Saturday, November 19, 2005

Isla Mujeres after Wilma

Our little island in the sun was hit hard by Hurricane Wilma.
It is only ½ mile wide by 5 miles long and lies off the coast from Cancun approximately 20 mins by ferry.

Hundreds of tourists travel daily from the mainland to Isla Mujeres, they are looking for the tranquil beaches of white sand, tropical waters in technical shades of blue and green, cold beer or fruit drinks spiked with tequila delivered to their lounge chair. Evenings they choose to dine at the many restaurants that serve some of the most delectable meals either traditional or native. Then may chose to sit in a favorite beach bar watching the sun set, or maybe a dance in the moonlight. They realize there is an excellent ferry service that will get them back and forth for a measly sum of 35 pesos / $3.50 US.

Many people chose to ride out the storm, they would endure countless hardships.
It would send all island regular tourists into a tailspin, what happen to their favorite accommodations, the friends, and their usual watering hole? They clamored for tidbits of information on Isla bulletin boards. The island was without power, water and basic necessities of life. Information was slow in coming there was little contact to the outside world, the ferries weren’t running.

It is unimaginable that this tiny island would recover, but recover they did; and in record time.
Most of the electricity has been restored, water has been restored and the ferries are once again transporting visitors and workers back and forth to the mainland. The island called Isla Mujeres has once again proven why it is so resilient. These fine people know how to work together to get mammoth jobs complete. The original estimates where approximately 6 to 8 months but they have done most of it in just over 30 days.

What’s not to like about Isla, few places where you can feel safer and enjoy a vacation with total freedom of old world charm. The people are A-1 the best.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Importance of life

When is the time to give thanks for all that you have? I awaken some days with this thought in mind.

I have a wonderful family, a wife who is a best friend, daughter’s that are second to none and adorable, well mannered grandchildren. I am great friends with all my son-in-laws and have a long list of best friends. Some that goes back to my early school days and some from industry.

My wife and I work together and enjoy each others company; we like to do some traveling. Through our travels, we have met many very nice people and some have become good friends. I spend time on the computer and have made a few lasting friendships.

There is always plenty of food on the table and a warm roof over our heads. We have family get-togethers at Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and anniversaries. What more in life do people need? Yes! I would say it is time to give thanks.

Thanks! to all the family and friends that make giving thanks possible.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Family Tree

A few years ago, I had a Family tree program loaded into my computer by a good friend. It will sort all your family and put them in the proper order, organize the family links, create charts and allow for special notes. You name it seems to have it all, a neat program.

Of course, I got busy and started typing in a few names and quickly realized I never knew much about the family. Both my parents had passed away and I never paid near enough attention to some of the stories they past on. I was going to leave this world one day and my kids wouldn’t know much about their roots.

From my parent’s death certificates, I had a little information to start with. My father was born in England and my mother from Virginia. I have kept in close contact with my Virginian relatives over the years, they are my life line, but I have no close relatives on my father’s side. This was going to be a difficult journey, to get information one needs to do some amount of detective work.

Some one said you can get all kinds of information by surfing the web. I soon found out there were hundreds out there with my same name; my searches were fruitless. I called upon my cousins in Virginia and they came through with flying colors and gave me a long list of family members and even birthdays and deaths. I paid a visit and got into City Hall records and found some more. I now had birth certificates, marriage dates, deaths and even some news paper clippings. Newspapers are a great source, most are archived and on micro film.

I was building a wonderful back ground on my mother’s side, but nothing on my father’s side. I knew he came to this country at the young age of 4 months or was it 4 years?
I knew my grandparents full name from a wedding clipping from a local paper archive.
I was at a stand still. Along comes a stranger, who really wasn’t a stranger but a friend whom I had met on a gardening forum. She lived in England and was heavily into genealogy. Before I knew it she had sent me birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, census records and maps of the areas that my grandparents and great grand parents lived. All original copies of such. She had done an amazing detective job and refused to accept any reimbursement. She is still actively trying to move the history back even farther.

As I said in an earlier Blog, there are some mighty fine people out there. There are some lowlife's also. I have been fortunate to have only made friends with the cream of the crop.
All my friends are the best.