The Family Tree

Life wasn't always easy,
But she never did complain;
Though I saw her shed a leaf or two
When cold Novembers came.
How her arms spread wide
And welcomed every weary nesting soul,
Vast numbers took their comfort there,
In deep December's snow.
When August's sun beat down on me,
I rested 'neath her shade;
And warmed myself in winter
With the firewood that she gave.
I played beneath the shelter
Of her strong and sturdy limbs;
Swung from her branches happily
With all my childhood friends.
In her bark, I carved initials
Of those sweethearts long forgot;
From her branches, hung my medals,
And hid my secrets in her knots.
From her seeds, I grew an orchard,
In her leaves, I made a bed;
And when I thought to give up hope,
She whispered to me, "Forge ahead."
I gaze now through her branches,
Past where human eyes can see;
And every bough uncovered,
Tells that much more of me.
And I proudly bear the marking
Of her awesome history;
She started but a seedling...
And became my family tree.

-- Author Unknown
I like the poem below, "Family Tree," very much and I believe it to
be truer than most of us realize.  It was only after getting involved
in genealogy that I came to recognize how much we are shaped by,
not only our present-day families, but by the ancestors on the
branches of our family trees.  The photos today are from the three
countries that take up the most space on my own family tree:  
England, Scotland and Ireland.  Nancy
The Family Tree
A man finds room in a few square inches of
his face for the traits of all his ancestors, for
the expression of all his history, and his
wants.  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are all omnibuses in which our
ancestors ride, and every now and then,
one of them sticks his head out and
embarrasses us.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
To forget one's ancestors is to be a tree
without a root.  -- Chinese Proverb