Before blogging, but after the kids came, when painting was nigh on to impossible, (is it me or does this sentence have a plethora of commas?) I took up researching family history. I know - wow-wee. I guess if you're not a book fiend and a history lover it would seem tame. My own family doesn't really have any interest in digging up long-forgotten skeletons, so its a lonely pursuit, with few compatriots.
I do have one research buddy; one that came from digging up those ancestors (information digging, not cadavers, silly!). Velveeta Wingnut is in actuality my 6th cousin, although we have so many things in common, it seems closer to us both. We discovered each other through one of those genealogy message boards. She was looking for information on a cemetery up in PA, where her family is buried, and I had recently discovered it, on a trip up there, and taken photographs of the headstones. We started exchanging information, along with many smart-assed asides (obviously a genetic trait!), and by the next summer, I was making the trek to go see her in person.
I am not the kind of person who befriends virtual strangers on the internet and then goes to visit them. Ever. So this was unusual. I was a little nervous about showing up at her doorstep. But not two seconds after we got there, it was like we had known each other forever. Has that ever happened to you? It's happened to me twice before; My roommate Jeff, in college, because we were both huge Kate Bush fans, and Bea, who just walked up to me, after poetry class one day (I was walking along, looking at my shoes - its what I do people), and struck up a conversation that has yet to end. So this was the third such moment of meeting a perfect stranger that really wasn't that strange after all.
We stayed up late that night, shooting the shit (so to speak), and catching each other up on, well, a lifetime spent apart. We discovered that, besides our passion for history, we were both artists (her draftsmanship blows me out of the water), we love Chinese food, old films, Monty Python, quirky British films, antiques, ghosts, filthy jokes, and rescuing stray animals (she saves dogs; I save cats). Her daughter thought it was great to meet her "new cousins" as well. Here is a picture of my evil twin sister (relax, I'm her evil twin sister too), and her daughter: If you want to see what she's all about, go check her out at her website here.