Mason and Nell’s Wedding Weekend in Chicago

Mason and Nell

Last weekend my nephew, Mason Taylor, married his sweetheart, Ashley Nell Buettner. Laura and I made the trek to Chicago for the weekend. It was the first time I’d spent any significant time in the city, apart from passing through airports. Even though it was in the midst of the turmoil of packing and getting ready to move back to South Carolina, we had a great time with family and friends. Continue reading “Mason and Nell’s Wedding Weekend in Chicago”

Family Scoundrels and Overcomers

Burdick Printing

When you start digging into family history you’re bound to uncover some scoundrels. In my own family I’ve got Samuel Campbell Clegg, who was hanged as a British spy at Star Fort during the Revolutionary War. Then there are the two uncles that spent time in prison, one of whom I visited when he was incarcerated. Of one branch of our family a fellow genealogy researcher said, “They weren’t nuthin’ but horse thieves and ne’er-do-wells.”

Here in Washington we’ve uncovered at least one potential scoundrel in Laura’s family. While his story is interesting, I think the real story is that of his daughter, Vinnie Alethia Reed Burdick, Laura’s great-grandmother, and her ability to overcome what could have been a disastrous family situation. Continue reading “Family Scoundrels and Overcomers”

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Roozengaarde Tulips-093

To say that tulips are a big deal in the Skagit Valley would be a massive understatement. Just looking around the town of Mount Vernon one sees a huge smoke painted with tulips and tulip motifs worked into architecture and bridges. Several business are named for the flowers, such as the Tulip Inn. It’s a big business and it all comes to a head during the month of April when the tulips are in bloom. That’s when the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place. Continue reading “Skagit Valley Tulip Festival”

A Case of Mystery

Untitled

As we’ve been settling in Laura and I have been going through some of her parents’ things here at the house. It’s a huge task, and will take both Amy and Laura deciding what to do. For now, though, we’re just making a preliminary survey of what’s in the house. We’ve come across some interesting things, but the item that captured our imagination this past week was a small locked case. It was a mystery. Continue reading “A Case of Mystery”

Totality

2017 Total Solar Eclipse-10
Photo by Tom Taylor – 8/21/2017

No words. There are really no words to describe the experience of a total solar eclipse. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. At least I can show a few of the photos I took (nearly 10,000, if you include the GoPro time-lapse images) and describe the events at our house leading up to and during the eclipse. It was a most excellent eclipse party, and the experience is one I wouldn’t have missed for anything. Continue reading “Totality”