My eyes scanned up and down the racks of scrapbook paper, searching for the colors and designs that might indicate a family tree theme. I zig-zagged my way down the crowded aisle, peeking around people and shopping carts. Twice, I had made my way around the other shoppers to continue my search to the end of the asile.
I was about to give up when a woman next to me pulled a sepia colored square from a paper rack. I recognized it immediately as a pedigree chart and exclaimed my excitement. It was what I was looking for and on sale as a bonus! When I realized her eyes hadn't glazed over at the mention of genealogy and family history, I ventured more of an explanation; family reunion activities that needed a boost. Within a minute I was listening to her story about the fact that her family no longer had aunts, uncles or grandparents so she was researching her husband's family. A questioning look from me was all she needed to explain further. Most of her family, except for her parents, hadn't escaped Germany and had died in a concentration camp. The strength of the emotions that still surrounded the story were very evident in her voice. She spoke of frustration at the amount of divorced couples in her husband's family and how hard it was to depict it correctly and easily in a scrapbook. I encouraged her to tell her family's story as well as she moved on to another aisle.
As she left, a couple slowly walked down the asile toward me as they talked about their choices of paper. They commented on a bit of conversation they had heard me exchange with the first woman about messy family history because of divorce. When they noticed the pedigree chart I held in my hand they began telling me about their recent venture into genealogy. Within a few minutes I found I was speaking to possible relatives of a 15th century knight from England and Lady Godiva according to a brother who was a genealogist. I told them about one of my great grandfathers who had been knighted during that time period, also. They expressed their excitement about a family tree program that they had just ordered. We talked a little while before they continued on down the row of racks, choosing more paper. I moved on to find my daughter. As I walked on, I thought... everyone has a story and about genealogists?...