Looking Back…

Researching family history is not a competitive sport yet there are some out there who evaluate their success as family historians by how many people they have in their tree or by how far back they have managed to trace their various lines. The further back you are able to go, the more points you score.

I think not!

For me, its not the numbers nor is it the distance back in time I can take my trees.  Its all about the stories, the people, the memories, the contributions they made, the trials and tribulations they faced and how these stories have helped to shape who I am and those who come after me.

21 July is my father’s birthday. If he was still with us, we would be blowing out 87 candles this year. It is my plan to spend this day writing and researching a little of my father’s story and making pancakes for breakfast.

Why pancakes?

Because the tradition of birthday breakfast pancakes is a part of my story and that of my siblings and their children we owe to Dad.  It was Dad’s way of celebrating our birthdays.  He would storm into the kitchen early and announce to all and sundry that he was making breakfast for everyone and especially for the birthday girl or boy.  There would be messily mixed bowls of batter on the bench, spoons dripping excess onto the kitchen floor, lemons being cut into wedges and the smell of hot butter melting in the frying pan.  Enthusiastic sprinkling of sugar usually resulted in a delicate crunch underfoot.

It was loud, messy, sticky and delicious!  They were never the best pancakes in the world as Dad’s cooking prowess was a trifle suspect, but who cared?  It was a special way to start a special day and we loved it.  We have carried this memory into our own family’s lives and shared it with our children.  This little piece of ‘history’ for our particular family makes our story just that little more about the people as people not just another name on the tree.

Gerhard Douglas Noel Stockfeld 1928 - 1997
Gerhard Douglas Noel Stockfeld 1928 – 1997