Now that Jude’s birthday has passed, I’m setting my sights on Christmas. The best things in life are free, but kids need lots of stuff to open on the big day. That said, my son is at the point where he’s getting me things for Christmas, as well, and last year I may have given me my best gift ever (besides himself). He went on Ancestry.com and researched our family tree and gave me a three-ring notebook full of his findings. Hoekstra is a Dutch name; my mom’s side is Lithuanian and both of my parents were the first generation born in America. Their families were peasant stock, essentially. My Dad’s dad came to America and ran a dairy in Chicago; my mom’s dad came to America and worked in the coal mines of southern Illinois. Of course, because of the humble origins, it was difficult for Jude to find a whole lot of history. Except….
He did come up with an interesting discovery, news to the family. It turns out my Dad’s mom (last name Ward) has a lot of Scottish and Welsh blood, more than I imagined. My Scot ancestors were established and lived in this castle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eglinton_Castle. And, it turns out Audrey Hepburn is a distant relative! Think about that next time you watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
It’s funny, I played Scotland several times when I was gigging and I instantly loved the place and the people, in a way that was almost inexplicable. It’s a magical place, from Edinburgh to the Highlands and beyond. Maybe it was the spirit of my long departed relatives calling me, who knows? I do miss my mates over there and hope to bring Jude back over with me one of these summers. In the meantime, enjoy this Bonny picture, whilst I put on my Robert Burns CDs.