I’m related to Gene.


I know I have mentioned it before, but I did the “DNA Thing” on two different sites. Ancestry, and 23 & Me. They both have their advantages, and at this point, I don’t really favor one over the other.

But. This morning I got an email from 23 & Me. They said, in so many words,
Hey Polly, we’ve found a whole big boatload of relatives. Click on the button and visit your new relatives.

Well. First of all, I’m not real jazzed about visiting a lot of the relatives I already KNOW about. What on God’s green earth makes you think I would be happy about finding new ones?

Then something kicked in. Morbid interest? Blind curiosity? I don’t know. But I clicked the big blue button.

As it turns out, I have 1,099 relatives on 23 & Me at this point, and growing. There are zero which I know by name, which is disconcerting, as I am certain that two of my siblings have done the 23 & Me game too. I think my siblings chose the “incognito” option.

I looked a little closer at all of this and it is quite interesting. My relatives are strewn all over the world. The most promising are the nine of them in Lithuania. Growing up, we had a Lithuanian family up the street from us, and they used to make a dish called Kugalis. My favorite. I bet you a cart full of amber that I could find a good recipe from one of those nine shiny new relatives.

But seriously. There are 1,100 people out there that I am related to, and I don’t even know their names. That’s just a sliver when you consider it. These are just the tiny minority that chose to do DNA testing and agreed to public postings, unlike two of my siblings.

When you begin to consider how the ancestral workings work, I am probably related to half of Germany.

There’s a joke out here in Preble County. Sidebar. I am not FROM Preble County.
Anyway, they say something like “If you are from Preble County, you are probably related.” And I have seen this to be true with my very own eyes. If you join any conversation out here, with two Preble County Natives, within 3 minutes, they find they have some sort of connection.
“Oh. Betty Walton? She’s my cousin’s second wife. Well, they are divorced now, but they had six kids, Dougy, Lester, Darla, Kimmy, Wanda, and little Buckus. Dougy went to prom with the Patton girl.”

Then there is dancing in the street.

I wish there were dancing in the street.

These days, most days, it feels like our country is going to crap. There is always some sort of crime against humanity in the headlines. Some sort of racial dispute, or religious slander, or political demise. There is hatred in the headlines. Starting from the highest office in the land, and filtering all the way down.

And here is the thing. It doesn’t matter what you believe. If you have a Bible under your arm and think Adam and Eve got busy in the garden, OR, if you go to the Zoo and wave at your relatives in the monkey cages — either way — we are ALL related. The Bible says we all came from Adam and Eve. Evolution tells us that our first two ancestors were from Africa.

All from the same seed.
That ought to be something.
That ought to be enough to stop all the fighting, and killing, and hating.

But it isn’t.
The only thing I can do to reconcile this, in my head and my heart, and my soul — is to keep trying.
We try to be the best people we can be, and we keep caring.
There have to be more and more of us who stick together and continue to show concern. To be each other’s relatives in caring. And hopefully somehow, THOSE related numbers will make a difference.


“I think… if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo F. Buscaglia


“Before you call yourself a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other theology, learn to be human first.”
― Shannon L. Alder


ON THIS DATE: 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee and 26,765 troops surrender at Appomattox Court House to US Lieutenant General Ulysses S Grant (US Civil War)