Being Thankful

It was a beautiful day, the warmest thanksgiving in a very long time. We were invited to celebrate at cousin Jennifer's place in Coon Rapids. A happy full house. Little brother #3, Erin, and Avery traveled all the way from Kansas City to attend. The Synsteliens of Marshall had the next longest drive. I probably could have walked, but the turkey would have gotten cold so I drove. Bet you didn't know duct tape could be used to help make the turkey dinner a success.

I was especially thankful for the wild rice, spinach, cream cheese thing. And as you can see below, Elwin won the annual football game.


Adam Block

Did some messing around on acestry.com this morning and found a ship manifest with record of an Adam Block (same name as Gradma S's Dad). It's the manifest for the S.S. Patricia leaving Hamburg Germany on April 1, 1901. All that sounded right to me.

So if that's him, he was 34 at the time traveling with his wife Catha (27), younger brother Johanna (30) and his wife Elisabeth who's age I can't make out. They would have arrived in the port of New York and their final destination is listed as Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They were farmers. Then the part that really interested me. It says they were Russian. I admit it's hard to read some of the stuff on that form. So if you're in the mood, have a look for yourself. His name is on line 9. If you want me to email you the high-res JPEG so you can zoom in and stuff, just ask.

The closest thing I could find to the city Adam listed as his last residence is Podh√°jska. It's a small village in Slovokia that's been around a while. In 1901, it was in Hungary. The Hungarian ethnic assimilation policies of that time (refered to as Magyarization), may have been the reason Adam left his homeland. Though if you read the discussion on that wiki article, someone argues that economic reasons were why Hungarians emigrated at the time. Still, why isn't Hungarian listed as his nationality? Perhaps rather than Russian, the nationality he named was Rusyn. The short lived independant Rusyn state formed after WWI was Podkarpatsk√° Rus. That also has some similarity to the last residence listed on the manifest. Though he could have been Russian.

This is all conjecture on my part of course. So help me out - let's solve this mystery. Why did Adam Block emigrate? Where in Hungary did he live? Who were his parents?


Tricks & Treats

The tradition in the halloween capital of the world starts with very precise jack-o-lantern carving.

Then you get all gussied up and things get really scary!

Once you are in middle school it's uncool to be seen making the rounds with a parent. But accompanying a younger sibling on her very first trick or treat experience is cool. So I guess they cancel each other out.

All the kids and even a few strays from the neighborhood accompanied Deanna and Alondra to the close neighbors front doors. But then the middle school clan was on their own. It's been 24 hours now and we haven't had to circle the wagons. We did find out that an attempt at double dipping one front door was busted by an alert adult. It's good to know your kids are lousy at keeping secrets. If that's the worst that happened, I'll take it.