born of old baggage. So, we wanted to get that all out of the way before we committed our remaining lives to each other.  We met with Andrew a number of times, and each time, he'd shake his head and tell us that he'd never seen a couple who considered one another the way the two of us did. When he presented us with a  scenerio, we'd look at each other and we'd ask the other, "What do you want to do."  and answer, "Well, what do YOU want to do?"

After we were married, things continue to go that way. It might be what to have for dinner, what to do for that day or where to go on a road trip. Usually the dinner thing is the easiest decision, because very often we are thinking of the same meal!  

I think we're a pretty good team...a couple who takes turns making the final decision. But, if you come to my house, and look at my refrigerator door, you may feel differently, because there hangs a headline, in large font, which reads "Queen Kathleen".  It won't take you long to figure out which of us PUT it there.... but I decided I'd leave it there, just to remind a certain someone who's the boss!

Sea Chest

My mother has a large wooden box called a  'sea chest'.  It originally belonged to my great grandfather.  She also has a framed copy of his 'Pilots License' which gave him permission to run boats in the waters of the East Coast.

Sometimes I look at that chest, which sits in front of Mom's couch in the living room, used as a coffee table, and I wonder where it has been in its lifetime. These boxes were made to hold the belongings of a seaman when he was aboard a ship.  Since GrGrandfather was the captain of a number of boats, I can only imagine how much time that box rocking on the waves.

How I wish that I could ask the questions that plague me at times. There is history in that piece of furniture, and all I know for sure is who it belonged to.  Who built it? When and where?  What boats did it travel inside of, and what ports were visited. How many years did it travel? What items did GrGrandfather fill it with? Did he keep books inside of it, or records of any sort?  What stories could this wooden box share if it was given a voice?

As I said to another researcher,  genealogy presents us with all manner of mysteries. We, as the investigaors, want to be able to solve every mystery, but often we can't. As frustrating as it is to give up the investigation of a certain vein, it sometimes has to be done. Sometimes the answer will be found later, in some unique way. We might stumble over it in a writing while looking for something else. Someone who has an old tale to tell might shed some light on it. But, unfortunately, there are times when the answers are hidden for all time and eternity.  I think that's the case with this sea chest.