Last night took my daughter to get a dress for graduation. I started talking to one of the sales clerks, of course, because she kept following us around and seemed bored, too. It took about 15 minutes of conversation before I pointed at her, laughed and said, "You're the checker at the grocery store who's working two jobs and going to school for early childhood education! I remember you! Do you remember me?!!!" She laughed and said she did, but I'm pretty sure she didn't. You see, I'd met her a couple of months earlier while paying for groceries, and, of course, got as much of her life story out of her before we had to say goodbye, have a nice day, see you around...the stuff people say all the time when real life calls.
It was way too short of a conversation. But it turns out it was a pretty good start!
And guess what? We'll recognize each other quicker the next time our paths cross.
It takes time to get to know someone, even your ancestors. The more often I study a document the clearer a person becomes, until, literally, they are unforgettable. The more little nuggets of their story I can collect, the better chance I have of remembering them and desiring to get to know them better.
I don't know much about the Skars in my father's family line except that they came from Norway to work in the sugar plantations in Hawaii in the 1800's, they eventually made it to Washington state, and that there's a burial ground that my relatives visited this year that holds the graves of my great great grandparents. And there was a family farm that burned down, a death from appendicitis on a boat en route to the doctor, and someone was a goat herder. Fun stuff.
For now it's like looking into a snow globe at a world frozen in time.
But, at least I remember!