Saturday, September 20, 2014

Family History

This weekend started with me researching baby name spellings online. I'm not pregnant or anything but I can't be the only one with boy and girl names picked out since forever. I've had this girl name in mind for a long time and it's of Russian origin and therefore originally written in Cyrillic. So transliteration  can often result different spelling variations of names from language to language. I have been given a somewhat hard time about this name from the few people I've shared it with; no one will be able to pronounce it, she will have to always explain it, etc. Well I first heard it when there was a girl in my 4th grade class named it and none of us, nor the teacher had any problems saying her name correctly, so I'm not really worried about it. In any event, after researching it I found out it is a name used in Lithuania and it just so happens that my grandmother is Lithuanian and I immediately felt like this was the spelling I was meant to use. The only problem with the spelling is it uses a diacritic to signal the way it's pronounced which means it will forever be mispronounced in the US and diacritic marks aren't printed on official documents in the US so I don't know.

All of this led to me reading wikipedia articles about Lithuania, Lithuanian people, Lithuanian language and Baltic languages and I thought maybe I should learn Lithuanian.  That itself is nothing new as I'm fairly sure I've wanted to learn every language out there at one time. But then I was driving home on the beltway and I was driving behind a car whose license plate read VILNIUS. Coincidence???? Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. I got home and was googling Lithuania some more when I decided to google my grandmother's maiden name, which led me to her obituary.

My grandmother died while I was living in Spain and I honestly don't think it really hit me that she is gone until this evening. That I can't ask her why her parents immigrated to the US (a better life I'm sure, but still). I can't ask her, did her parents meet here or in Lithuania? How old were they? Did they keep in touch with their family in Lithuania? Who else came here besides them? Did she grow up with a huge extended family in Massachusetts or just her parents and siblings? Did her parents speak Lithuanian at home? I remember her teaching me Lithuanian phrases, specifically something to the effect of "shut up cabbage face" and I repeated it to my dad who was none too happy. I can hear her voice in my mind and I'm scared it will slip away. And so I'm struggling to get all my thought's down on this digital paper here, so I can remember later how she made me ramen noodles after school with shrimp, and how she was such a giving, thoughtful person. My parents separated when I was young and later my younger sister was born. Her father died when she was an infant and she never met my mother's parents. She shares a birthday with my grandmother and my grandmother would visit us and she would always remember my sister, she would send her cards on her birthday with little checks in them just like she did me and my brother. My grandmother was an extraordinary person. Tonight I miss her so much. 

Bucket List recap

So.....totally failed on that blog regularly one.


ride my bike on the C & O canal path–I managed to walk on it but not bike

take a tour of dc monuments at night–fail, was waiting for bf's nephew to arrive but he never made it here

try white water rafting in WV–did not raft but we grilled on the side of the road by the Shenandoah river

eat ice cream at Miller Farm–honestly not sure how I managed to fail on this one but it's not too late, maybe tomorrow

Eat crabs–check!

go camping at Assateague Island–Assateague Island camping on the weekends fills up like a year in advance but I did sit on the beach one night and all around us   people were making little bonfires which I had no idea was allowed

visit Art Museums–not a one

take the canoe on the water–the canoe went out on the water but sadly I never got a chance to ride in it

buy sparklers for 4th of July–fail. I knew in advance that fireworks and the like aren't sold in my county, this was just poor planning on my part

go to a movie at a theater–been trying to do this one for the last 3 weekends and     something always comes up

take a girls trip–drove to Philly with my girl

make homemade ice cream–fail

eat a cheesesteak in Philadelphia–partial. When we went to Philly we went to D'Nics in the Reading Terminal Market and had their famous roasted pork sub sandwich which was AMAZING and totally worth the drive. Perhaps another trip is in order. Incidentally, that started out as a trip to READING, but luckily I looked up the D'Nics address before we left.

make churros–fail and I even have the churro maker and the dough mix which is why it even made it on the list in the first place

read 5 books–this one is so sad, why do I not have time to read?? I finished 2 and half books. The first was called This Love is Not for Cowards by Robert Andrew Powell. It was great, it feels like a memoir but it's about Juarez and their soccer team and the fall from major leagues to the minors. I loved it so much I read another book by him called Running Away which was a memoir of how he trained to run the Boston Marathon. It was also great, made me cry. The 3rd book which I haven't finished because I've been super busy is Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. And the 4th book I've had checked out and renewed and checked out and  renewed all summer is The Art of Political Murder which I haven't started. I don't even have a 5th book lined up.

take pictures, print and frame them–oh well, just add it to the fall bucket list

find a place to go stargazing–I was going to say never happened except that while camping at Point Lookout there was an incredibly clear night where you could see millions of stars in the sky.

take a road trip–drove to Philly, see above

learn how to grill–check!! I am no master griller but I now know how to start a fire and put the meat on the grill and turn it over. Basic I know

visit the Hirshhorn sculpture garden–fail, still want to go

find Einstein monument–CHECK!!

eat at a place that's been on Food Network–Check, went to D'Nics in Philadelphia and Taquería R&R which probably shouldn't count because I've been going there since before I knew it was on food network, it's not far from my house.

try to blog once a week–we know how that worked out

build a tiny house–still on the list. I am obsessed with tiny houses