Thursday, April 28, 2016

Springtime in Wyoming!

It is springtime in Wyoming. Yes, really. A few days ago it was in the 70s with bright sunshine, tulips and daffodils blooming in the yard, and green grass. The lilac buds were developing at an amazing pace, and I was eager for the bushes under my kitchen window to burst into full, glorious bloom.

This is what the world looked like out my back door this morning.

We have now had several days of snow. It warms up a bit in the daytime and melts some off. More falls.

I well remember the huge blizzard of May Day 1967 when the whole town was shut down. All the streets were blocked. First we lost power, then, when the back-up batteries were drained, the phones were dead, and, finally, no more water.

Two days later spring was back.

Not every year is like this, of course.

We would certainly rather be getting our water in the form of rain, but, when one lives in a semi-arid region, water in any form is good for the land.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


A few weeks ago I sent in the saliva sample to's DNA project.

The results are now in. Not much in the way of surprises. Yes, that Irish/Scots/Great Britain evidence in the family tree also includes those Vikings. That Scandinavian DNA was expected because, among other things like height and coloring, my father's paternal line is named McLaughlin. "Loughlin" is a Scandinavian name found in various forms in Ireland. The "Mc" prefix means "son of." The name McLaughlin, according to Internet sources, means "Son of a Norseman." The Norsemen not only raided along Ireland's coasts, they built trading posts that became towns and cities and they mixed with the local population.

The biggest surprise was a 1% European Jewish portion. Ancestry puts a qualifier on that. Such a small percentage cannot be a certainty. If it truly is Jewish DNA it would have come from a lot of generations back.

As a person who grew up on the Bible--and all those great stories are Jewish stories--I like the idea that a little bit of me came from Abraham. God promised him descendants like the stars of the sky. I like thinking I am one of those stars! Such a small portion of my DNA is not enough to have much influence on my makeup. But the reality is that if even one ancestor is pulled from the line of descent I no longer exist, no matter how far back in the chain that ancestor lived.

It is a little bit overwhelming to think about all those unknown people who went into the making of each of us!