Friday, December 24, 2010

The Season's Greetings

As we all fall prey to the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, I wanted to stop and wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas, and bright, historically prosperous New Year! It is way too easy to let the spirit of Scrooge enter our lives as we tread through the family obstacle course that rears its head during this special time of year. But stand strong! Don't allow the Christmas meanies to steal your joy. Christmas holds different meanings for each of us, but if we slow down, even for a little bit, to reflect on the beauty of the season, the reason behind the season, and the special memories attached to this glorious season, we can bring the year to a restful and peaceful close. Besides, those tests and trials will be waiting for us on December let them go for a couple of days and purposefully embrace the Spirit of Love behind the Holiday we know as Christmas.

As a side note about the gold greeting you see above, this is the cover of a small paper photo frame. The photo inside is long gone, but the frame remained in the family photo collection. Due to the current controversy surrounding "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas" and "Season's Greetings", I thought this little historic piece from the earlier part of the 20th century was quite telling. For my family, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings were just another way of saying "Merry Christmas". There was no exclusion intended and in fact, we used it (for generations) as a way to include a Happy New Year in the mix. So, in my book, none of the previous phrases are insulting to the Spirit of the Holiday. However, I have enjoyed the resurgence of Merry Christmas. I grew up in a city where the Menorah was right next to the Nativity Scene, and in my own family we put out a Menorah during Hanukkah as something of a symbol to honor the season, even though we do not fully celebrate this Holiday. I've always believed America to be the place that welcomed all religions and that celebrated them and encouraged their celebration.....not one that silenced their celebration. I never want America to be a place of such restriction that a person is forbidden from wishing someone a Merry Christmas, etc. If you want to wish me a Happy Solstice, bring it! I will assume you are wishing me a happy time, a season of celebrating something good. The world can be such a dark and dismal place. We all need reasons and seasons to celebrate. Historically, religion has provided those seasons for us as a nation. From its inception to the present, our culture has been infused with a religious base. That base allowed for freedom to celebrate, not rules to silence the various celebrations.

So, as December 24th and 25th roles around.....Merry Christmas to all!

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night;
On Christmas Eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung:
That only night in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open’d wide the Baron’s hall
To vassal, tenant, serf and all;
Power laid his rod of rule aside
And Ceremony doff’d his pride.
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose;
The Lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of ‘post and pair’.
All hail’d, with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

Excerpt from Marmion by Sir Walter Scott
CD 12/24/10

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Calendar - Grandma's Stocking

This one could almost qualify as a wordless post, because catching a glimpse of Grandma's special stocking says it all. However, I will give just a little background. This one is of Grandpa and Grandma Daniels, back before I was born, probably in the 1960s or so. When I found the photo, I loved the look captured between them on a busy Christmas morning - but as I took in their surroundings, I laughed out loud when I studied that fake fireplace behind them....yes, Grandma had put up her nylon pantyhose as her Christmas stocking that year! I'm not sure if it was meant to stretch and therefore hold more loot, or if it was a small protest, reminding the children that Mom deserved something from Santa too! The motive could be a little of both considering this is the same woman who painted hoof prints on her forehead in the 1980s when "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" was the hit song that year.

Christmas is a time of laughter - enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shadows of Eastern State Hospital

Earlier this year I learned about and joined the Facebook group "Eastern State Hospital Cemetery Preservation Project". I did so for two reasons: 1. Cemetery preservation is something I believe to be vital to our cultural heritage. 2. Lewis P. Mockbee. Over my years of family history research, I kept stumbling upon G-G-G-Great Uncle Lewis. He was listed in the family rosters as he should be, but I always made a mental note when I passed by his records because there was a notation included that mentioned his passing and burial at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, KY.

In the back of my mind, I had always intended to research him further. The ESH Preservation group was a reason, but even with this new impetus, life intruded and I was not able to aid their cause as I would have liked. Recently, Uncle Lewis came back to my mind as I read the latest article in a local paper: Tomb of the Unknowns by Bruce Burris.

For those of you not familiar with this particular case, ESH is the second oldest mental hospital in the country. Started in 1822, it carried a stigma for families and local officials that continues to serve as an obstacle in properly remembering those who died and were buried on the grounds of the ESH. Here are the gut wrenching facts about burial at ESH: a.) No one knows how many bodies are buried there since the records are scattered, lost, and in some cases refused access, even for loved ones of the deceased. b.) Physical remains are so hard to locate because the bodies were moved so many times, or buried over by development, that most are in a "scattered" state. c.) Estimates on body count run into the thousands, and random skeletal remains sometimes surface or are stumbled upon within a few inches of the soil line.

According to the article, access to any of the patient/burial records - even for those 100 years or older - are stonewalled, flat denied access, require court order prior to release, or are held hostage at the capital archives. The efforts by the official preservation group include researchers seeking out other records to fill in the names of lost patients. In many cases, obituaries and death records are enough to place an ancestor at the hospital, and Mary Hatton, the lead genealogist for the group has started a spreadsheet that allows families to add their loved ones as they are discovered.

A complete list of the efforts, as well as the spreadsheet can be found at the ESH Cemetery Preservation Project's official site called: Naming the Forgotten. Wonderful assistance, history, and a small number of records can be accessed there if you suspect you had a loved one that spent some time or their last days at this facility.

Without the official records, the trail of each patient from ESH can be hugely complex or confusing. As I mentioned before, the stigma attached to the loved ones who ended up at ESH has clouded some of the past accounts. I will use Uncle Lewis as an example.

Lewis P. Mockbee was born September 2nd 1842, in Pendleton County Kentucky, the son of Charles Wesley Mockbee and Mary Malinda Moore. He served during the Civil War in the Union army: Co. A 18th KY Volunteer Infantry. During this service, he was wounded and taken prisoner at Richmond KY. By 1864, he was in a Chattanooga Hospital where he was later released. He married Rachel Fields on April 24th, 1867. To their union, ten children were born. Rachel died in 1888 at the age of 43.

Within approximately four years of his wife's death, Lewis was sent to the "asylum in Lexington." Nothing has been passed down to explain his condition or why he was sent there to live for the next 30 years before his death on February 27th, 1922. What has been published out there online has perpetuated the "fact" that Lewis died and was buried at ESH. This repetition of "fact" made me feel a little closer to the project's efforts.

However, after a simple search for Uncle Lewis's obituary, the "facts" became somewhat altered. That old-fashioned microfilm search turned up the following result:

"L.P. Mockbee, aged 80 years, died Monday at the State Hospital, Lexington, where he had been for the past thirty years.

Mr. Mockbee was a native of this county and is survived by five children: C.P. Mockbee, Mrs. Calvin, Mrs. William Davis, Mrs. L. Mattox, of this county, and Anna Ellis of Ohio.

Mr. Mockbee had many friends in this county who will be sorry to learn of his passing.

The remains were brought back to his old home Tuesday morning. Funeral services were conducted Wednesday at Short Creek, and interment took place in the Short Creek Cemetery."

Taken from the Falmouth Outlook, March 3rd, 1922
There was a small bit of irony that I noted about the placement of Uncle Lewis's obituary. It was not hidden in a back page, but prominently placed on the front page with other obituaries, right at the top under the masthead. This man's life was celebrated by his children and not hidden as other ancestors have been according to fellow researchers. They did not mention his Civil War service in his obit, but rather, mentioned the fact that he had many friends. They did not hide his illness, and chose to list it in the opening paragraph.

So many other ESH residents were not as lucky. Some families sent loved ones there and never heard from them again. Even if the family was still in contact with the loved one, financial constraints and the logistics of moving the body back to the home county, was frequently insurmountable - which meant the loved ones were interred at the ESH, with no chance for future visitation by relatives as is customary with a standard burial. They truly did join the ranks of the forgotten. I remember sighing a little bit in relief when I saw Uncle Lewis's final resting place as Short Creek Cemetery. It was comforting to know his remains were in an undisturbed, peaceful place, with a stone for identification. Immediately after that thought, I felt guilty that thousands were not as fortunate.

I urge everyone to support the efforts of this preservation group. The ESH burial issue is larger than the state it belongs to. As they work toward securing a permanent and respectful resting place, we must remember that each loved one buried there has an identity and story that needs to be discovered and restored to our collective memory. As Burris noted, these scattered remains include many veterans who deserve a resting place of honor....not these scattered acres of namelessness.

How to get involved:
Visit the main site to learn more: Naming the Forgotten
Join their Facebook Group: Eastern State Hospital Cemetery Preservation Group
If you suspect you have any relatives that spent time there or died there, now is the time to put their research at the top of your list - to give them back their identity.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar - Ma's Cookies

Earlier in the year I wrote a lengthy post about Ma's (Nellie Cox Beyersdoerfer) sugar cookies. They have been an absolute favorite and permanent Christmas tradition for at least four generations. The recipe is simple but when cooked to proper perfection (done on the bottom but taken out before browning), they are light, soft and chewy, with a wonderfully light nutmeg and Cinnamon essence. The picture I have included is their traditional round form, but the various forms they can take are endless. With this round form, we have dressed them up for Christmas with red and green sugar sprinkled on top. However, it really wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't use some of our old cookie cutters to make things more festive. When shapes are used, we have added the tradition of a light confectioner's sugar icing on top - which can be tinted to any color you prefer. Uber delicious!

I have included the recipe again below. The image of that cook-stained original clipping from Ma's kitchen is one of those wonderful pieces of heritage genealogy that I adore most of all. In fact, it is so precious to the family, that whenever anyone gets married, we make a color copy on photographic paper and then frame it to give to the brides. A surefire way to implement an old tradition into a new household!
In my previous post I included a lot about Nellie and my memories of her cookies on the kitchen table, but since this cookie tradition was started in her home, I've decided to include some photos we have of the home place which was torn down just a few years ago.
This precious photo, as faded as it is, has a caption on the back: Christmas 1936. This was taken on the front porch of Nellie and John's home. All of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren grew up visiting Ma here, and sneaking more than one cookie during their visit. Nellie is the woman center front. Travelling to the left is her mother, Oleva Ellen Mockbee Cox, and the young woman on the far left, trying to hide, is one of the daughters (my Grandmother), Freida Beyersdoerfer Watts. This is the house a few years fore they razed it.....but no one has lived in it for years, and with no indoor bathroom facilities (there's another memory I have from childhood!), I'm not very surprised. It sat on a hill in northeastern Pendleton County Kentucky. Each time we make these cookies, we picture this place, and the warm, loving woman inside working to make her family welcome and comfortable.
Be sure to give these cookies a try! You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas at Laurel Court

A few years ago, my family and I were invited to a couple of Christmas parties held at my cousin's home in Cincinnati. Each party had an added purpose beyond Christmas (cousin's elopement reception and Uncle's retirement party) but each was scheduled very close to Christmas which meant we were fortunate enough to bask in the Christmas glory of Laurel Court.

This historic mansion on Cincinnati's west side (yes, I said WEST side) was completed in 1907 for paper manufacturer Peter G. Thomson. The inspiration for construction was Marie Antoinette's small chateau Le Petit Trianon at Versailles. Which, as you can imagine, produced a place unlike any other. The Rookwood tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, gilded music room complete with teardrop chandelier, African rosewood paneled library along with various other details throughout the house remain true to it's gilded age origin. In my old Journeys Past website, I had a page dedicated to this historic gem, but the pictures were from the spring, and I have never shared my photos of what Christmas does to an already magnificent home - I have since put together some of the Christmas photos in a slide show for you at the end of this post.

The illustrious history of this house does not end with the first owner but travels down the Cincinnati timeline through various owners, from the Catholic Church (the Pope came for a visit and slept in the upper left bedroom over the library) to Buddy LaRosa. The last time it sold was in 1999 to my cousin and her husband (Larry and Judy Moyer - nee Williams, from the Pace side of the family). Actually, that is another interesting family memory. When the house went up for auction that year, my Grandmother and aunts stood for hours waiting in line to tour the house before it sold. It was such an amazing and historic landmark - we all knew of its existence but so few had actually been inside. The next day, after the auction, my family read the newspaper and realized it was our own cousin who had bought the place, which put an end to standing in line. From now on, we are welcomed with a hug through the kitchen! Judy's warm hospitality never changed after she bought such a grand house.
Judy and Larry have graciously given the home back to the community by opening it up for community gatherings, tours and weddings. Some events are even free to the public to embellish local traditions. They care for this house as their home, and welcome people with open arms. As a small family plug, Judy and Larry are offering Christmas tours this time of year....but as you can see, the experience is quite amazing.

The parties I remember fondly from just a few years ago created special moments that resonated historically. You knew the memories would last quite vividly and would be shared with future generations. The soft glowing atmosphere and twinkle of lights gave the feeling of being in a timeless place - truly encountering history as an enveloping sensory experience. The interesting thing about these parties is that even though family politics and disagreements were still rampant, the beauty and history of this house hypnotized each attendee into something akin to awed wonder. Which meant, every family member was kind to each other, and everyone walked around with loving, smiling faces.....a true Christmas miracle!

As the history surrounded us, I couldn't help but imagine the other parties, and Christmases past that had graced these rooms over the decades. Laurel Court is a national gem that was placed on the National Register of Historic homes in 1979. If you are ever in the area, and Judy has one of the tour options open, don't miss the opportunity to marvel at this architectural and historical masterpiece.

For more official information about the history of the house as well as tour/event planning information, visit their website:

Now, for a small glimpse of Christmas at Laurel Court:

Merry Christmas!
CD 12/7/10

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Calendar - Santa Claus...or?

Growing up, I firmly believed in Santa Claus, at least until I was about 10. Santa Clause was awesome! He brought me great things, I got to visit him in the mall with cool was a pretty sweet relationship. Ironically, visiting Santa was one of my favorite things to do each was a rather comforting visit.....and he was great about bringing me what I asked for. Once I grew out of the stage of believing, my brother was very small and we had to keep up the belief system just for him - which was extended for one more year when, as he was tottering on unbelief, we passed by someone in a Santa suit entering the front door of a neighbor's house on Christmas Eve - the very night Santa always came to our house!

As I helped maintain the Santa belief for my brother, I started paying more attention to how the whole system worked and the secret little joke that existed among the adults. This was about the same year that my Grandfather (Charles Daniels) began dressing up as Santa on Christmas morning when we opened presents at the Grandparents' house. Funny how he fit that so suit so very well......
Come to find out, Grandpa was the mall Santa Claus at Northgate Mall in the Colerain area of Cincinnati. Plus, he was also the Santa Claus at his Masonic Lodge each year for the annual family event. So, for several years, it was our own Grandfather's lap that we sat on while whispering our Christmas wonder Mom and Dad got it so right every year....Santa was on speed dial! The above photos were taken on my brother's first Christmas, which was still a year of belief for me, although I knew this one was Grandpa. The one below is from one of his Lodge gigs as Santa. From the look on my face, I knew it was him.
From those days onward, he was known as Santa or Mr. Christmas. It was his absolute favorite time of year, and it showed. From hardened soldier to lovable Santa, we were always so proud of him. When it was his time to leave us, he waited until very early Christmas morning, 2004, and hitched a ride upward in Santa's sleigh. He was 93.

Merry Christmas Grandpa! We miss you!

CD 12/6/10

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award!

Just last week I was honored by receiving two nominations for the Ancestor Approved award! This is my little blog's first award, so I am both humbled and a little giddy....a sweet blog Christmas Present if ever I saw one! First, let me begin by thanking the two wonderful bloggers that selected Journeys Past for this award:

Alice Keesey Mecoy at John Brown Kin
Janny Lancelot at Are My Roots Showing?

The award comes with the requirement that you pay it forward in two ways.....the instructions are listed below:

1. List ten things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
2. Pass the award to ten other genealogy bloggers.

So here are my ten things:

1. After finding several skeletons in the closet (some of which I will list below), I have come to the conclusion that skeletons in our closets are merely proof that our ancestors were human just like us....boy were they!

2. As we grumble about getting older, my Grandmother always used to remind me to celebrate each birthday because at least you made it to another one, which I usually rolled my eyes at.......and then I discovered that my Great Grandmother on my Mom's side (Florence Warren Watts) died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis, just after giving birth to her third child. Since my Great Grandfather was handicapped, all three children were put up for adoption. The horrible things they lived through at such a tender age, and I grumble about nearing 40.

3. Surprise of a genealogical lifetime: discovering KKK rally photos in an old family album - from Ohio! After some outside research and good old fashioned asking, I found out that this family lived in Ohio and Indiana at the same time that the Klan had become a huge political movement in the north. Indiana was the capital of Klan activity in the 1920s and my Great Grandmother's family was heavily involved. No one ever talked about this skeleton at all until I found the photos. Involvement was actually denied, and explained away as "someone must have snuck through a fence to snap the photos". Which would have worked for me until I found a photo of Great Grandmother Ruth in a beautiful patriotic group photo - except for the Klan guy standing by a tree next to them! Then I asked the same questions again years later, and got the full confession - be tenacious about your family questions - if the answers don't make sense, dig further, ask others, or wait awhile and ask again!

4. Play on names - lunacy, and the in-laws! This one was discovered as I found a birth record that didn't make sense . My Great Grandmother (Nellie Cox Beyersdoerfer) was the granddaughter of Clarissa Hughbanks Cox. According to the Barton Papers (which I will blog about soon), an interview given by a neighbor about the Hughbanks sisters said that Clarissa and her sisters all died in their 40s after going crazy. One day, when I asked my Mother what Nellie's middle name was, she told me (Isabelle), but made me promise not to repeat that because Ma (Nellie) hated that name. I was shocked - it was so beautiful! But she said Nellie insisted that it was pronounced with a long I as in ice. So, back to the birth record: When Nellie gave birth to her first son at her in-law's farm, someone in the household went down to register the birth for the new parents, but listed Nellie's name as Icey. Obviously, they called her that to tease her about her middle name. However, later, I discovered that Clarissa also had a nickname: Ricey, which is so close to Icey. I suddenly realized that Nellie hated that middle name because her in-laws made fun of it and connected it to her "crazy" Grand Mother. I don't blame her in a way - how crude to use the nickname when reporting the actual birth record! Family politics and snarkiness - an age old problem! It taught me the lengths of detective work and serendipity that is so much a part of what we do!

5. Discovered another set of shocking photos among the family collection: a late 19th century trip to the Klondike! Still working on which ancestor they belong to, but after some outside research, have learned that this gold rush - made famous by Jack London - was the most photographed event of 19th century North America because Kodak gave the intrepid explorers (ahem, gold hunters) a large number of their new products as they went north: the portable camera.

6. One of my greatest enlightenments about our research: we search for facts, but if we are lucky we end up telling a story. Each one of those stories can serve as uplifting stories - re-discovering heroes to remember - or cautionary tales - exposing mistakes to avoid. All are pertinent as reflections on how we live our lives in the present.

7. Very surprised that people are astonished when you mention a connection to royalty or famous personalities. As researchers comb through Obama's family tree and make new announcements about his familial connection to another new celebrity, the reaction is usually amazement. As one of those "cousins" of Obama from the Duvall family, mathematically, this is not an astounding turn of events. It is estimated that over 35 million Americans are descendants of the Mayflower passengers. Of course, only 25,000 have proven that fact. Connections to the European royal families are even more common.....but be careful about spouting that fact unless you've researched it yourself. Might be a fun party factoid, but not something to rest your laurels on based on others' "online" research!

8. Always amazed at the reality of my ancestors' lives. I have been so guilty of researching them within a standard formula: birth, marriage, children, death. Sometimes forgetting that research outside the box is necessary to make a legitimate timeline. By taking time to think about motives behind life decisions I made startling discoveries about: divorces, illegitimacy, sexual abuse/incest, lost inheritances, law suits, public displays of drunkenness - you name it, our ancestors did it - sometimes just well hidden - which is where we come in.

9. Have become obsessed with the social or gossip sections of small local newspapers. By just pouring over them, I found an adorable post about the night my Great Grandparents eloped: "The bride was dressed in a blue serge coat suit with hat and gloves to match." 1915 Sometimes the daily events are as minor as one visiting another, or a single sentence to give a health report that "Lanson Cox is no better" (he died of Tuberculosis a few days later in 1911) - but each a precious fact to fill in some of their story.

10. Humbled by the fact that as much as we record, and think we know how something happened, each person's perspective of the same event can be entirely different. Have learned this through sibling interviews and descendant interviews. Each one remembered the same facts or events in slightly different ways. Trying to remind myself that as I interview loved ones, emotions can cloud or embellish or even cause pain after so many years. Each perception, even though different, is valuable as a life experience for the person telling the story - and should be recorded as told for future generations.

Ok, so here are my 10 new recipients of the Ancestor Approved Award!
1. Mary Jane's Genes

2. Villa Victoria Blog

3. Tomorrow's Memories

4. The Turning of Generations

5. The Wandering Vine

6. The Symbolic Past

7. The Pieces of My Past

8. The Misadventures of a Genealogist

9. Sharing Our Family's Memories

10. Samuel and Mary Clark Reed of Barnwell

Again - thanks for the honor!
CD 12/5/10

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar - Tree Phases

Our collective family memory of Christmas Trees is solely based on which phase of tree you are remembering at the time. I will demonstrate for you below, but we seemed to run through differing phases, all related to tree types. For years, my only memory of a Christmas Tree was based on those toilet brush trees from the 70s. The cousins on my Mom's side of the family all had real trees, but in order to keep with the trend on my Dad's side of the family in Cincinnati, we all had artificial trees.....the move to Kentucky ushered in a new phase - real trees.....and so the pattern went. Here are some examples of the decades of trees through our family's relatively short memory....we don't have any Christmas photos earlier than the 1940s.....sad.
This little gem is from the very early 1950s - Dad and two of his sisters. I cannot tell for certain, but this looks like a real tree to me....which would have been in Ohio....gasp! We have one earlier than this from 1945, but it is very faint, and the tree also looked like a real one, so this would be an early phase for the Daniels family - apparently, a real tree! That tinsel behind them reminds me of a childhood memory....for a few years during my own childhood, my Mother decided to throw that sprinkle tinsel on the tree, but that stopped after she got tired of cleaning it out of the litter box....eww.... I know, but we had a cat that loved to eat that stuff, and we figured that was not good for her!
This next tree was Grandma Daniels' next phase...the metallic or tinsel tree! This one is from the 1960s. We have several photos of this one, so it might have lasted close to a decade....but completely ushers in the remainder of Grandma's Christmases as only consisting of artificial trees.
Once the 1970s arrived, I could finally grace them with my presence, and this ushered in my Parents' phase of the toilet bowl brush tree as mentioned earlier. This sucker was around until my brother was born in the early 80s. Ah, and then the 1980s arrived, and this picture perfectly reflects the memories I have of this newer model - the soft plastic branch tree. So easy to put up - after we had to wait for Mother to meticulously clean the entire house of course - but as you can see, the weight of the ornaments was not kind to this one, and it progressively got more and more droopy as the years went by. I guess these years were my favorite. Both my brother and I were still kids, and in our little Cincinnati house, the Christmas atmosphere was perfectly achieved every year.

Our family moved to Kentucky around 1993 and from that year onward we had a real tree. Mainly because we moved to a farming community and with the influence of our neighbors who happened to be family, we fell in love with the scent and uniqueness of real trees. Our first year down here, we even had a cedar tree instead of a fir or pine. There is a memory I will always treasure: Grandpa Watts taking my brother, cousin and Mom into one of the back fields to cut down that cedar and haul it back on an old wooden sled. The cedars were quite painful to decorate, but what a wonderful smell and perfect for an old fashioned country Christmas! I know the ease of an artificial tree has tried to lure me away, but even my own trees have remained real over the years - just hooked on this tradition I guess.
And for one last memory that surrounds Christmas Trees: While in Cincinnati - and even now when we visit - it was customary to visit several amazing sites around town. One favorite tradition was the Krohn Conservatory and their Poinsettia Tree. Beautiful - and a tradition that carries on for the future generations.
Merry Christmas everyone - hope your tree is up!


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