Friday, June 28, 2013

Who Makes Up Your Family?

Sheryl sent me this picture of Bruce with Robert and Zach. They took off Tuesday with Zach’s Boy Scout troop for a seven-day canoe trip. It only takes one look at the picture to know that they are all related. Unfortunately they have had rain two of the three days they have been out. It is supposed to rain today too. Bruce always tells guests that the weather they get on vacation depends on the life they have led during the past year. I wonder what that says about him.

Meanwhile the lodge carries on as usual. This past week and next week Tom and Jan Daniel’s family has had a reunion for 19 of them. The purpose is to celebrate Tom and Jan’s 60th wedding anniversary. Every five years the entire clan assembles here to celebrate. They first came up here in 1969 for Tom’s family reunion. It was the first summer Bruce and I had been married. Tom and Jan alone or with various of their children and grandchildren have visited us 24 times over the years. We even ran into them once in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. (I had to look that up to spell it correctly.)

I have taken up a new hobby. Since we moved the number of boxes devoted to old family pictures in our home has multiplied It is like a message from on high that maybe I ought to try to organize the genealogy of the family. I went and bought a program called Family Tree Maker complete with instructions. Bruce feels that I am crazy but we will see what happens.

The Kerfoot family tree will be easy. Someone years before me actually gathered it all up in a book of which we have a copy. Even the Spunner family (Justine’s) has a fair amount of information easily obtainable. Both my maternal and paternal families are woefully lacking in information. I am only the second general born in this country on my mother’s side and the first on my father’s side. Nothing like a good mystery to keep me busy.

The real problem is that I am not interested in filling in blanks on a family tree chart. I want to know the stories of these people’s lives. For example Bruce’s grandfather George Kerfoot was a president of Hamline University in the St. Paul. He was a minister and they were social very correct. They had four boys and one daughter. During the Depression Justine and Bill were desperately poor. The house Grandpa and Grandma Kerfoot lived in need to be reroofed so Bill and Justine came down to do the job. It might have been the first time that Grandma Kerfoot met her new daughter-in-law.

At any rate during those years, there was no way that Justine could have been described as social correct. She came down in her bib overalls and climbed up to help with the roofing project. Then to add insult to injury Justine took a break by having a cigarette on the roof. Grandma Kerfoot reacted the only way her generation could. She took to her bed.

Over the years Grandma Kerfoot came to appreciate her unorthodox daughter-in-law. When she lay dying, Grandma asked to speak with Justine. None of the four adult boys but only Justine was asked to always look after daughter Margaret. The promise given was never forgotten.

1 comment:

Tigo1122 said...

hi sue, I am a Kerfoot like you. James and berniece are my grandparents. I have been digging into genealogy a lot and have found numerous letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings about many of the kerfoots. After my grandpa died we found a ton of photographs and geneology information. good luck on your genealogy adventure! maybe we can compare notes!