The world got a little crazy these last couple of weeks so I decided to step back and regroup for a bit. I wish I could figure out what has set everything on its ear but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to come up with the answer for that one.
Isn’t it funny how it seems life just chugs along its merry way from day to day with various and sundry bumps and bounces but, usually, nothing too mind-boggingly devastating happens? Then…something changes. A slight shift…an almost unnoticeable curve in the road and the world slips off its axis. Things start happening at a pace you never could have imagined and all you can do is blink hard a couple of times and hang on for dear life.
I wonder how people do it when they find themselves in the middle of surreal situations and they have nothing bigger than themselves to hold onto. Chaos reigned supreme for several hours in my corner of the world just a couple of weeks ago…or at least it seemed that way…but the one thing I never let go of and the one thing I never stopped doing through every last second of it was talking to God…well, more like pleading with him…still, I knew none of us were alone. What we couldn’t see, he could. What we didn’t know, he did. I was terrified. We all were. But what we were not was alone.
We got through it, some worse for wear, but still here on this side of the dirt. The world has changed…is changing still…and I don’t think I really like the path it’s taking. Life is still precious but it seems some folks have either forgotten that or never learned it in the first place.
DISCLAIMER: This is NOT about you.
We kicked off events for National Police Week with a memorial for our fallen officers in front of Headquarters today. Three of our widows were present for the ceremony and placed flowers on the monument in honor of their fallen spouses during the ceremony. It was extremely moving.
Our oldest surviving spouse on hand today was Mrs. Steed. Her husband, Ralph Steed, was killed in the line of duty 47 years ago. Five other Chesapeake Police Officers have lost their lives since then. The wives of the last two, Michael Saffran and Jarrod Shivers, were also present.
I held my emotions until 85 year old Mrs. Steed reached out her hand to an emotional Mrs. Shivers as an Honor Guard Officer was escorting Mrs. Shivers back to her seat after she placed flowers on the memorial for Jarrod. Mrs. Shivers stopped and embraced Mrs. Steed in a heartfelt hug with both ladies crying and a collective gasp of emotion sweeping through the crowd as our oldest widow comforted our most recent widow. Mrs. Shivers then stepped over to Mrs. Saffran to hug her in support as well. It was a moment I won’t soon forget.
I have found what I believe to be a most invaluable tool for genealogical research and I would like to share it with all of you. Believe it or not, it is EBay. For real though. I have actually been using it for quite some time now but some fantastic finds recently have prompted me to share with you.
I have set up a few custom searches within EBay utilizing select keywords…for instance, one search is for Johnston County, NC genealogy…then I subscribed to the searches for e-mail alerts in case anything pops up for sale matching my criteria. Granted, most of the time the e-mails don’t have anything too awfully interesting. BUT, every once in a while there’s that “OH MY GAWD” moment. You know the one. You run across something you never thought you would find…EVER…but there it is…and no one has bid on it yet…muhahahahaha…let the games begin!
I have found amazing things! Family trees written by hand that folks got a hold of in an estate sale and didn’t know what to with…seriously. Rare, hard to find, and out of print books right there staring back at me. Just this past month I found an auction for 38 issues of the Johnston County Genealogical Society Newsletter from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. They are now sitting in my study. Yes they are. I got the whole kit and caboodle for just 58 bucks. Some of these newsletters are over 70 pages long and all of them are chocked full of information. Can you say excited boys and girls?
I also got a hold of 4 volumes of library reference books, two published in 1919 and two published in 1928, that are page after page after page of biographies (and portraits) of leading North Carolina men of the time. Each of these books is well over 500 pages in length. I have already tied several of the gentlemen in the books (I’ve looked through part of two of them) into my tree. Again, way excited!
So, if you don’t already have a custom search or three set up, I suggest you do it right this minute. Why are you still reading this? Click over to EBay and get busy.
Yes Lovelies, today is May Day, but today is so much more than that…today marks my Silver Anniversary with the CPD…my 25 year mark as a Smurf…my Smurfiversary!
Would that I could retire…sigh…but no… Our silly Commonwealth has a silly rule that you not only have to have a minimum of 25 years of service but you also have to be 50 years old. Well. That’s a problem. You see, most of us are not 50 after 25 years. Do the math. Start at 21 (or 22 for me), do 25 years, notice you’re not 50, hunker down for a couple more years.
Oh well. All I can say is, when that calendar rolls around to 50 for me, the path best be cleared or there shall be footprints left on any folks standing twixt me and the door!