Health Issues

In the last 6-8 months I have been working on my carpal tunnel condition and not doing as much computer work as I would like.  I have changed my home work setup to help facilitate ease of use and am ready to get back to working on this project full-time.

I plan to have the one hundred plus-page .pdf draft we have, printed, and spend an hour or two each morning working with it.  To help create a work rhythm, I plan to take the draft copy, my computer (and coffee) to a common area of my community to do my editing for the day.

I am planning to incorporate additional walking and chores relative to this project into my day to help with physical fitness.  Too, with spring and summer underway, I am working in my garden.

We are expecting a surge of Lyme Disease/ticks this summer in Maryland and I am loath to wander into the woods surrounding my community and will look for other ways to increase my stamina for walking in England.

2017 Book Update

The format of the book has changed.  Writing is well underway and today I am taking the .pdf file down to a printer to give me a draft copy to edit.  I’ll look for gaps and questions and things I do not understand and get back into researching.

It was started as a simple document about all Helen and I knew concerning Richard 1 but quickly expanded to all our notes and references in one place, with a good bit of sequential order.  It is over 100 pages and has some good illustrations Helen has put in, maps and photos, etc.

I’ll write subsequent essays here about the gaps, questions, and research we are working on as a result of editing but the book is now about our actual genealogy research rather than a book of essays.  I hope to reprint draft copies every quarter to work on through this year and the first quarter of next.  I hope we finish the book after I return from England and can get it formally printed in the first quarter of 2019.

Trip to Lewes

I learned recently that my sister-in-law is going to Oxford to sing for a week, July/August of 2018 and I can bum a ride on the airplane as a friend of the chorale group.  I’ll do that and wander around Oxford for a day or so, rent a car to take me to Lewes for 2-3 days research with Helen, then wander back to Oxford and then back home.

This gives me additional time to get walking fit and to work on my writing and research, plan what I want to see and research in Lewes.

I’m settling in well in my new home and instigating financial, health and physical fitness goals.  This September through the end of the year I want to get writing again and get this project back on track.

Good Olde Richard Edward

My great great grandfather, Richard Edward Cardin (1805-1871) bought a slave and her two children (by him) and “knew” her for 5 children’s worth from when they were both teenagers (1825ish) to around 1833-35 by which time he had freed them and arranged for their care.  In 1837 he went to England and married my great great grandmother and they came back to St. Kitts and started their family.

Slavery was done in St. Kitts in August of 1834, and my great great great grandfather died in October/early November.  Richard Edward became head of the family at that time. Before he left St. Kitts to take his English family back to London in 1843, he arranged that his oldest son would manage things in St. Kitts, would have some work.  I believe James Derrick Cardin was one of Richard Edward’s grandsons, so my 2nd cousin, once removed.

At some point I would like to have Helen help me trace my half-cousins, see if there are any remaining and what became of all that part of my family.

Words and Deeds

I have taken the doctor’s words, “Quit eating junk,” to heart and am trying to work with my diet but I do not have any physical goads to get me walking more or stretching, weight lifting, doing more physical activities.  I am tempted to use the Nike, “Just do it!” slogan, that sort of worked over the weekend with getting the gardening done but I suspect there is some mental block that I need to remove so the physical in me can be more free.

The other day I got side-tracked by my Shakespeare course papers and was reading each one over and remembering (and being impressed) with my efforts.  I write papers, I write here, I work on the essays for the book — too slowly, it’s true, but I do do it.  Helen and I have been researching non-stop for six years now.  I went back to class and worked through my homework and studying issues and got to where I enjoyed the challenge of the mental work, got a couple more degrees, and I would like that for my physical self?

I remember when I bought my ten-speed bike and rode it to and from the Pentagon back in the 1970’s and my surprise the first time I made it all the way up the hill from Rock Creek Park.  There’s something there that I need to reclaim for myself, some physical self I have lost contact with.  The same self that identified with Cynthia Voigt’s, The Runner.

I have a pool now but I am afraid of it.  I do not have archery but I have not searched for that so I do not know that for sure.  I have a car and my time is all my own.  I have my pedometer and lots of places inside and out to walk to.  There’s a historic town just down the street.  Perhaps I could study Sykesville history as if I were studying Lewes and get some ideas from the physical that I have not gotten from internet searching?  Pattern recognition.  That’s what my body needs, pattern recognition.  That’s why I feel I would have liked boats and rowing, the repetitiveness.  There’s a thought:  Look for the pattern(s).

Emigration Date

I know when my great grandfather, Frank Charles Cantrell Cardin (1856-1936) came to the United States with his next older brother, Edmund (1854-1915) in 1873:


But I do not know when their mother, aunt, and grandmother came. Their older sister and brother-in-law and, I believe, aunt’s daughter and son-in-law emigrated in 1874 but the sequence of events and who came when, from where, etc. I would like to further understand. I believe I recall the aunt’s eldest daughter and son-in-law were married a week/month before getting on the ship and emigrating.

The above record is the original which shows Edmund and Frank lied about their age to appear older (so they would not get messed with or for some legal reason?). Too, they left from Liverpool, and there are many “Cardin” names in the records whose ships left from Liverpool and Queenstown. The number of Cardins leaving from that port and wrong dates of birth pose additional problems identifying my family members.

Getting the Ball Rolling

I set up this site and made a post in each of the three categories I decided on:  posts about this site, posts relating to writing the book, and posts about the physical aspect of getting ready to travel to England next spring.

Since then I have set up the writing space for my essays and have the first one roughed out. I have decided to try and write one a week and am aiming for at least 1000 words, hopefully more.  Yesterday I put my pedometer in my pocket and did an exploratory walk around my community, scoping things out and figured out that with my stride, there are 2880 steps in a mile.

Having accomplished this, why don’t I feel better?  I think it is too easy, too organized; I’m a master planner and a weak follower-througher.  But interests and habits form, despite our best efforts to get in our own way. I have been researching this family line full-time for six years now.  I am still walking, I have put the pedometer back in my pocket again. I am in a place where I can choose better nutrition for myself; I have a chef cooking my meals. I have miles of wooded walking trails now, not a concrete loop in front of my home where I imagined myself at 85 walking around and around, pointlessly, 10 times to the mile. I have potential walking partners, a swimming pool, wii bowling, a garden in front of me that needs my care.

Care.  That’s the key, time and care:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Creating a Physical Routine

When I moved to my new home here last November, I was using my pedometer to count my steps daily.  I found my steps had increased substantially from my townhouse use and set a goal of 3,000-5,000 steps a day and then, for a brief period, insisted I walk at least 5,000 steps a day.

I took the Senior Fitness Test from the physical trainer here and it said I was average (for my age) in everything except the 2-minute step; I have no stamina.  I was a little low on the back scratch (try to clasp hands together behind one’s back, one arm over shoulder, one coming up from the waist) but was above average for the chair-sit-and-reach (I can reach beyond my toes; standing, I can touch the floor flat-handed) and the “8-Foot-Up-and-Go,” where you jump up from a folding chair and race around an orange cone as fast as you can.  That score gained me an asterisk which, “indicates that you meet the recommended fitness standard and should be on track to maintain your physical independence in later years (age 90+) despite normal age-related declines.”

However, I gave up trying to walk 5,000 steps a day soon after I took the Senior Fitness Test; I was getting close each evening but then it would get time to go to bed and I’d have to wander the halls for half an hour getting bored out of my mind no matter my mood or what else I was doing.  I began to resent my insistence and an age-old will struggle with myself ensued.

But I want to increase my stamina so I can walk in Lewes easily enough.  I have asthma and am overweight as well as getting older and all that is not working in my favor.  Spring starts officially today and I want to get a routine of some kind going and believe thinking and writing about it at the same time might help me.

I have belonged to a lifestyle and fitness site, Spark People, for the last 8-10 years and it has all the tools one might need to help meet health, fitness, and other lifestyle goals, and now I have this site for this goal.  I suspect I will be working harder at getting to the SparkPeople site daily and working that site and its tools into my routine.

In addition, my new home location has miles of nature trails just out my front door that neighbors asked have I hiked any of them yet and I have two active grandchildren and their parents who I would like to physically be able to keep up with in the coming years, for as long as possible. Because this is a senior community, the nature trails have benches to rest on and easy paths, well-maintained, and some paved, to follow.  My curiosity is dying to walk the perimeter, ring, road of the community with my pedometer in my pocket to see how many steps it takes.

I took the Senior Test in December of 2015 and plan to ask to take it again this coming December, see if I can do that 2-minute step better. I think I have plenty of ideas to work with; websites like this one to keep me honest and enough small adventures like walking the ring road to mix it up and keep it interesting.

Writing Springboard

I love to research and am good at it.  However, at some point you have to put down the research and start the writing.  I have not been able to get to that point yet because I perceive too many gaps in “the” story.

I came up with the “Walking Back to Sussex” story line over a year ago; I’d write about my research as I worked for a year to get fit and healthy, to be able to travel to Lewes, Sussex, and work on that most interesting aspect (to me) of the story, in person.  But I could neither figure out the writing transition between the research and the walking nor could I get the physical work to be consistent as well as interesting to write about.  I wrote one blog post on my personal web site and then got wrapped up in my personal trials and tribulations for 2015 and am only now getting back to working on how to write “the” book.

Thinking about “the” story this year, themes began to arise, subject groups I either know something about or wish I knew more about.  I realized I could write essays better than chapters of a one-story book; the essays would only have to be loosely connected or date ordered.  I could weave information through and build on it gradually; subtly go over some basic information multiple times from different directions without it getting tedious.

Base genealogy is records of birth, baptism, marriage, military records, death; public, state, and church records of that ilk.  I realized I have some interesting stories surrounding those records; I have a second great grandfather born at sea during the Napoleonic Wars; multiple wills that trace a single heirloom, and heirlooms mentioned that one wishes one could see and are jealous were not handed down.

There’s a death it took five years to find and move from mystery disappearance to Dunkirk, France; a surprising result. The problem with France is they speak French and I don’t.  Just hiring a French researcher to find out the details has been an adventure all its own.

There’s a book of poems by a great aunt’s female business partner with a poem about the sweetness of a younger great aunt, the first’s namesake niece, for whom there’s a confirming 1863 photograph of an 1808 portrait painting; the photograph sent to the author in the United States from her fourth cousin in Australia.

Maybe “the” story does not exist as I would like it to but there are still worthy stories to be told.  My second great grandfather, Richard Edward Cardin (1805-1871) had a son Richard but his line died out in South Africa nearly 100 years ago.  My great grandfather was Frank Charles Cantrell Cardin (1856-1936) and his line is down to my first cousin who only has a daughter.

There are still a couple male 4th cousins with the Cardin name but I am reminded of my third great grandfather’s immediate family, one I call “the lost generation” as only my third great grandfather and his youngest sister married and had children, out of nine siblings.  It makes me think of the punch line of John Donne’s “Meditation 17”:

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. . .

The Year of the Book

This is the year I have set aside to write most of a book of essays about the Richard Cardins (1702-1871), their vague predecessors and immediate ancestors related to me.

This time next year I would like to be planning for a trip to Lewes, Sussex, England, to see what the seventeenth and eighteenth century Richards and their wives and children might have seen and, hopefully, experience a bit of what they might have felt.

My problem is that Lewes main street is a respectably steep hill and I’m in less than perfect physical shape to be wandering up and down and all around it.  As well as the year of the book, this is the year I buy walking shoes and get myself in shape to spend a week walking up and down and all around that hilly street!

So, this new site (March 19, 2016) is to be a documentation of these two endeavors, the writing and the walking.  Enjoy!