Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Family Roots

I spent a part of yesterday sitting in nearly a half-acre covered in wild violets - there were purple, white, and lavender violets scattered throughout the area.  Later this summer it will be covered in clover, with flowers of white, pink, yellow, and purple.  The honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets will be busy there this summer - yesterday, there were just two or three bees out in the bright sunshine.  And where is this idyllic spot? It's the east end of my brother-in-law's back yard.  Water was flowing in the irrigation ditch from snow melt-off higher in the mountains, and I counted 32 different kinds of birds, both in, and passing over, the yard.  I was throwing dog toys for Rosie and Mona, and soaking up the sun.
   Walking to the store this morning, I was surprised to see a few snow flakes land, and melt, on my glasses.  We've warmed up to freezing now, and what is falling is mainly a light rain; the edge of the patio is definitely wet, not snowy.  We have had fantastic sunshine and warmth the past few days, and my cats have been celebrating.  Today, they are curled up in the afghan on the bed.  And yesterday, after a quiet morning, the chinook winds picked up and blew almost all night.  We had "Red Flag" warnings  - high fire danger - posted until this morning.  And the chinook winds really bothered me yesterday - the trees were roaring and tossing, and I developed a tremendous headache, where it felt as if I had a metal cap covering my head from my forehead to well behind my ears, and it felt as is the cap were getting tighter and tighter, and my brain was going to burst.  I finally had to take a dose of migraine medication to get the pain to abate.  I can now easily see how early female pioneer settlers could go mad from the incessant blowing of the wind...
   I'm spending my time between cleaning the apartment - my annual Spring cleaning - and digging into the family tree.  I'm still intrigued by my great-great-grandfather, Singleton Wilson Busey, and his wandering life.  He was married at least four times, and had children with every wife.  At one point, he was married to three different women, in two states, and served in the US Army in the Civil War under three names, providing a government pension for each of the families.  I'm still trying to figure out which wife was my great-grandmother's mother...  We were told it was Nancy Goodwin, Singleton's wife from Putnam County, Indiana; but the family stories also say that great-grandma Martha was half Native American.  One of Singleton's wives was a member of the Cherokee nation, living on the reservation in Brown County, Kansas, and her name was Mary....  'Tis a puzzle!
  At least Singleton is a relatively easy man to follow around.  So is his brother, Lazarus Whitehead Busey.  In all my research, over the years, on Singleton, I keep getting references to the actor Gary Busey.  I finally decided that I was going to prove to myself that he (Gary Busey) and I were not related.  It didn't work.  Singleton Wilson Busey and Lazarus Whitehead Busey were brothers; Singleton being the youngest brother in a family of nine.  Singleton is my great-great-grandfather.  Lazarus Whitehead Busey is the great-great-grandfather of Gary Busey.  We're cousins.
    Post Script:  There is now slush on the patio and snow is piling up on the grass in the back yard.

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