Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘jigsaw puzzle

But Wait

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Sometimes, it’s not what you think. When searching for something that continues to elude discovery because it is not where you expect it to be, one strategy is to go back to the start. I did just that yesterday and, although I may have ended up even farther from what I am ultimately seeking, I gained valuable new insight.

Since my search for the birth record in Hinesburg, VT of my 3rd-great grandfather John Hays (b.1795) was exclusively based on information taken from his youngest son’s death record, I decided to revisit that source death record to confirm I wasn’t misremembering anything.

Oftentimes, the information collected and entered onto the family tree record becomes gospel despite each tidbit of detail for each record having variable degrees of accuracy. It pays to keep in mind the fragility of the whole collection.

I looked up the actual record from which I picked up the belief my ancestor was born in Vermont.

Upon a fresh viewing, the first thing that caught my eye was that both parents are shown with the birthplace of Hinesburg. I have other sources about Laura Kittle that tell me that is not accurate.

It’s like having the wrong piece of a jigsaw puzzle in place that makes it impossible to find any adjacent pieces that will fit.

If it isn’t accurate for Laura, then what makes me think it is correct for John? Who provided that information upon John B.’s death? Why was that thought to be true? Something must be behind the thought of Hinesburgh being the place of birth. What could that be?

I have found a surprisingly thorough history of Hinesburgh, Vermont that makes the place sound barely established when I am trying to envision my ancestors being there. The first (colonial) birth was noted as happening in 1785 and there were no doctors yet. Despite there being very few families noted in the history of this community around that time, there is absolutely no mention of the name Hay(e)s anywhere.

Next, I revisited the details I’ve collected about John(b.1795) and tried finding notice of his death in 1840. I learned that death records weren’t kept before 1869 in Ontario. However, I did rediscover one of his daughters (under her married name) was buried in the same cemetery near Vankleek Hill.

Maybe, with her married name, I can find her death record to see if that one lists the birthplace of her parents. Of course, think about it. I really am relying on whoever the survivors were to report this information at the time of death. Genealogy research is one endless puzzle.

I think I’ll go finish the jigsaw currently on the old family table and get away from the online searching for a day.



Written by johnwhays

January 30, 2022 at 11:25 am

Stopping Early

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We are going to throw in the towel on the latest jigsaw puzzle. All the remaining pieces are solid black and the exercise of finding the exact one that will fit lacks a key feature I truly enjoy in locating pieces: COLOR!

Last week I came close to making the same decision but then changed my mind and took another crack at progress. Finding pieces is certainly possible but requires such intense focus and more patience due to long droughts between success than I want to muster. I’m more inclined toward random brief visits when the energy is right (like when Cyndie is baking in the kitchen). Quick results are so much more rewarding for those short sessions.

Puzzling is supposed to be fun, after all.

Plus, we splurged on a bunch of puzzles all at once and have two left that we are chomping to start. In the queue are a beautiful wolf and another with more horses. The way the weather is warming and the hours of sunlight are increasing, our days of puzzling are soon going to be replaced by outdoor pursuits.

This is no time to be languishing on hundreds of similar pieces of all the same color. I can torture myself with that next winter.

We’re stopping early on finishing the expansive black void of outer space.



Written by johnwhays

March 5, 2021 at 7:00 am

Getting Cold

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The weather at the lake this weekend is rather brisk, with filtered sunlight softly glowing through milky clouds. We headed to town for breakfast and a little stroll around yesterday morning. The briskness came across as downright flippin’ cold as we walked the short lengths of sidewalk between warm shops.

I am forever fascinated by how different a temperature of 39° (F) feels the first time it visits in the fall, as compared to the first time it is reached in late winter. Yesterday, the “briskness” was bone chilling. In late winter, temperatures above freezing lead us to lose our hats and open our coats.

We stepped out of the frigid fall air into a shop that sold puzzles. Cyndie encouraged me to revisit a long loved hobby of jigsaw puzzles, so I gave the weird variety of images a serious review. My choice was primarily focused on choosing an actual image, preferably of a landscape that appealed to me.

It was a pretty easy choice, because there was only one that met those parameters. I didn’t really process the note on the cover touting the large piece format, but it turned out to be a perfect choice.

“Easy to See & Handle!”

Why, yes, they are! Ideal for pulling off a one-day build before we need to pack up and head home.

Building a jigsaw puzzle in front of the warm glow from the fireplace while listening to our most memorable music from our dating years just happens to be a very comforting way to deal with that first cold blast of the season after summer ends.

I’m sure I’ll have many more opportunities to be outside re-acclimating my body to winter temperatures in the weeks ahead.

This weekend was focused more on staying warm, which I can report we happily achieved in luxury at this fabulous place on the lake.



Written by johnwhays

September 30, 2018 at 10:09 am