Once year I go on a trip with my parents and grandmother and occasionally I highjack our vacation briefly for a bit of family history related fun. One example would be the nifty picture up top (in the blog banner) of Mom and Gran wandering around Maple Grove Cemetery, in Glen Arbor, MI when I wanted to photograph the headstones of Gran’s Shea relatives there. But this year I didn’t drag them to a cemetery, library, or museum… No, this year I politely asked if on a cold, rainy day we might spend some time wandering through an antiques store. So, we decided to wander through the 4 floors of Wilson Antiques in Traverse City, Michigan.

Going through such a large store with such a wide variety of eras and styles represented seemed to be a fun diversion for everyone as they wandered through rooms saying, “I remember someone having that,” or ”That looks so familiar” or “That’s an antique? I used to have that.” And it got people talking and thinking about childhoods, grandparents, and more. It’s funny… I’m not sure they all get how much fun I had just walking through with them—sometimes sticking close to my Mother and Gran, other times wandering through with my Dad—but always enjoying listening to them comment on what they were seeing.

It was a fabulous morning, both perusing the store and enjoying the stories and exclamations, but the bonus moment for me actually came the next day when my father had me pull up a picture that he’d remembered of his recently deceased brother in a stroller very similar to one we’d seen at Wilson’s. Dad doesn’t often get involved in my genealogy research but sometimes he surprises me with pictures or stories. It was the cap to a fantastic trip. Thank you guys!

Happy Hunting,

Jess

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