Recently, I bought a subscription to a genealogy website, you know the ones, that are like rabbit holes you fall into, portals to other times and places. The pull is strong, to know one’s history – a single page-click and I disappear into the warren for hours, following tunnels to names and dates and possible relatives back through the ages, imagining their lives as I go.
On my mother’s side (Virginia Lee Jeffries), her paternal great-grandfather was Burr Henry Jeffries, a farmer in Hardin County, Kentucky, who registered for the Union’s Civil War draft in 1863, the same year his son, my great-grandfather, Emmett Everett Jeffries, was born in Louisville.
E.E., as he was called, grew up to become a bourbon broker. In 189...
When I was ten years old, my family moved to a farm in northeast Ohio, into an old farmhouse set in the middle of eighty beautiful acres of rolling hills, wide green pastures, and dense woods cut through with trillium-blanketed ravines and riddled with wildflower-carpeted pathways.
By the time I left for college eight years later, I felt as if I knew every square inch of the place. I knew where to find wild asparagus and morel mushrooms. I could take you to the blackberry and red raspberry patches and to the ancient apple tree and the young pear tree. I could show you where bullfrog tadpoles hatched in spring and concord grapes would hang in summer and which were the best climbing maples.
This Friday morning in Wilmington it is already 62° and heading for 79°. Yesterday, when Beasley and I took our beach walk, it was 75°. It’s gorgeous weather, but it is probably going to eff some things up. Without knowing any better, without the awareness that it is still winter and shitty, cold weather will almost certainly make a return, blossoms are bursting on flowering trees, daffodil and crocus bulbs poke thin green leaves through the soil, then shoot up and pop open with yellow and purple and lavender blooms.
The birds in the sand marsh are wild with joy, and the air is full of their celebratory sounds. A pair of Canada geese just swam by in front of the house (the tide is in right now, so there is a good deal of water in the marsh), honking and chattering to eac...
Day before yesterday, Beasley and I went to Wrightsville Beach as we often do in the afternoons, after my brain is sufficiently fried from trying to wrest the arc of a story from scribbled notes, journal pages, and blog entries spanning the past year of travel, exploration, growth, and discovery. The beach is a mere six-minute drive, but once there I am transported far, far away, soothed by the rhythm of the rolling Atlantic Ocean and the smell of salt and the clean air. Beasley trots along beside me, and I hold his leash loosely, letting him sniff and examine and piddle as he marks oyster shells and seaweed and the paw prints of other dogs with his own signature scent. We will walk a long way up the beach, find a place to sit and watch the waves and the surfers, if there are any, then walk a lon...
In line with my unfolding memoir’s nomadic theme, the “Chasing Light” blog (www.chasinglight-ajourney.com) has migrated and now redirects here to my author website (www.rebeccagummere.com)!
Please let me know of any glitches you experience – the move also comes with a different email subscriber application, which I am hoping takes care of the issues some of you were having with not receiving updates on a regular basis. But because it is the Wacky World of the Interwebs, the move may also come with some…surprises.
Not to worry. My awesome niece and her biz partner (Sunset 6 Web Design in Chicago), who created my website, know what’s what and are so magic, they can literally fix anything! (Hyperbole, you say? Have you met my niece?! Have you tasted her Italian Potato Salad?!)