The Diversity Within Our Families… Americana 2019

American families are interesting. There is no shortage of diversity. My husband’s Jewish uncle, is married to the divorced wife of a Christian minister. Thinking she was an attractive Jewish girl, the former preacher’s wife caught uncle’s eye. “No,” she told me, “Polish ancestry. Not Jewish.” She descends from Polish immigrants who settled in Indiana in the 1800s.

Anyone who has read my books, knows that I raised an eyebrow and considered that uncle’s wife’s family tree might have Jewish roots. Whatever the family history, uncle married a beautiful woman, inside and out. Uncle is a proud Jew who loves to call and wish us, “Merry Christmas,” and the Christmas cards they send, leave me with the sense that he had more to do with it than she did.

When they called yesterday to wish us, “Happy New Year,” I grabbed the calendar to see when Passover was, so that we might meet up with our Jewish family members. To my embarrassment, Passover was not listed on the calendar. An error? I thumbed back to December and could not believe that Hanukkah had been omitted too. Christmas was there. Cinco de Mayo was there. “Oh,” I told them as they remained on speakerphone, “it’s an anti-Semitic calendar.” They laughed.

All my life, these two Jewish holidays have appeared on calendars. Even the White House has a Hanukkah party. I’ll bet that the individual who thought these two Jewish holidays were unimportant, descends from ancient Jews, somewhere on his or her family tree. Odds are high that they have an Old Testament name, like Hannah, David, Jacob or Rachel.

Yes, I called my favorite grocery store and spoke up about their calendar. Together, the customer service rep and I, constructed a letter to the president of the store. And the more I think about it, what about Kwanzaa and all the other days of significance? Doesn’t the store want everyone to feel welcome?

Yes, I know, Israel uses a completely different calendar. I can’t do anything about that. Although, I could call the grocery store and shout, “Don’t forget to  include Jewish New Year!”

2019 promises to be interesting, doesn’t it? Hang tight and have a happy one.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082

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A House, a Hound, a Horse and a Husband… Not Necessarily in That Order

Anyone who has owned a horse knows that they are a lot of work. Ditto with the hound and the house. Anyone who has ever had a significant other knows that relationships take a lot of time and caring. The more time and care you put into it, the better the relationship usually is.  This post has no intention other than to acknowledge those who sweep, shovel, sew, iron, rake, mow, boil or bake. Which is most everybody. We all have chores. Whoever you are, guy or gal, today I acknowledge you. I just spent a good hour raking horse manure in 92 degrees. Yes, in the hot sun. I don’t like doing it but I like it that I can. Even the worst of chores have something for which we can be thankful.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78