Like most Americans, my family tree has many roots and branches including several that once grew in Oklahoma. This is the source on my Inner Okie.
What's an Inner Okie you ask? I'm sure that it varies considerably but with me it's the peacefulness that descends upon me when I'm with my dogs in a pick-up truck, wearing my blue jeans and boots.
My Inner Okie also wishes to be fed. Legend has it that the consumption of black-eyed peas on New Years Day satisfies that hunger and grants good fortune for the whole dag-goned year.
Of course I've also pretty well Californicated so those beans require some dressing up. Our 2012 version included soy-chorizo, organic vegetable stock and fresh herbs including thyme and cilantro. Delicious!
So now well fed and with good fortune in the bank just let me say:
Y'all have yourselves a stupendous 2012!
Now that I've tackled faith, this might be an excellent time to get into my family heritage.
The Hughes part of my heritage emigrated from Northern Wales. My Grandfather Evan was the first generation of our direct line born in the U.S.
I had the wonderful fortune as a young man to spend two weeks hitch-hiking through Wales that culminated in spending the night in the local B & B in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. My ride into town was the town butcher, Davey Jones (meat lockers). I spent a wonderful afternoon in the town pub, joining locals in watching the England vs Australia Cricket Test whilst quaffing halves of Brains Ale and savoring their famous scampi and chips. The local play by play jumped from English to Welsh frequently, sometimes mid-sentence. I still don't understand cricket.
The graveyard was crowded with memorials of Hughes' long gone and I glimpsed the old family homestead on the bus ride out of town.
Northern Wales remains rural and beautiful. Snow fed streams bisect heather covered hills dotted with rock outcroppings and sheep. Farmers in their wool caps ferry their animals to the livestock auction in Newtown where the cadence of the auctioneer's voice culminates in the slap of his crop on his clipboard. Shop keepers display their names above their doors; Jones, Morgan and Hughes predominate. The world economy was evident in citrus fruit from South Africa and lamb from New Zealand.
Celtic Knots have an ancient history that has much to do with an acknowledgment that there is an inter-connectedness in our lives. The Welsh seem particularly fond of using them in carvings. Welsh love spoons are worthy of a separate exploration at some other time.
I have recently adopted a Celtic knot theme on this site and in my other publications as a reminder to myself that common ground is not that hard to find, that we are connected in many ways. The balance of my Scotch-Irish-German-English Heritage virtually guarantees it.
Don the Trustee
When my mother passed very suddenly some 16 years ago, I worked as a trustee for the first time. Her trust contained walnut orchards, peach orchards and a small vineyard. One of the properties was within the sphere of influence of the adjacent city and I dove in with the neighbors and started working on annexation. Loved this work back then and still find it very satisfying today.