Immigrants and Ancestry

2015-07-20 02:32:20 gwynn-rogers

“Remember, remember always, that all of us you and I especially are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Our nation is built upon a history of immigration, dating back to our first pioneers, the Pilgrims.  For more than three centuries, we have welcomed generations of immigrants to our melting pot of hyphenated America: British-Americans; Italian-Americans; Irish-Americans; German-Americans, Jewish-Americans; Mexican-Americans; Chinese-Americans; Indian-Americans.”   Ami Bera

 Immigrants 2Immigrants






The issue of immigration seems hypocritical, funny, sad, and frustrating.  Before you ruffle your feathers, I would like to ask… have you ever done your family genealogy?  Pulling out my dictionary, I flipped the pages to “Genealogy: an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms.” “Ancestry: honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent.” “Emigrate: to leave one’s place of abode or country for life or residence elsewhere.” “Immigrate: to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence.”

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Why do I provide these definitions, because my mother’s German paternal ancestors emigrated to America from Duederode, Germany in 1753 landing in Philadelphia via the ship Leathley along with other passengers from Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, and Germany.  My ancestor’s first wife bore him eight children and unfortunately she died in route to America.  Later after arriving in American, my ancestor remarried and his new wife bore him an additional seven children.  This means that I have fifteen lines of family relatives living here in the United States.  Over the years, my family worked hard at building homes, settling, farming, and a variety of other occupations with the desire to prosper and to help develop this country.

Immigrants 4

During the 1700s Philadelphia was worried about being overrun by Germans as in one month five ships arrived with over 300 German immigrants.  Even Benjamin Franklin was concerned about the number of German speaking people in Philadelphia.  Would our official language become German?  Consequently, all German men over the age of 16 had to sign a statement agreeing to the laws and the language of Philadelphia.

Over these many years, my extended family includes Herbert Hoover, the former President of the United States, and Bill Bixby, the actor best known for the role of the Incredible Hulk. Additionally, my great grandfather joined the army and fought in Indian wars and in the Civil War.  Eventually, he moved to California, married, had four children, and became a Superior Court Judge for the State of California while helping to establish the city of San Francisco. Recently, a Facebook page was created for my extended family members.  We have teachers, policeman, housewives, realtors, newspaper owners, farmers, and many more professions in our family.  See immigrants can benefit our country.Immigrants 3

I am proud to be the product of an immigrant.

But, there is more history.  My dad’s grandparents emigrated from Conwy, Wales in the 1800s.  Sadly, I don’t know much about dad’s side of the family other than they helped develop Bellingham and Sumas, Washington. So both sides of my family came from other countries with the desire to leave persecution with the hope to build a better life.

My in-laws came from Norway, Denmark, and Ireland.  My friends’ families emigrated from Portugal, Scotland, Germany, Russia, England, and Israel.  I see America as a melting pot, formed by peoples from many countries.  Our families all brought some form of expertise to share in helping to build our country, America…home of the brave and the free.

This country benefitted from various ways of life.  We worked together to learn one language.  We worshipped various religions and managed to work side-by-side.  Yes, our laws required immigrants take an oath and sign their name.  We even had bells that rang as ships from other countries entered Philadelphia. This is how we somewhat controlled immigration.

I’m proud of what our families built but I’m sad to hear the theory that allowing immigrants into our country is bad.  Heck, look at our history.  George Washington and others of our leaders’ families were of British heritage. Even the Spanish explorers settled in California and helped develop the missions there.  Sadly, the various explorers did not understand the Native American cultures and vice versa so we have generated hatred too.

Now we have new problems with immigration.  I truly hope we can work these issues out, as I believe that eventually the new families will work to the benefit of our country too.          Immigrantion

Learn about your family.  What country of origin did your family originally come from in the days of old?  What problems did they face in leaving their country and arriving here? What part did your family play in the development of America?

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Day Three of the Three Day Quote Challenge

2015-07-12 02:24:33 gwynn-rogers

“The politics we most need right now is the “politics of community.”  In that birthing process, a prophetic spiritual network—across the lines of race, class, gender, and region— cab act as the mid-wife of new possibilities”.  Jim Wallis 

“The more urgent the need for a decision, the less apparent becomes the identity of the decision-maker.” Murphy’s Eighteenth Law in Peter’s People


  Politicians 2Politicians







Eons ago, in my sophomore social studies class in high school I wrote a dissertation regarding America and politicians.  I wish I had it now, as it is the only paper on which I received an A+.  I compared what was taking place in the United States back in the 1960’s to the fall of the Roman Empire. Now, I laugh as John F. Kennedy was President, and I believe that my teacher voted Republican. My teacher even kept my paper so that no one could copy it.  I was taking Latin at the time so our translations were about the Roman Empire.


What I saw then and continue to see is the hijinks performed by our so-called leaders, no matter what party controls the office.  These people who supposedly lead by example seem to be more interested in partying than running office.  We built corporate America to help employ individuals living in our country.  Instead of creating Win/Win situations for employees and employers, the employers use the profit brought in to only benefit them.  Jobs now go overseas to countries that do not pay high wages.

Here in the states our politicians raise taxes; corporations charge more for their goods; and the employees do not earn enough to buy homes and feed their families.  I worked for one company where the employees had not had raises in six years so that their product could be sold competitively.  This was at the height of the market before the bubble burst.

Seniors, the middle-class, and low-income citizens do not earn enough for a healthy lifestyle.  The prices of goods are rising out of sight and our people are having more and more difficulty making ends meet.

We need more business minded politicians who can learn to budget, save, and plan for a “rainy day.”  Politicians, who actually cared for their people.  Normally I do not intend to RANT, but I see the United States crumbling before my eyes, and I feel so sad.  Please, when you vote let’s find a politician who is true to his word… IF there is one out there.

 Politics 2


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Day Two of the Three Day Quote Challenge

2015-07-11 15:15:32 gwynn-rogers


“Little by little does the trick.”   AESOP

“Dripping water hollows a stone.”  Lucretius

 “Keep on truckin’, mama

Truckin’ my blues away.”  Anonymous



Persistence should have been my middle name, particularly when it comes to this Three Day Quote Challenge.  In attempting to post my first part to this Challenge it went POOF into the black hole of the internet.  It is out there someplace laughing at me! It was late last night so I figured that today I would be more successful posting some words of wisdom… POOF… gone again.  Evidently the third time is the charm as my new post finally now resides on my blog.

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Now here is a quote that I think was specifically designed for me.  Hmmm, Octavia Butler must have snuck in to read my blog.  “You don’t start out writing good stuff.  You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.  That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

Persistence 3Persistence 2


I have not read the book, WILD, yet as other books keep popping up to demand my attention.   But Cheryl Strayed’s passionate story exemplifies persistence as she decided to walk the Pacific Crest Trail from nearly the border of Mexico clear up to almost the Canadian border.  Cheryl took on this huge challenge as a form of catharsis to work out the pain of losing her mother.  Additionally, life threw several boulders at her at the same time.  So she definitely experienced and overload of life.  But walking hundreds of miles alone through unknown habitation where she could run into poisonous snakes or wild animals to deal with her pain definitely is a heart-felt story and example of persistence.

Persistence does NOT have to be a story like Cheryl’s.  Persistence can be as simple as getting through a bad day.  Or have you ever had surgery?  The time involved to heal and regain capabilities that you may have lost. Heck, toddlers have persistence in learning to walk and falling only to climb back up and walk some more.  Even my cat had persistence in attempting to secret the butter out of my butter dish until the dish and all exploded on the floor in the middle of the night!

Sometimes just living life takes patience, persistence, and perseverance.  How are you persisting in life?  What are your challenges?  So as the saying goes “Keep on keepin’ on!”

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Day One of Three Day Quote Challenge

2015-07-10 21:28:46 gwynn-rogers

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old…

You grow old because you stop laughing.”    Unknown

 Laughing and growing old


My friend, Susan Scott, living in Johannesburg, South Africa challenged me to a Three Day Quote Challenge.  Susan knows that I’m addicted to quotations as I own several books on quotations that I keep near my desk. Quotations for me add enjoyment, laughter, and some quality thinking time to my life.  So Thank You Susan for thinking of me.

Laughing at best friendNow, generally speaking I try to add humor to my blog often in the way of a quote or a funny picture, thanks to the internet.  Since humor and laughter is critical in my life, I thought I would start with some thoughts about laughter.  Because as Ella Wheeler Wilcox so wisely stated “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone;  For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.”

Susan started her quotes regarding happiness and depression, for me that immediately brought to mind the importance of laughter.  It is so easy to fall into that deep, dark, dank hole of depression if you don’t know how to look for the joy and beauty in life.  Learning to appreciate what we have in life versus constantly thinking about what we don’t have can be a test.  So for me laughter is the BEST medicine.  As Peggy Noonan so aptly states, “Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows.”

Laughter is the best medicine

             Laughing at friend






         “Humor is not merely the telling of funny stories.  It recognizes the vast difference between life as we imagine it and life as we live it, and between the fanciful and imposing impressions we have of ourselves and what we actually are.”   Brooks Atkinson


Per the rules of the Three Day Quote Challenge, I am challenging my friends:


   Laughing hard                             Laugh often

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OMG... I'm without a Computer!!! Eek!

2015-05-28 02:03:50 gwynn-rogers

“Anyone else feel kind of weird when your computer asks if you want to continue unprotected?”   Unknown

“To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer!”    Bill Vaughan

           Computer CrashCompter crashed








I’m literally in shock!  What am I going to do without a computer?  In fact, I can’t even believe I’m saying that I MISS MY COMPUTER!!  <sob>

Years ago when the IBM came out with personal computers, I didn’t want anything to do with them.  I definitely am NOT technically oriented so BasicA was a foreign language to me.  Then I had this most humiliating experience… my five year old son wanted to use the computer before daddy got home, so that he could play games on it.

“Sorry, honey, mommy doesn’t know how to turn the computer on.”

“Oh, that’s Ok, mommy! I’LL SHOW YOU how to turn the computer on!” squealed my son.

Talk about embarrassed, mortified, humiliated, shamed, and STUNNED, but that was the beginning of my introduction to computers.  What the heck, a computer is easier to use for word processing than an electric typewriter.  Famous last words!

Later, life hit and I went through a divorce.  Eventually, I was forced to learn to use a computer if I wanted to earn some money, but fortunately by then Apple had invented the Macintosh computer.  I was saved.

The bad news is that I have never had an official computer course.  I have learned via watching people work various programs, but don’t ask me to upgrade or load a program, I might blow up the computer instead.  But, what I want to know is WHAT THE HECK DID I DO PRIOR TO USING A COMPUTER?

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Recently, my computer’s virus program was insufficient and I needed a Pro to clean out my laptop computer.  So he said, “I’ll take it Wednesday and return it to you on Monday.”  CRIPES!!  Five days without a computer.  As my computer left with our computer doctor, I pressed my nose to the window and cried.  I had no clue as to what I was going to do to keep myself busy.  I do like to read, but I needed to be more productive.  It was raining so I didn’t feel like walking.

Normally, I would sit down and email my many friends as they live around the United States and the world.  I rely on my computer for communicating.  How do I stay in touch with my friends?  What do you MEAN… write a letter and mail it!  You must be kidding!  I was devastated and bored!  Oh, my God… I guess this means I have some cleaning projects to accomplish.  I would do a project then decide to sit down and check my email… OH, that’s right… I DON’T have a computer… whine!  Hmmm, I guess I could re-introduce myself to my husband.  But, he was busy absorbed in watching his sports.  He didn’t even know I was sitting in the recliner next to him.

Ok, I’ll call my kids.  “Hi, dear… how are you?”

“Mom, I have to dash as I have to take the girls to dance lessons, can we talk another time?”

Ok, desperation kicks in. At first I considered sitting at my extra keyboard and just typing on it, so my fingers would be happy. I HAVE to do something, so I pull out a notebook and a pen.  I title it “My Temporary Computer” and start writing.  Oh that’s right; I have to remember how to write in cursive.  Oh RATS… there is no spell check!  Now, this is really pathetic, as I can’t tell you how many spelling contests I won over the years.  Plus, I took five years of Latin.  I’m a GREAT speller… or WAS!  As a friend would say, “How LONG AGO was that?”

I’m bereft!  For five days I wander aimlessly around the house looking for projects to keep me out of trouble.  Ok, the house IS cleaner than it was.  Finally Monday arrives and I’m pacing the floor like an expectant parent waiting for my computer doctor to arrive with his patient. I hear the crunch of the computer doctor’s car tires on the gravel of our driveway… he’s HERE at last as I throw open the door.  “Is it going to live Doc?”

Now you will love this.  I bought a new computer desk four years ago.  It has some “interesting” slots on it.  You know what… I can now plug in my disk for my wireless mouse, and my additional keyboard into these “interesting slots.”  Plus, there is a place for easy access for plugging my computer into the Surge Protector… well, I’ll be DOGGONE!!  I had NO CLUE!

So my computer is now organized and cleaned out… and HOME!  I was absolutely crushed without it.  I can’t believe it… as once I had declared that I had intended to NEVER LEARN TO USE A COMPUTER!  Times do change. Believe it or not… I MISSED you so much!

Computer down

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2 Responses to Blog

  1. I am enjoying your musings”very much Gwynn! I am so impressed at your writing and rich life. You believe in yourself. Yes! You are perfect person to find mentors for young people. High quality guidance and encouragement can make or break a child IMHO. what a worthy pursuit. Now. Where oh where is that sophomore social studies paper on the decline of America!! What a treasure it must be. Was that Mr. Stannard? Were you In Honors English, and did you know Shelley Bigelow?

    GREAT idea to post your blog link on Facebook for those of us who need all the help we can get

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Somehow your reply snuck in on my blog and it didn’t tell me. Sorry for the late response. As for finding mentors, because of the economy most of the mentoring programs have gone POOF… sadly. So I’m struggling to find some new mischief to get into! As to that sophomore social studies paper, I had good old Mr. Douthwright! Remember him? Now, I nearly fell over laughing… ME in Honors English????? NOOOOOOO, I don’t think so!! I’m a slow bloomer!!! 😉

      Thank you for your kind comments about my writing. It helps being invisible. Plus, I’m in a couple of writing groups and I learn from others.

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About Gwynn

smaller picMy friends pushed me right out of my safe hiding spot, and assured me that my writing and stories deserved to be heard. These stories include fun times and sad times, as I grew up.  They paint a picture of me – define me.

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, I have moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching my granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer,” I can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing my fantasies on my treadmill. I currently freelance for magazines.

Also, I wish to thank my friend, William Kahlo Jones, photographer, for the use of his picture for my cover page.  To see more of Bill’s photos go to:


Bill Jones, Photographer

Bill Jones, Photographer


Copyright Gwynn Rogers 2012.  All rights reserved.


4 Responses to About Gwynn

  1. Penni Marvel says:

    These were WONDERFUL and heartwarming to read. You are a blogger! And a writer. GOOD FOR YOU!

    Penni : )

  2. Carol says:

    Immensely grateful for your insight and support—you are an enormous impetus to me–encouragement to face my limitations, real or imagined.

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