When You’re Not Looking

In the search for our roots, our ancestors and the stories of their lives, it’s easy to think we know what we’re looking for. We have a name and a birth date, after all. I’m learning, however, that sometimes the most valuable pieces of an ancestors’ life are unearthed in day-to-day conversation–not in family history interviews.

For example, I’ve been asking my mother about her dad (who died several years before my birth). She has told me some wonderful things about his life, his ministry, his talents. But during our time away for Steven’s wedding, my brother, mother, and I were discussing strange foods and types of foods we didn’t particularly like. And out of this random, entertain-the-long-moments-of-our-drive time together, mom remembered that her father always wanted Oyster Soup on Christmas Eve.

It was tradition, she said–though why, or how it came to be, she hadn’t a clue. Every Christmas Eve, Grandpa S. would direct the children’s program at the church, and then the family would come home for Oyster Soup and Christmas cookies. He was the only one who ate the Oyster Soup.

It is not a story I was looking for. It does, however, add some color to my Grandfather’s life.

But as the family history search goes, one piece of incredible information, one enlightening story, one tiny tidbit that surfaces when we least expect it–not only excites and illuminates the search, but also births a dozen infant questions.

Perhaps they, too, will be answered…when I’m not looking.

About these ads

4 thoughts on “When You’re Not Looking

  1. Hi Sarah,

    It’s funny that you would mention Oyster Soup as a tradition. My in-laws have/had the same tradition. I’ve never been given an explanation as to “why?” either. Since my father-in-law has passed away, I’m not sure if Oyster Soup is still a tradition. At least, I haven’t seen any.

    And, by the way, my initiation into the family was to have at least one bowl of Oyster Soup. They also had Oyster Turkey Stuffing, too.

    • So how was the Oyster Turkey Stuffing?

      I’ve never had oyster *any*thing, so it’s all new to me! But I may see what I can come up with this year for Christmas Eve to honor my Grandpa. As I understand it, a lot of folks do the oyster stuff for Christmas–but I still haven’t figured out why. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s