The Other I

October 23, 2010

When then was now

Filed under: Just Stuff,Questions beyond Science,Uncategorized — theotheri @ 2:39 pm

I’ve spent the last week away trawling around in the past on several fronts.

First is the saga of the house we live in.  It is not more than half a century old but it seems to have gone through at least 3 major reconstructions.  I think it began as a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom bungalow on a single floor.  Now there is a permanent line down the middle of the roof, the living room ceiling and across the living room floor where the outside support wall was knocked down and the room extended.  What is now a closet used to be a back entrance, and I think the present bathroom was a utility room.

I’ve been promising to tile the floor of what is now the family bathroom for months and this week I finally pulled up the carpet.  I expected to hit the concrete base but there were several layers of earlier living I had to get through before getting there.  Beneath the carpet was an underlay which was at least generation older.  Below that were the vinyl tiles, and below that a coat of paint.  The toilet is now situated where I think there used to be an outside entrance but which is now a wall backing onto the sun room.

Along with my personal excavations, I have been helping my brother organize the data going back for 13 generations of our family genealogy.   He has now just discovered that a book he bought through German e-bay is signed by our great great grandfather who died in 1875.  He had no idea that the book had ever been in his hands and bought it only with the hope of learning more about the village where some of our ancestors lived.

I’m now submitting a few relevant pages to Google Translate.  I think my brother’s 2 years of college German might be a better alternative. Google Translate noted of one of our ancestors “…that he had been a long illness exhausted by semen and hardly been worn by bone.”  If he was exhausted by semen, I wonder about his exhausted wife.

And I have also just finished reading Primack and Abrams’ The View from the Center of the Universe which delves into our pre-history beginning with the Big Bang.  It was a marvellous read.  I knew this before, but isn’t it astonishing to reflect on the fact that every particle of which you and I are made is billions of years old and has been banging around the universe trillions of miles away from here, burning up in the guts of stars’ nuclear furnaces, and contributing to the life forms of what be thousands of different life forms before stopping here.

With that profound thought, I return to the apple pie waiting to be removed from the oven. 

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