The Tree of Lives

I.
Our family tree is a thing to behold,
Our branches are widespread with leaflets of gold.
We grow abundantly across the entire USA
With a few across oceans, so far, far away.
Some we see often, other visits are rare,
But we’re all bound together by the roots that we share.

A lot of us have stayed here in Iowa, the land of our roots,
But most of the next generation put on traveling boots.
In Minnesota, we have John and Sarah is there, too.
In Pennsylvania, David and Anne along with their crew,
South Carolina has Marian, Karl and Candace.
Philip and Claire and youngsters like Illinois best,
Paul and Michelle raise their family in Ohio,
Some of the others moved way out west.

California has claimed a lot of our kin;
In the bay area there lives Michael, Carol, Moira and then
In LA, we have Peter, G. Thomas, Stephanie, Marcie and Mark;
In Texas we have Lileah, Randon and Lark.
And way up in the Northwest where beauty runs wild
Live Ryan and Alice and their two-year-old child,
Isabella, who once had the distinction of being the youngest,
Then along came Lark and Brianna, now the youngest among us.

In Texas, we also have Al and Jean Ann,
Newly transplanted to live in that land.
The East Coast is full of our kith and kin;
That’s David, Bruce and Marc, Brother, Beverly and Yvonne.
As I said before, we spread out far and wide;
We’re all over the entire countryside.
And even to Switzerland one of us roamed;
That’s where Theresa has made her home.

II.
There are just two roots at the base of this tree,
A mother named Lily and a father named Lee.
Of course our vast arbor extends much wider than that,
But the folks that are here come from that match.
Yes, Lily and Lee (that’s how Lileah got her name),
But they were Muddie and Daddy to us just the same.

We’ll start with the oldest, that’s always the best
And go to the youngest, sometimes called the pest.
And being a youngest, I know all about that
Because in my youth I was quite often a brat.
But I grew up to be wise and somewhat on the ball
So I’m here to attest that there’s hope for us all.
If you’re not a youngest you might not know what that means,
But I’m here to tell you there’s hope in our genes.

“Marthann” was the first of the next generation;
She went off to Alabama to get her education.
There she met a Nash with the first name of Warren
And then she transplanted him to Iowa where they made their home.
If Warren could have lived to see his offspring grow strong,
He’d be proud of his family.  I know his spirit is around.

Bj is retired from her professional tasks,
But she still doesn’t refuse to do all that she’s asked.
She doesn’t mind driving and spends much time on the go
But she is slowing down a bit and seems more willing to say “no.”
She’s one of the links that keep the family together;
She keeps track of us all, nieces, nephews, sisters and brother.

Lileah married Percy and together they’ve raised
A family of 12 for which they should be praised.
She has earned a degree in Russian and works very hard
To make her church and community better places; she deserves an award.
Percy is still practicing medicine but I get a sense
That he’s too slowing down some, is a bit less intense
About medical issues, geneaology is of more interest
And he’s learned quite a lot about our family census.

Lee is retired and has struggled with health problems a lot
Yet his sense of humor and indomitable spirit are right on the spot.
Recently after surgery, he was overheard to deplore
That he guess he couldn’t wear glass slippers anymore.
Penny is retired from Pharmacy, but I think has begun a new a career;
She has become a financial wizard and knows the Bull from the Bear.

And then there is me, remember, I was the pest
And in my old age, I’ve discovered I like computers best;
And though getting published is still one of my quests
I find that with numbers and spreadsheets I’m quite obsessed.

III.
Now we’ll go on to the next generation, first cousins and stars;
The children of siblings that’s who they all are.
Jean Ann is the oldest Nash and Theresa is the next.
Then came Warren Joseph but the name Brother stuck best.
Then Marian and Laura and then the twins came along last,
Michael and Moira, and they all grew up fast.

Bruce is the first Harris, then David, Lileah and Peter,
Then twins, Philip and Paul, no kids could be sweeter
Then Mark came along and then there was Anne Catherine;
That’s just about eight if you’re checking the math.
And then there was Sarah, so shy when she was two,
Wouldn’t let me take her picture, no coaxing would do.
Then there was Matthew and Grant made eleven.
By gosh, we were happy for those gifts from heaven.
And last but not least, came Rebecca, number twelve.
What can I say?  She’s got my name and that’s swell.

Next we’ll head for Lee’s family where Lee III joined the clan;
We’re so lucky to have him; it’s all part of the plan.
Then Tom joined us next and then John was the last.
He’s a youngest, too, so has his lot been cast?
But we’re not finished, because Angela was my addition to the crowd
And she’s made life worthwhile, of her I’m so proud.

IV.
Yes, leaves sparking in gold with many ambitions;
We’re well represented in many traditions.
Our talents are as wide as the world is around;
We’re creative, artistic and genius abounds
We’ve got heads good at business and those creative in art,
And music and writing are strong in our hearts.
We’re well represented in the area of law,
That’s Brother and Bruce and Philip and Paul.
And David also received a legal degree
But seems more into computers, a good thing to be.
And Matthew is coming up to his 3rd year of law school.
Soon he’ll be taking the bar; and that is way cool.

Lileah is a doctor like her father and grandfather.
At this point the only medical cousin, however,
There are quite a number in the next generation
Who have medical school listed as their aspiration.

Theresa’s expertise is finance and Laura’s is investment and insurance;
They both have a head for business that would test our endurance.
Social issues are more Marian’s chosen tasks;
She advocates for abused children; those young at great risk.

In the Performing Arts our talents run deep and strong;
We’ve got rock stars and composers and the list is long.
Peter is writing marvelous music for movies;
Tom’s into music too, but to him video is groovy
With Venice and other groups, Mark plays guitar;
he’s definitely one of our musical stars.
Grant is in N’awlins and he, too, has musical ambition;
his group, NWF, has a Turnipseed Website—what a creation!
Lee III is a champion of the drums, that’s certain
When he beats on the bongos, he brings down the curtain.
And then there’s Rebecca who could have the trials of a youngest.
Instead she is for sure one of the strongest.
She’s into theater and dance and has created her own style;
When you see her bright eyes, you’ll sure want to smile.

Angela has a deep interest in film and design
And is an expert at most things of that kind.
She’s an avid reader of popular culture
And I see lots of shining stars in her future.

V.
And there’s lot of other artistic talents that are more avocations
Because some of our twigs have chosen different occupations.
Ann plays violin but has chosen to do
Fashion merchandising instead of wielding a bow.
Lileah the younger plays excellent piano like her mother
But chose Pathology instead as her main getter upper.
Even Bruce and David started out on guitar;
Both now do something quite different, playing the legal bar.
And I once thought Sarah would be our first female rock performer
But she chose Psychology instead, something more normal.
And lately she’s trying out her hand in a show,
To see if acting would be the way to go.

Moira’s the showstopper having performed on the stage
But Jean Ann is no slouch on this musical page.
Both she and Laura have lyrical voices
But like I said they made other vocational choices.
And John also had definite musical connections
But he too has gone in a different direction.
In the visual field, Michael is talented in art
But he has taken an alternate path to make his start.
And Matthew had shown great talent at writing
But now he writes briefs, which he finds more exciting.
And while I still dabble at poetry and prose,
Claire wants to write books for children to browse.
Computers have stolen the hearts of some of our pedigree;
Talented people also have logic in their heredity.
Jean Ann, perhaps, is our first computer genius;
She was into computers when I was still using the abacus.
And Brother’s a lawyer but a hacker to the end;
He’s an internet expert and has kept up with the trends.
John has made Information Management his specialty;
He’s one of our most talented computer progeny.
David forsook the law to become a computer consultant;
Now he’s with Digital Company, still a computer default-ant.
And we’ve brought computer knowledge into the family;
Both Al and Randon handle keyboards expertly.

We have other gifts added to our foundation;
David Carter is in the ministry and that’s his devotion.
We don’t have many teachers like Muddie’s chosen career,
But Beverly carries on a profession that is dear.
Michelle and Carol are in psychology and Claire is in law;
They, too, are carrying on the traditions of all.

Marc Boisclair is a journalist who writes for a living
But I won’t say computers are his first love (he’s forgiven)
Alice is also in merchandising and loves to go camping.
She must not mind being where mosquitoes do their thing.
Stephanie loves catering and writing and Marcie teaches pilates
We all could use some of that discipline, actually a lot of.
And Pierre is a blend of all of the rest;
He was a doctor, is a pianist, is an artist, the best.

VI.
The next generation goes from Ryan to Lark,
And in their talents and ambitions we see traditional sparks.
Yes, Ryan is the oldest of that set of branches
And Lark is the newest addition to the census.
Between Ryan and Lark we have talent a-growing;
Our family of diverse interest is clearly showing.

Ryan has chosen sales and merchandising to fulfill his ambitions,
And Karl II loves computers and finance following previous traditions.
The medical field has a lot of talent coming its way;
College-bound Jessica and Candace both want to be doctors someday.
And Emily, Rebecca Carter and Elizabeth are taking medical aim,
But I’ve heard that Evelyn prefers DDS added to her name.
So there could be a dentist in our professional family
All of these youngsters are of a serious-minded pedigree.

Caroline and Evelyn have caught writing fevers
And like Alix they have a talent for artistic endeavors.
Along with her writing, Caroline loves illustration;
Could the creation of children’s books be her destination?
Alix loves to draw, paint and make pottery from clay;
But that’s not so surprising; she’s got artistic DNA.
And Matthew Gilbert has shown a talent for painting and drawing;
It’s possible that he may one day answer to the artist calling.

Music is, of course, running strong in the blood of these kin;
Alix and Emily love the piano and Evelyn plays violin.
And even little Isabella and David Joshua have a lyric appreciation;
For musical things, they show a great fascination.
In this young group of offspring, the dance also runs deep;
There’s a great deal of talent just waiting to leap.
Caroline and Corinne love ballet and Emily loves to tap;
Alix, too, loves to dance and Isabella takes rhythmical steps.

And if you’re out of doors looking up at the sky,
You might find David Joshua watching the airplanes go by;
And if you’re by the ocean looking out at the blue,
You might see Andrew talking to Dolphins and studying what they do.
A marine biologist is something I never thought I’d see,
But I’m so glad we might have one in our family.

And this generation is well into sports activities;
Christopher, Matthew, Candace and Jordan have basketball proclivities.
Emily and Caroline and Christopher can kick the soccer ball with glee;
For that sport they show a great deal of agility.
Elizabeth loves swimming, horseback riding and gymnastics;
Maybe we’ll see her on the balance beam as flexible as elastic.
Paul and Philip and Percy have always loved sports from afar,
But these kids might just be our first professional stars.

As for acting or modeling and having great style,
Corinne would be a charmer with her irresistible smile.
And Brittany is gorgeous enough for a modeling career,
But perhaps she has other interests of which we will hear.
And Christopher shows an interest in what movie making is all about;
So perhaps we have an actor or producer or director just waiting to sprout.
And Kathryn is more quiet; loves to play house and play school;
She may be the next teacher to fill a traditional family role.

We’ve had lots of nicknames for Rebecca that are loony
There was Beck-Beck and Becca and now Beccatoonie.
That’s Rebecca Carter and she loves shopping malls;
The Learning Express store is her favorite of all.
Yvonne loves to eat at McDonalds and go play in the park;
She also loves computers; I’m sure her Dad is teaching her a lot.

And then there is Lark, who is now very young
But is growing up fast, soon she’ll be age one.
She loves music and dancing and her Exersaucer
I’m sure she keeps her parents completely exhausted.
She’s loves playing on the piano and is showing clear signs
Of following in the footsteps of the family design.

Last but not least we have second cousins,
Brianna and Isabella, but remember
They are the first of the third cousins in this family timber.
Isabella loves singing and dancing and Winnie the Pooh
We’ll have to find out if she also loves Roo.
And I don’t much about Brianna, our youngest, so full of energy
But I know she has lots of role models perched in our family tree.
There’s so much ahead of them all and they have a solid ancestry
Upon which to build their dreams as they make their own history.
So as you can see our demographic is as diverse as can be;
We just don’t yet have a candidate for the presidency
But maybe that’s a job that our Emily can do
As the first black female elected in two thousand thirty two.

Family Reunion, July 10-12, 1998
Added in 2000 for the Family Cookbook:

And now we have a little new one
Just born in September 1999
Her name is Lileah and we call her Lily,
She’s quite a beauty and doing just fine.

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