Sometimes I must do activities that require my physical presence and involvement. They usually take me away from family history research but sometimes they don't require my complete mental attention. For example, while I'm dusting furniture, scrubbing a floor, sewing a hem my mind is able to go where it wants, wonder what it wants, and think and ponder about other things. It has been so for the past week and will probably be that way for the next few weeks. When my mind is able to wander it nearly always turns to living family and/or to my ancestors and the activities of their lives.
Yesterday and today I have been thinking about coming-of-age events and activities in the lives of my grandparents. At what ages did a baby boy transition from a dress to pants, and the boy from short pants to long pants? At what age did a girl begin to wear corsets? Did she also begin wearing her hair up at the same time?
What kind of soap did my great-great-great-grandmothers use to scrub their floors? And what did they do for chapped hands? Did they mix lotions or creams and were they the same lotions and creams that their mothers and grandmothers had used?
What were the first chores given to little children in the family and how old were they at the time? Did their parents make it a fun experience? What if a child was strong-willed and resistant?
Was there humor in the homes of my ancestors? Did mothers and fathers purposefully use humor? Who were the story-tellers, the entertainers, the musicians?
Were any of my fore-mothers spinners or weavers? Did they spin wool or cotton or linen? Was it from their own sheep or plants? Did they dye the yarn? Did they weave their own cloth and sew their own clothes? How far back would I need to go for a yes to all of these questions?
Some of these questions will go unanswered, I know, but perhaps some of these thoughts will become future posts after research into the topics. I hope so!
Does your unoccupied mind turn to your ancestors, too?