Thursday, April 4, 2013

"My Family Tree is Full of Nuts!"

This is a statement that I have no doubt in my mind that many other genealogists have made or at least thought of. To an outsider, it might seem like one was trying to say in a nice way, how dysfunctional their families are. I prefer to view it as a term of endearment to describe members of families who bring fun, excitement, and even some silliness to the otherwise mundane, boring and sometimes tedious table of life! 

We all need to inspire and develop a good sense of humor and not be afraid to laugh at ourselves. It has long been said that :Laughter is the best medicine!" , and in the world we live in today, it is desperately needed. Sometimes, the humor is not recognized or acknowledged in a single event until years later. Allowing ourselves to get caught up in a pressure cooker situation or environment for too long a time, will gradually drain us of who we once were. Be brave enough to intentionally inject a little humor during those times, and it will release a bit of that pressure before it is too late, and the explosion occurs.

It's nice to take advantage of the digital and social media world we live in. Now we can easily capture, with the "click" of a mouse, amusing, family memories to add in a digital file, or print to be placed in an old school family photo album. And, lets Not forget to write a short silly note to go with them, for later in life to enjoy these precious moments again. Besides that, pics like these are great to show the future children of the people in them; and as disbelieving as it may be, it will show and attest to the humanity  of them to their children. Let's face it, one of the best methods of revenge that parents have, is to be an embarrassment in front of their children's friends.

Now to the darker side of humor. How many genealogists, I wonder, can write that they had a grandmother who brought her camera to a family funeral? While many would be totally floored at this idea, and the family member who passed it on to me was shocked by it, I found some silly humor in it. I also examined the photo from a family historian's perspective. And, don't forget, we are known as "Those weird people who go looking for cemeteries to roam through." Why, we have even been known to take pictures of headstones! So, a bit of morbid humor? I say, a resounding, YES!

Next, there is motherly humor. Depending on the mother/child relationship, that level and type of humor can take many twists and turns, and take many forms. What may begin as a gentle tickle session, moves on to a toss in the air, then as time moves on, becomes a wrestling hold that you learn on TV. Now thew cool-headed, multi-tasking mom can restrain her child in this hold and continue a conversation with another person. And, who couldn't resist  a little personal one on one time with a smile like that?

Now, the best one for last. We have the star of a family who isn't afraid to let her hair down, and strike a pose for a fun pic. When I look at her in this pic, I am reminded of my youth when I felt and acted the same way. Do I miss it? You better believe that I do! This too, will be shared and added to my family tree. you know, the one that I said in the beginning is full of nuts? But, you know something else? I love each and everyone of them, and nobody else could possibly take their place in my family tree.


  1. A great treatise on your Guerin Family nutcakes. But you missed the biggest and greatest one of all: YOU! Where are Your pictures, my dear?! Just sayin'. With love.

  2. Carol who was the person Grandma was taking a picture of at the funeral? Teena

    1. Teena, She was taking pictures of her own older brother's funeral. It was Forrest Nelson's funeral. Your mother told me that when I asked her about it.