MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…

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Encouragement and Inspiration…


Everywhere you look this time of year there are words of encouragement, hope, and inspiration to help you along with those pesky new year’s resolutions so many of us fail to keep. We all know the sayings and catch phrases and remember them at least for awhile.

When I saw this card… it jumped right out at me… I read it… liked what it said and put it back. Then picked it up again. Put it back and walked away. It pulled me back and it was obvious I wasn’t leaving the store without it.

It’s not just the words, I like the colors, the contented look on the woman’s face.. peaceful and all knowing without being all preachy about it.

Some of these things will be easy to embrace, others not so much.

* Embrace change –- Never an easy thing for me, I usually like things the way they are and fight against too much change… some would say all change but I disagree, I’m trying to accept some change.

*Take the journey back to yourself –- Ahhh, it’s so easy to lose the ‘self’ we are, the one that is inside our heads talking to us. We lose ourselves and become someones mother, wife, sister, friend… the essence of our inner self gets overshadowed. I am definitely encouraging my inner self to stand out and up more often.

*Speak of gratitude –- I am grateful and do speak of it often and hope that it comes through to those I am grateful to, and for.

*Wear yellow shoes—  I used to have yellow heels and yellow patent leather flats and they made me happy. They say you should always have a pair of red shoes and I agree with that, but yellow, now there’s a pair of shoes to dance among the stars in.  (Never got yellow shoes but I have ones with stars on them).

*Unleash your creative spirit –I do unleash my creative spirit… this blog is one example…  and I also like write and to color, among other things.


 *Be positive – I’m not generally positive, I am a pessimist with optimistic leanings but I shall endeavor to switch that around. Really, I’m positive about that !

*Believe in healing — Definitely, no doubt about it…mentally, physically and spiritually.. we can heal.

*Share your inner light— I try to do that, a smile here, a smile there, it’s amazing how many people react positively to that… see, I’m being positive🙂

*Surprise yourself and do things you didn’t think you could do –I’m always surprised at what I do that I didn’t think I could… I usually need a gentle push from loved ones..okay sometimes a shove.

*Live as if you only have one chance –We definitely only have one chance at the life we’re living now.

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My Great-Uncle, Louis A Young … The Incredible Man With No Hands…


Louis A Young 1887 – 1952

When he was 14 years old in 1902 Louis lost both his hands in a chemical explosion in Newark, NJ where he lived.  One arm gone above the elbow, the other several inches above the wrist.  A devastating accident but did it stop Louis from living a full and productive life… absolutely not.

He dressed himself, played baseball, boxed, he shoveled snow and coal for exercise. He  was an avid fisherman who could rig his own line and reel in his fish without any help.  He also supported a wife and family and his father.  He could use artificial appliances but did not advocate them which he believed to be too heavy and rendered muscles insensitive. Instead he used a simple leather strap, between the strap and his arm he placed the object he intended to use, such as a knife or fork and by tensing his muscles he could hold it firmly.

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By vocation he was a news dealer in New York City.

His newsstand at Union Square.

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He was a volunteer instructor at The Institute for Crippled Men in NY and for the U.S. government in its rehabilitation work among soldiers.

He was an amazing man and although he was my great-uncle I never knew about him until recently.  He was one of my paternal grandmother Josephine’s brothers, but she never talked about her family… that generation seems to have been very closed mouthed about a lot of things unfortunately.

But… along comes Ancestry and all kinds of  information becomes available.  I want to take a moment here to thank Ancestry and our new found cousins for the opportunity to not only know about this particular uncle but in gifting us with new family members 🙂

Back to our story.    My daughter Deb got notification from Ancestry about a possible match. The match is Louis’s grandson, Bob Jr whose father, Bob Sr is Louis’s son. Bob Sr was turning 89 in July and would we be interested in meeting the family and celebrating Bob Sr’s birthday with them???????? Um… yes, very much so.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July off we went to Long Island to meet the family and what a wonderful day it was.


So not only have we found out about our incredible relative, Louis Young, but we have also met the nicest people you could imagine…and… they’re family… how terrific is that.

It is great to connect with new found relatives and to find out about ancestors, but also, in my opinion, is finding out the stories about them.   With Louis Young it’s an awesome story about fortitude, bravery, perseverance and optimism and I’m glad and proud to know his story and pass it on.  🙂