September 30, 2019
It’s a beautiful sunny day in South Portland, Maine. It’s absolutely one of those days that we, as New Englanders, live for. Bright, sunny, 80 degrees and no humidity. I’m always awake early. The person, who’s house I’ve been house/cat sitting sleeps a little later than I do. I quietly start putting the last of what I need to in the car. The packing is tight. It’s a 6 week journey after all.
I finally head out around 11 am and stop off at one of my clients where I’ve been working on swapping out their old Windows 2003 server for on based on HPE’s implementation of Linux called ClearOS to make sure nobody was having any troubles. All was well.
First stop was Spencer, MA. to do a little genealogical research on my grandmother. It’s been well known in our family that her grandmother or, possibly, great grandmother was indigenous to this hemisphere. Canadian first nation to be more exacting. Brynn, in the Spencer Town Clerk’s office has been very helpful in navigating birth and marriage records. Many of those records have been recorded and categorized by the Mormon Church (Ancestry.com). I’ve seen some of them, but they don’t go that far back in the records that I’ve seen during the trial period. I’m loathe to give them my DNA, or $50.00 per month for research. There is a newer test via the National Genographic foundation that might give better information or even 23 and me, but, then again, those are for profit companies that are set to earn even more from my information. I digress.
The question is what tribe was that grandmother from? Stories I’ve heard have her being Iroquois. A spritual elder from the Mi’kmaq tribe says that she was Mi’kmaq. I’ve been trying to verify. My grandmother’s mother immigrated from Canada in the 19h century. Research now needs to be done in the Trois Rivieres area of Quebec. That said, it seems that the Jesuits were involved in this whole process. There are some records that I’ve found trying to go up the male lineage.
While Brynn was looking up information for me, I excused myself to use the facilities. While walking through the main hall, I stopped to look at the WWI and WWII honor rolls and found my father’s name and my grandfather’s name. A proud moment to be sure.
Around 2:30 I hit the road. I headed down the Podunk Pike (Mass Rte. 49) to the Mass Turnpike and headed toward the setting sun. I wasn’t sure how far I would get. I drove until around 9 pm and finally settled in a travel plaza near Syracuse, NY. I cleared off the passenger seat and set it up as a bed. I hung things in the windows to keep the bright lights from shining directly in my eyes. By 10 I was asleep.
My one comment is that the last time I drove the NY State Thruway, the speed limit was 55. I got a lot of speeding tickets when I drove that road a lot. I can still hear Sammy Hagar singing, “I can’t drive 55,” in my head. Making a lot better time these days now that the speed limit is a little higher. Most interstate mile markers count from west to east. New York counts east to west. I’ve gotten used to the way Maine and New Hampshire implement their Ez-pass system. No stop high speed lanes, even at the barrier tolls. Maine is even replacing the bain of everyone’s existence, the York toll plaze with a new on that will have 3 high speed lanes in each direction. That’s going to be a help for everyone in the summer. Wisconsin has done the same thing as Maine and New Hampshire. New York which as traffic orders of magnitude greater than Northern New England has barrier tolls with 5 mph speed limits creating all sorts of traffic congestion. Massachusetts has done even better by instituting open tolls (no toll booths) that charge your ez-pass if you have one. If not, the person to whom your car is registered gets a bill in the mail. Ohio was the worst. Ohio still used a ticket system with gates and you have to stop for the gate, even in the ez-pass only lane.
Just little observations.