The Year That Was: 2017

Ironically, a year that nationally has left so many of us bilious with rage has also been a pretty nice year, personally. Eric and I got to see a lot of our family this year, both in New York and New Jersey, and out in Portland, Oregon and Seattle. In November, my aunt and uncle and three of their kids came to NYC to be honored by Keshet, a Jewish group that raises LGBT awareness. My aunt and uncle have been activists in all things for more than 70 years, and were active in PFLAG in Seattle in the 1990s. Their daughter Janet nominated them for an award. Since Uncle Jack doesn’t come out East as much as he used to, he wanted to see “as many cousins as possible” and we did that at a nice lunch on Veterans’ Day this year.

Since my aunt, who lived in Queens for 60 years, moved to Seattle, it is on us to go out to visit her, and in the process, I got to see all of my Seattle cousins (who live in various parts of the world) come in to Seattle for our summer visit. We got to see Eric’s cousins a month before they became grandparents, and I got to see the baby that made my cousin Susan a grandmother as well. Earlier in the year, Andrea, John, and Jason came to NYC for a visit and we got to see them as well.

Eric and I also went to visit Tony in Champaign-Urbana, but we actually changed our plans thanks to a DNA test. A cousin in the Goldberg family tested fairly close to my aunt and uncle who also did AncestryDNA tests. So instead of driving straight to C-U from Indianapolis, we spent the night in Indy and wound up having lunch with Annette at an Indian buffet. Genealogy takes you on some interesting detours!

Meanwhile, because AncestryDNA has practically doubled its database of testers in a year, I wound up finding and visiting third and second cousins in my (still unknown) birth father’s family. I am moving a lot slower on this search than I did on the search for my birth mother’s family. First, because this information probably means more to me than it would to the people I think are possibly my first cousins or siblings. Second, my birth mother’s siblings were such a suspicious and paranoid bunch, I figure I can take this one a lot slower.

Work was busier than ever this year since a veteran of our library retired. I taught at CUNY again in the Fall, which I loved, but I was very tired in the end. The students were great and I loved teaching again with Lisa (third Fall in a row), but when the Daily News was bought by tronc, a lot of “integration issues” took up a lot more of my time than I thought it would.

Eric got involved in a second chorus, and he wound up directing a play at the local Historic Edison Valley Playhouse, across the street from the Italian restaurant where we got married (it’s now an Indian place). So I now have several earworms related to “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”

I have also been very inspired by the many friend I have on Facebook who have renewed their activism and have shared many wonderful experiences and ideas in this “current era.”

Happy New Year!







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