Sunday, October 9, 2011

Columbus Day Weekend

   October is one of my favorite months in New England.  The sun shines without humidity, and we call it  sweater weather.  The foliage colors are vibrant, and leaf peepers plan a day trip to experience it all.   Red, orange and yellow leaves are everywhere.  Soon we'll be raking them up, but we don't have to worry about that now.   This weekend we observe Columbus Day.  It's fun to have a long weekend, but it should have more meaning than that.  Let's face it, if it wasn't for Columbus, most of us wouldn't live here.  One year, Matt had a school project that had kids draw their family tree.  He was asked to list  three generations, and their nationality.  We had fun with it, and talked about it while we took our foliage ride.  It turned into one of those teachable moments. We knew where our grandparents and great-grandparents were born, and when we got home, we found those countries on our globe.  Matt learned that he was French, Irish, German, English and Italian.  He heard that his great-great grandparents had their names changed as they arrived at Ellis Island.  The person checking them in either couldn't spell the name, or couldn't understand the language barrier.  He was excited because he had lots of branches on his family tree.  Kids are naturally curious about where they came from, and this discussion helps answer some questions.  Geneology is popular now, and the internet helps us trace our heritage.   We can find relatives who became famous for doing good things, and relatives who were famous for doing the wrong things.  I'm thankful that our ancestors came to America looking for a better life.  It couldn't have been easy, but they persevered, because they probably couldn't go back.  Our country is called the melting pot of the world for good reason.  Let's take some time to reflect on where we came from, and how we got here.
This is my experience, so take what you like and leave the rest.....and the beat goes on...the beat goes on...

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