Monday, May 26, 2008

happy remembering-your-people day

dear reader,

it's good to know where you come from. if i squint and look back at my ancestors, blurring their individual stories...

...i come from a long line of melancholic romantic die-hard men who would sit under fig trees drinking vino and philosophizing about politics and cheese. mostly their names were antonio. they had cinnamon-colored hair.

...i also come from a long line of resourceful and industrious women determined to improve their lot in life. they kept fastidious gardens from which they fed their families. several of the women were known as healers. my mom has shown me how Tia Peti would use a piece of string to heal digestive tract issues (hmm...) but mostly their methods were to pray very persuasively. they had great success. their neighbors gave them "gifts" for their services. (it was bad luck to accept payment.)

this is my Nona. she shares her exact shade of blue eyes with me. she married into the antonini family but she never had children. she raised her niece (my abuelita) and looked after all those antonini brothers. you can read more about her here.

this is nona (again) and dora, another niece. dora was tia louisa's daughter. tia lousia, even more than all my ancestors was famously DEVOTED to her enormous garden. to this day when my mom announces she's going to "louisiar" she means she's going to work in the garden.
signed,

"me voy louisiando..."

p.s. do you find that you make more sense when you learn about your ancestors?

9 comments:

Chandelle said...

i wish i knew more about my ancestors. i don't know my mother or her family. my dad says she comes from a cherokee family and most of them live in the nation around oklahoma. my grandfather on that side was a moonshiner. and there was an awful lot of incest. :) my dad's side are all back-easters. i know nothing else about them at all. i've tried to ask around but i get nowhere. i think i must come from irish stock and also possibly german. my grandfather says we're related to eva braun through a cousin or something. yeah, enlightening. maybe i should have worked harder on my genealogy when i was LDS. :) beautiful post.

djinn said...

Stunning woman. Looks like you. I've lost your email addy, I think I've lost the entire yahoo account I used to have. Anyway, copyright news that might be useful to you that I discovered today

http://adizzylife.blogspot.com/2008/05/interesting-copyright-problem.html

When your ancestors are interesting, when you have pictures and stories, it's wonderful to know about them. WHen they are just strings of names on paper, somewhat less so. Even so, some facts can be derived (or imagined) from such skimpy data...

Amber said...

I love learning about my ancestors. I'm amazed at the women of my heritage. Several were raised in abusive households, and were able to escape it - growing into strong women with strong families.

Many others left the religion of their family, risking MUCH, in order to follow their own beliefs. One was a wealthy Rothchild - who was disowned completely for her religious choices, another was from a high caste in India - had *never* even dressed herself, and gave the entire thing up to follow her faith.

I too have left the religion of my youth, determined to live my truth despite rejection from my family. I was never even close to abused, but I do have a very strong sense of personal strength that I hope to instill in my own children.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful family...

tam said...

Did you know that if you donate 300 bucks (during fund drives) to PBS you can have a genetic history done? Since I look german/english but identify more as spanish/italian, I want to know what my genes say.
Epifania is gorgeous! Yes, a lot like you Quel-Quel.
who has the pointy features in our family? (besides me)

Quel said...

chandelle, the mystery of the situation calls for a book to be written. i have no clue how you'd go about uncovering the past but it certainly sounds intriguing.

djinn,
every member of your family (that i have the extreme pleasure of knowing)are such amazing individuals...i would love to hear the strings of names and daydream about them.

amber,
your heritage reminds me of an Amy Tan book. Totally fascinating! I would love to read flesh-out versions of your ancestors stories!

TamTam, or should i call you Grace Kelly? You and your strange notion that you have "pointy" features. Although the fact that you can type on a keyboard with your wee pointy nose is quite remarkable. You're so talented!!

Also, I want to know where you got your dance moves and amazing rhythm 'cause it wasn't mom or dad!

pamo said...

love this post. of course you have a garden. you have to. it's in the blood.

d/b/c/m said...

i very rarely get jealous, but i'll admit, everything you have ever mentioned about family/heritage/ancestors prick me with a tinge of it. this was no exception. it reads like my daydreams...

as for my own-- the only ones i know about are pocohontas (my tenth great grandma whom i DO identify with), and an east coast mormon don juan who claimed that god had annointed him as a holy bishop of sorts and that women must sit on his lap and greet him with "an holy kiss" which led to his excommunication. i'll refrain from finding the similarity.

djinn said...

My dad's family came to the US in the days prior to the Mayflower (newfoundland banks) on the Mayflower (three (?) ancestors) participated in the Witch trials at salem (Goody this and that) farmed marginal land in upstate New York, and then went--after colliding with Mormonism (early! think Sidney Rigdon's Campbellite congregation, and then rapidly became marginal farmers in Idaho. Travel far, end up in the same place. On my Mom's side, well, I like to think I get my sense of style from wherever Maxfield Parrish (my Mom was a Maxfield, same one) got his from. I'm not sure if this is bragging or confession........

Lois said...

Love the photos! What a fun read.