Progress

Hello all, sorry for my tardiness in maintaining active posts. You know, life gets in the way.

My focus over the last couple weeks has been Murphy/Gibeault and related families. These are all on my wife’s side. Primarily I’m just trying to fill in blanks using a book called “Gibeault/Beaudry Family History”.

My sister-in-law Fran(ces) was kind enough to share a number of photos she acquired after my Mother-in-laws passing and I scanned them all to maintain a record. If you know me you know I love photos, particularly old ones.

So in addition to the family history info incorporated in the book there were additional photos. All are photocopies, and not very good either if truth be known, but at least I have access to them. I would really like to share them and my dilemma is how best to do that. I am more than willing to purchase another domain, or happy to use one of mine, but how will I get the best bang for my buck when/if I do that? Facebook is always an option, and I may take advantage of that, but I feel some reservation there. Unfortunately it’s probably the media most likely to attract the most viewers.

I’ve also made contact with the Federspiel/Symons side, the Reeve (wife’s side) and the Reeves side, in addition to a connection to the Gale/Diebert. I hope I haven’t left anyone out. What this means is a rapid infusion of names and family tree member.

I will now have to update the Family tree associated with this site (Family Tree), as it is sadly much out of date. I would like to improve this situation however until I can determine the best way to secure the info of living members I will have to postpone attention. Then there is of course my ADD tendencies which complicate my life when it comes to completing projects started with good intentions, the Family tree being one.

I’m still happy to share the Ancestry tree (Ancestry – Sklapsky Family tree). Unfortunately I think the hoops created by Ancestry when viewers attempt to access the tree are onerous for most. I think joining Ancestry, even though it’s free, prevent casual viewers from taking advantage of the site. That’s the primary purpose of my creating the Family tree attached to this site. The downside is that it creates additional load on me from a maintenance point of view.

Whatever all this means to you is personal. My goal is to provide, yours to access if you choose.

Take care all…..

The ‘New’ Sklapsky Family Tree

Eureka, I’ve found a solution (I hope) to an issue that’s bugged me for a while, that of displaying our family tree on-line.

Up until now displaying the family tree in the ‘Ancestors’ or ‘Descendants’ format eluded me. Giving access to my web based Ancestry Family Tree was problematic and the current method of showing it is cludgy.

The other day I came across a program that allows me to import and display my current Ancestry Family tree on the sklapsky.ca website. It’s not without it’s own issues, and I’m still learning how to do some things, but already it’s head and shoulders above what I’ve been able to do up to now.

Please go to “The Sklapsky Family Tree” , or use the link in the top menu bar, and check it out. Keep in mind it’s still a work in progress but at least now we have more photos and the format seems easier to follow.

How Many Directions?

While I’d like to keep any number of my web spaces active it becomes a touch onerous to maintain any level of consistency in my attention to each. Facebook has it’s points, Flickr is nice for some things (photos of course), Google+ is always an option (same as FB), and of course there’s the blogs and webpages I’ve started and let wither away. Oh, woe is me….

Over the years I’ve tried a few different versions of the same thing, different methods for developing a ‘web presence’, various attempts to communicate and at the same time find an outlet for the words I want to say. Too much web presence is likely not a good thing but I’ll try to control myself, and the information I present. This is as good a venue as any I’d say, so let’s try this WordPress site for a while.

I think the secret will be to be quick and dirty in my entries as they say. Keep ’em short, find something at least a little interesting, and hey… throw in a photo or two for those who don’t want to (or can’t) read. This will be my first kick at that proverbial cat.

This site won’t suddenly switch to a ‘Dwayne’s gab fest’, heaven forbid. I will still keep it as a family site and I will continue to look for family info. Perhaps I’ll make some changes to the Galleries to make them more accessible, who knows. So here goes, here’s some pics for those tired of reading.

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New Photos in the Family Tree

I just updated the Family tree with new photos. If you can see them then I’m afraid you’ll have to register for this site, the tree is password protected to maintain privacy. If you’d like to join just drop me a line.

There is also a link to the tree on the “Sklapsky Reunion” facebook page. You will have to be a member there too if you wish to see the link unfortunately. All about keeping the info safe.

A Hope is Not a Plan

I have my work cut out for me now. I am in receipt of approximately 3500 family photos, or thereabouts. My plan is to scan them all and have them accessible for those who are interested in seeing them at one point. Whew, I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Some of these photos are old black and whites, most from my Mom, and some are slides from my uncle who has recently become incapacitated and likely doesn’t even recall that he has photos. I hope to scan and return them all.

Yes, I know, “a hope is not a plan”, perhaps an ‘expectation’ is better. A hope is not a plan is a saying one of my old bosses used to use. I thought it silly at the time but it carries more import than we give it credit for.

One photo that I came across, and that struck me in particular, was included in the many acquired from my Mother. It’s a photo taken in Watrous, Saskatchewan. I’m not sure of the year but I’d guess about 1950 give or take a year or two.

The photo shows (L to R) my Grandma Olsen (Mom’s Mom), my Mother Janna, her brother Orval, and her sister Eleanor. Where my Grandfather Otto is at this time I’m not sure.

Olsen Family, In Watrous, Saskatchewan.
Olsen Family, In Watrous, Saskatchewan.

What hit home for me in seeing this was the sense of family I got from the photo. My Mom has recently relocated to the big city to help care for her younger brother Orval after he suffered a stroke. Now some may wonder why she would leave the family situation she has with us, living with us and drawing support from us, but I think the bigger picture needs to be appreciated.

Here is a woman who helped care for her siblings, perhaps her Mother also, while her Father was either off in the war or hanging out with his buddies in the bar after work. I won’t go into much detail here, that’s for her to tell, but needless to say the childhood was not good and while she was not yet a Mother I imagine her mothering instincts toward her siblings were strong. I also suspect they continue to this day. That may be one of the reasons she has such a strong pull to care for her brother.

At any rate I’m sure her “hopes” were not her “plan”. Her life has taken a turn, in a directions she didn’t anticipate. She will make the best of it though and rely heavily on the faith that has carried her for so long.

Me, I will persevere with the scanning and cataloging of the other many photos. I expect to come across some other jems and may share them with you here.

Busy Summer So Far

Many apologies for the gap between my posts, it’s been an action packed summer and there’s been either little time available, or a diminishing energy in the available time, to sit down and write. I also often feel like all I do is apologize here so I will attempt to change that. So there, I’m not sorry.

So far this summer vacation we’ve either been camping, visiting Kelowna, or out and about gallivanting to other locales. This past week we’ve had some quiet time at home and so far we are relishing it. Our original plan was to go to the GoodGuys car show in Spokane Wash. this weekend but we ran out of steam and said “Hey, let’s do something different and just stay home”. So we did.

There have also been very few calls about Dad this week, or requirements for attention, and that helps. It seemed I was making frequent trips in to see him and either take him to the Doctor or the hospital. Thankfully he is at his home now and let’s hope it stays that way for a while. He is having more and more challenges walking due to a numbness in his right leg. That could be due to a pinched nerve in his back or it’s possible he’s suffered another minor stroke. Whatever the cause it is handicapping him even more and making him prone to stumble and fall, of which he’s done enough lately, thank you very much.

As I mentioned we’ve made a number of trips to Kelowna to see the kids and while I thoroughly enjoy it I also miss the quiet and solitude of home. I think I must be becoming a curmudgeon or something, my old age (joke) is starting to show in my love of just sitting in my rocking chair and smoking my pipe. To be truthful I have neither a rocker nor a pipe but the analogy stands, I like my space and being away limits my options to write, putter in the yard, or read. And I’m not complaining either. I know I have a great life!

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with the fam and after even a week away from them I’m looking at pictures of them and wishing I were there. Ah….., the inconsistencies of life.

We have also been camping, a few times, sometimes alone and once with some friends from Japan. Our friend Yuzo brought his 13 year old daughter Lisa to Canada from Japan. It was her first time here and he brought her to broaden the English skills she’s acquiring in school. Yuzo was once one of our homestay students for a brief time, taking the ESL course (English as a Second Language) at Selkirk College. We tried to fill their visit with some memorable occasions, tours of Mission Hill winery, camping, and of course dinner at the Colander. Lisa loves Justin Bieber and at the Colander we were fortunate to be served by a Justin lookalike.

For camping we were very fortunate to get one of the best sites at Syringa, totally by luck and Maureen’s hard work (I also think Karma). Lisa thought the water in the lake was a bit chilly but it was sure refreshing on the hot days.

Maureen and I certainly had a great week as well and loved spending time with both Yuzo and Lisa. It’s been about 11 years or so since I saw Lisa last, the last time was during my visit to their home in 2001. Lisa was just a toddler then, and as evidenced by the photos below she created a new way to signal “peace”. We used that method numerous times during their trip. Yuzo has come ‘home’ to Castlegar to visit a few times.

So when all is said and done “a good time was had by all”. I look forward to our next visit, perhaps it will be there. Only time will tell.

Visit with Noreen

I just got back with another visit from my cousin Noreen, she’s my first cousin 1x removed, on my paternal grandmother’s side. The only way I know the specifics is by using a genealogy program to tell me. I’m not that smart.

Noreen and Stewart
Noreen and Stewart

She and her husband Stewart are very accommodating and gracious hosts. Each time we visit we talk family and the history of such, and each time I have come away with more photos to scan. On my last visit, prior to this one, I went home with a bag and box of photos and ended up getting about 125 old shots of many family members. This time I collected a few more.

To be honest some of the folks in the pictures I don’t know, and that’s where I will need to rely on other family to assist. Over time I’ll get them all cataloged and organized and will have most, if not all of the photos, in the gallery.

This project, the family history collection and family tree, has become an entity unto itself. While I thoroughly enjoy it, and get some fulfillment from it, the consumption of time is beyond what I expected. I’m not complaining though, it’s also brought me much enjoyment and I’m gratified to see that people are checking it out.

Noreen gave me some suggestions as to other possible photo collections so don’t be surprised if some day I come-a knockin’. Failing that I may be asking some of you to do some scanning for me. That’s once I get my plate cleaned off a bit first.

Have a great day.

Time to Re-Group, Do You Get the Picture?

The time has come to regroup, a psychological event that for me indicates an opportunity to catch one’s breath and begin again. Call it a rebirth of sorts.

That sounds like so much gobbledygook, and in some ways it is. It’s just that my sis is much better and we can now relax a bit. I’m going to use this time, before we head home, to post a photo or 2 of Madden, he helps me with my regrouping. He’s that kinda guy.