Let’s Go on an Adventure

Being stuck at home is difficult. Oh, how we long to see the greener grass on the other side. We want to see a beach.  We want to go see Italy, Paris, England.  We want adventures. I do. I do.  I do. 

But hubby and I have been taking late afternoon walks and both of us admitted that in our frustration, we have overlooked the beauty, the things that we should be enjoying, admiring, and getting excited about that are practically in our backyard. 

Each afternoon as we take our walks, we look for things to notice, to get excited about.  Because we live in a very wooded community, most of them involve wildlife and nature.  And while some make me stop and savor the sight, some make me want to scream. Honestly, I have screamed, nearly peed my pants a couple of times.  However, in being more present in the moment, being observant, our walks have become explorations. 

I remember taking my kids for walks in our own backyard and telling them, “Let’s go on an adventure. You never know what we might find.”  I still remember my son discovering roly pollies. You would have thought I had taken him to an exotic zoo.

I guess in a way, that’s what we’re doing.  Since we are limited to where we go, we are opening ours eyes and taking stock of our own world.  Are there things around you, things you have become blind to due to the frustrations?  

Below are a few of the things hubby and I have discovered lately. What would you see if you took a walk, and looked, really looked?  What could you appreciate?  What might you stumble upon that would make you scream, but that you might come home and post on Facebook? 

Secrets Uncovered Through DNA

The book I’m working on now has family secrets that are revealed through DNA.  And let me tell you, there are plenty of secrets to be uncovered in your DNA.  And not all of them are fictional.  You see, I did the whole DNA thing.  I did it several years ago, but recently, the did an update on the DNA that changed my profile.   

I even did my dog’s DNA.  Lady, a look-alike Border Collie, was basically given the title of Super Mutt.  And like my Lady, I discovered I’m a melting pot of the best.  

I was told by both sets of my grandparents that we had Native American blood in us.  My maternal grandmother, Evelyn Keith, told me that my grandfather’s grandmother claimed she was French, but… “Everyone knew she was really Native American.” 

Oh, the secrets.  And I wanted to get to the bottom, unearth all those juicy details.  Did I also mention that my dad confessed that I have a half-brother.  So I did the whole DNA test.  My father, my husband, my two kids, and a niece all did the test.  And while I found a lot of secrets, I have yet to find my brother.  I’m still looking.

But those secrets…  Well, even after they did the update, I still don’t have a smidgeon of Native American blood on the maternal side of the family.  Sorry, Grandma, you were wrong.  I have French.  I was even able to trace it back to Mary Laffoon Keith, my grandfather’s Great Grandmother. She just happens to be an American hero.  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/113259094/mary-keith

I’ll bet Mary is laughing in her grave, “Told cha.  Told cha!”  I hear her saying it with a French accent.

The paternal side of the family was also lacking in the Native American DNA.  But surprise, I have African DNA.  My father, my daughter, my niece, and even my brother all carry it.  In addition to having French and African DNA, I have English, Scottish, Irish, German and some from Norway.  Like my dog, I’m a melting pot and I’m proud of every percentage.

And honestly, I have connected with distant relatives and it’s been a real hoot.  I was even contacted by two distant cousins who were adopted and are looking for their biological parents.  It’s been fun to research and help them in their searches. I will admit that my daughter is the one doing most of the research.  She loves it even more than I do.

Ahh, but recently she found a secret from the not so distant past.  You know, the south is teased about marrying family.  Well, I met Hubby in California.  When we married, my daughter was five. So imagine her surprise when she discovered she shared DNA with people who shared DNA with her stepfather.  A little research and well, let’s just say I have followed in the southern tradition. Just call us kissing cousins. 

Have you ever done your DNA?  Do you know any of your ancestral secrets? Any siblings out there you haven’t met?