“She can’t keep going, but she does. She and the fire column in movement, she forward. It spins upward a hallucinatory dance. The neighbor and her children have forgotten motion; their screams have left them behind
the tin ceiling
Did she take note here?
This is the moment my life changes. I can’t finish the dishes, wash my unmentionables, get dinner ready for Dirk and the children before it’s too late. It’s going to happen. It’s happening now.”
This is an excerpt from “An Account of a Poor Oil Stove Bought off Dutch Pete,” one of nineteen chapters from Kin Types, a 30-page book of prose and poems by author and fellow blogger Luanne Castle. Follow her blogs here: The Family Kalamazoo and Entering the Pale.
With Kin Types, Castle enters the lives of her ancestors by exploring their pasts through genealogy and the family stories, photographs, and ephemera that reveal that genealogy. Just take a look at Luanne’s blogs to see her comprehensive family explorations.
However, because the past is often defined by what little we know of our ancestors, that knowledge can be scanty. That’s my situation.
So I ordered Luanne’s book to gather ideas for my own family history writing project about a 1930 barnstorming airplane crash that killed my grandmother’s two younger brothers. (Read this post for more about the accident.)
All I have left of the tragedy are photographs, letters of sympathy, yellowed newspaper clippings, locks of hair. How can I ever understand this history fully? Perhaps by doing what Luanne did, that is, entering the lives of her ancestors via genealogy, photographs and ephemera.
Kin Types will inspire you if you wish to research your own family history or simply desire to connect with your ancestors through the power of writing.
If you enjoyed this post, click “like” so others may find it more easily. Follow this blog for more articles and updates on my project regarding the 1930 airplane crash. If you are a middle school teacher, check out my teaching blog.