1 Nephi 1: 1, 3
...therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.

^^That pretty much explains this blog.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day 2013!

By Susan Knight

Today is one of my favorite holidays--the Fourth of July. Right now, outside my window, I am bombarded with the sounds of fireworks, both private and public. Hearing all the joyful noise, I went outside, maneuvered myself from back yard to front yard to see the colors bursting in all directions. I think my favorite ones looked like giant Queen Anne's Lace flowers that fizzled with a sizzling sound.
I stood on my back patio and saw four shows, in the west, the south, then the southwest, then the northeast. I walked to my front sidewalk by the street and looked east and saw another show. To the west was the biggest show. Utah is one patriotic state, I must say.
Although it scares me that the common man can buy fireworks (and not civic officials, as in Penna.), I'm sure some of what I was watching was launched from the streets in surrounding neighborhoods. My neighbors a few doors up and across the street all gathered with lawn chairs to set off their own fire stuff. The whole outside smells like when cap guns were shot when I was a kid. Remember that smell?
My kids have all gone to a minor league baseball game that promised fireworks, so I'm sure they are in the midst of them as I am at this late hour of 10:30 p.m. They're coming back to my place for dessert that Nick has prepared. It's an Hawaiian slushy-type dessert called a Doley. As you can suspect, it's made with pineapple. Can't wait to try it. Zannah and Nick just returned on Sunday from a family reunion in Hawaii.
I'm so happy my kids come here to congregate. I hope it will always be so. I am enjoying my time with them because I don't know how long it will last. Most of them have a five-year plan. So, for five years, I will enjoy them and remember our times together.
I had the occasion, during and after our dinner of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs--totally American here!--to tell them about their ancestors.
One year, I think it was 2004, I was doing genealogy research during the July 4th holiday week. I think it was July 2nd. I was researching our Borden ancestors (Lizzie was fully exonerated, by the way), and found out our ancestor's nieces, Mary and Ann Borden, both married signers of the Declaration of Independence.
I couldn't believe it! I actually Googled them to make sure it just wasn't a family tale.
One of the Borden sisters married Thomas McKean, who was the last to sign the declaration, and who went on to be the governor of Pennsylvania; the other married Francis Hopkinson, Benjamin Franklin's protege' and who inherited all of Franklin's "philosophical instruments." One can only wonder what that means.
Our ancestor, Benjamin Lemaster, fought in the Revolutionary War alongside George Washington in all his campaigns. He was at Valley Forge. He crossed the Delaware River with him on Christmas Eve to invade sleeping Princeton. He fought in the Battle of Brandywine. He was with Washington in New York, too.

Another tale I told them was of their frontiersmen ancestors in the wilderness of West Virginia, while it was still part of Virginia. The Clendennins, the James', the Smiths and the Boggs' were all Indian fighters.
It seems the Indians, under a fierce chief named Cornstalk, massacred almost all of my Clendennin clan at a family reunion gathering. It was called the Muddy Creek Massacre. Luckily one of them survived it and lived to tell about it--and be our ancestor, making us who we are today. Read of the whole bloody event here.
Our direct ancestor, Charles Clendennin, is the namesake for Charleston, West Virginia, the capital city. I've been there and saw a huge boulder with a plaque on it proclaiming the site where the original fort sat, on the Kanawba River (pronounced Kan-AW).
I'm so glad I did my genealogy when I had the opportunity as a stay-at-home mom. I've also had the privilege of being part of family sealings in the temple for my ancestors. The last session had all four of my children present. That is a time that I cherish more than anything. I hope we can all go back to the temple together real soon.

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