Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blogging pays off

Back in September 2009 I wrote a post about my husband's family on his mother's side. It was all about JR's great great great grandfather and his and his brother's experiences during the Civil War. It was inspired by JR's cousin Carrie's wonderful book because I'm not that clever.

Now, I spend a lot of time yammering on and on about history never thinking that people might not be the least bit interested (all of you who visit regularly, no matter what kind of drivel I write, are the kindest people I know) but sometimes all that pays off.

It pays off in the form of coffee! For a reformed coffee snob and recovering coffee roaster this is the best of all gifts. (To Julie: I wish I could share my bounty with you. As a coffee aficionado you would appreciate it. I'll save you a bit. Let's call it incentive. )

I received an email on June 23rd from one of JR's unknown cousins. He had read my post and was excited to see photos of his great great.....grandfather and read about some of his exploits. I received this email:

Dear Michelle, I was doing some research on the internet about my Hovland family roots and came across your blog. What a hoot to see my great, great, great, great grandfather Simon's (Sigmund) picture and read about his exploits. My family in North Dakota has lost the roots back to Norway and I would love to present a copy of your book to them. Is there any possibility of having it professionally copied at my expense? I could throw in some Kona coffee from our plantation as a bonus teaser! Much Aloha, Mikal

How awesome is that?

This prompted a couple of thoughts.
1. How come we had never heard of Mikal?
2. How were we related?
3. How could I wrangle a visit to Kona, Hawaii?
4. Do you think he'd notice if we came for a visit then stayed until retirement?

Altruistic? Yeah, I think not.

So I did what any digital librarian would do; I scanned in the whole book and sent it off to him on a flash drive. If I could have turned it into a java script page turning webpage I would have because the chance of having a bargaining chip was too good to pass up. Alas, I ran out of time. I settled for the flash drive and a prayer. I was looking out for my own interests. Any sort of food or drink is inspirational for me. I'm very gastronomically inclined. That explains the extra 10 pounds I'm carrying around. That and wine.

And while, I'm waiting, some what impatiently, for coffee to show up on my doorstep the most important things are that JR and I have made another connection to his extended family, I have once again justified my hording tenancies, and that blogging is the ultimate social media!

How has blogging changed your life? Do you think that it has made the world just a little bit smaller? Maybe, a little bit more friendly?

Let me know how it works for you. Take your time....I'll just sit here and drink my coffee.

Which showed up in the mail yesterday!!!! Thank you Mikal!



  1. Ooh, Kona coffee makes me weak!
    Blogging has definitely turned the world into a much smaller place, and friendlier one at that. I've met people like you!

  2. Now that is just the coolest thing I've heard all day! LOVE it!

  3. I've met (online and in real life) a bunch of people via blogging, and my life is richer for it.

  4. So what farm/plantation is cousin Mikal from?

    I am a sucker for good Kona coffee!

  5. That is very cool.

    A couple of years ago I posted about my ancestors over in Middlesburgh, England and how the family moved form Ireland to there and then on to America. A few months later I got an email from someone who said she was pretty sure she was my cousin. Then, months later from another cousin who now lives in Wales. We're even friends on Facebook now. All because I threw it out to the internets hoping for answers.

  6. I know very little about my ancestors. I'm guessing, however they were loud and say "oy" a lot

  7. Enjoy the coffee!!!

    My blog paid off this summer when our driver remembered I had blogged about our trucks ailment last fall. So when the repair shop put on another new starter he called us right away and we got right on checking out the warranty. The check just arrived last week.

  8. That is so cool. I'd love to have some unknown family turn up. With coffee is even better.

  9. Well, I once got this fantastic painting done by an awesome librarian blogger I know...

  10. What a wonderful thing to have happen. I wish some Doyles would show up for me....


  11. I read this story earlier and didn't get a chance to comment. That is too cool that you found JR's long lost cousin AND got a cup of Joe out of the exchange. The internet is great like that, no?