Showing posts with label future. Show all posts
Showing posts with label future. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What if #4

This post is an invitation to you to think about the word in the middle of life: IF (L-IF-E). Each week the Rivera Runs Through It blog will present a different "What If...?" question for you to explore. Some will be serious, some will be silly, some might be political, religious or historical.

You can either write a response of your own, or just tune in to see what everyone else has to say about it. At the bottom of this post will be a place for you to link up your own post about the question, so feel free to share. If you have arrived at this post and the inlinkz tool is closed, or you don't have a blog, then please leave your response (or link) in the comment section below using DISQUS.

***If you have a What IF? question you would like to submit as a possible future prompt, please do so in the Rivera Runs Through It Community What If discussion.***

Happy pondering to everyone...

What IF #4:
What if you could travel in time?

You may or may not know this, but as of this summer I am a HUGE Doctor Who fan (thank you Netflix!). Since season six will finally be back underway this Saturday, I've been thinking a lot about timey-wimey things! It is for this reason, that this week's "What if" question challenges you to think about your own possible time travel.

There are so many things you can write about here: would you do it? If so, which direction - back, forward, or both? What would you see? Would you interact, or would you just observe? Is there someone you want to talk to, meet, or take a picture with? Is there a place you would like to be or an event you would like to attend? Oh... my list can go on. If you are looking to really let loose with this one - get creative and write it as if you have time-traveled! Take us with you on your journey. There are no rules at Rivera Runs Through It against fun fiction (unless, you actually CAN travel in time thereby making it nonfiction, which is, of course, fine as well!).

I'd love to hear (read) your posts! For readers without a blog of your own, I'd love to see your response here in the comments section. If you have a blog, use the in linkz tool below to write your post and link it up!

For a list of all of the What if questions asked so far, 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who Do I Think I Am?

Who I Am
I've lived here my entire life, so, if I want to make this post short, sweet and to the point, the answer is simple: I am an American, a New Yorker or, to really pinpoint it - I'm a Staten Islander.

Who I Think I Am
However, a couple of years ago, I began to explore my roots. My parents always told me I was half Sicilian (dad's side) and half Irish. Well, maybe more like an Irish mutt - Mom's side was a little less pure, but "Irish" was evidently the most prevalent. After losing both parents early along with my grandparents being gone as well, I realized it was high time that I learned my back story before I had some confused kids of my own - because, like their mother before them, they'll find dad's lineage to stems from one island's story (this time Puerto Rico!) and mom's (that would be me) one big muddled mutt mess!

Growing My Family Tree
I've been on my own personal "Who Do You Think You Are?" (a la the NBC show) journey without the budget, the celebrity, the international trips or the cameras to follow me all around. It has been slow going and it is really making me wonder about Who I Think I Am!

I've been learning a lot throughout this process - some things I am learning about myself, some things I am learning about genealogy and some things I am learning about history (my family's and my country's). I am no where near the finish line, but I thought I would share what I've picked up so far with all of you tuning in to my adventures here at the Rivera Runs Through It blog!

Lessons Learned from my Family Tree Adventure:

  1. This could easily turn into a job. I have been at this for years because I am not in the best health and can not give it the attention it needs, but I could easily see me waking up each morning to do more research, scan more records and add more info every single day. This is a big project.
  2. The family stories are invaluable. While my parents and grandparents are no longer alive, I had up to 33 years of stories from one grandmother, 29 years of stories from my mother and almost 25 years of stories from my paternal grandparents. I remember them, they are what I have and they helped so much in the process. I knew approximate dates of major events (coming to America, births of brothers and sisters, deaths, careers, military service and weddings) and general locations of family units.
  3. There are never enough stories. Once I reach a point where my stories no longer reach I begin to kick myself, "Why didn't you ask them more, Nicole? Why did you waste time telling them about your day?!" It is a silly thought, I know. Conversations are a two-way street, so, of course, I had to add input, but there is always a point where a question mark pops up and I think of missed opportunities. My advice to those of you who still have your family with you: Don't become an intense reporter bombarding them with questions all of the time, but don't miss opportunities. In fact, start this process now WITH THEM while they are still alive.
  4. Sometimes legends are just that... [maybe] nothing more. I have gone back four generations on mom's side and I've crossed "the pond" in three different directions so far - England, Germany and France - and have no Ireland in sight yet! I'm not saying that there is no Irish blood here, I'm just thinking that goes back a bit further than my family once believed. I'm wondering if this is a lot of wartime movement, or if it is actually where we are from (this is why I say I have a lot more to go!).
  5. "Family" has a much broader meaning than what is flowing through our veins. There is so much evidence of this in our everyday lives, but let me demonstrate just two (and a half) examples that glare at me repeatedly in this process.
    • My mother was raised by her "grandparents" - Bob and Ann. When she died I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that they were the first angels to greet her, and the first she would look for. These two people made my mother the woman she was. And, yet, search as I may, there is no record of Bob and Ann together nor with my mother. I am not surprised. Bob was Ann's second "husband" and I don't think they were ever married. Also, I think mom was legally listed with her dad at the time.
    • As I search through the census records of my ancestors that were the first to come to this country in search of (who knows?) freedom, work, a new life; I rarely find that they are living with blood relations in the initial years. There are names listed that I know from "the stories", but I can clearly see now that they are not blood-related. This, in no way, changes my own definition of them as being family.
    • There is NO MENTION of pets on In this house, pets = family/

I enjoy this process more than I ever thought I would. I thought it would become a passing curiosity, but it is, in some ways the greatest story ever to be revealed: The Story of Me. I remember, as a child, having a book that was customized to have me in it as one of the characters. I loved it. I thought it was just fantastic. Growing my family tree is like reading that story but 1000 times better! There are no fictional characters in this tale, and there are so many characters that I have loved for a lifetime before  even unveiling their creation story. It's like I am getting the prequel to the story I am living every single day.

I love prequels.

Do you have a family tree or are you in the process of growing one?
Did you have any surprises in your backstory?
How do you capture and share your family's story?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I love TED. When I see there is a TED event going on, typically I am checking it out, so is the case today. Right now TEDxBoston is live and discussing revolutionary ideas. Come check it out below:

Watch live streaming video from tedx at

What is TEDxBoston?
What happens when a group of people rally around a radical idea and set in motion unlimited possibilities for a brighter future? A Revolution. More than two centuries ago, ordinary citizens in Boston dreamed of a democracy and launched a revolution that changed the course of human history in extraordinary ways. That innovative spirit still thrives today in our forward thinkers and accomplished doers. At TEDxBoston, we celebrate their ideas and their passion for improving the way citizens of the world learn, live, give, work, and play.