Melanie Nelson

Will Power

When I was young, writing a will felt like a very adult concept. Colombo episodes, Nancy Drew books and Scooby-Doo cartoons informed my romantic notion that only rich old men had wills to instruct the disposition of their vast lands and priceless fortunes upon death. Their controversial decisions to favor one descendent over another always …

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Luck of the Irish

I always wanted to be Irish. Afterall, Lucky Charms was my favorite breakfast cereal. Unlike other kids my age I loved the corned beef and cabbage dinner Mom routinely whipped up for St. Patrick’s Day. I became a rabid Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fan as a young teen. I even picked a four-leaf clover …

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The Chameleon

I didn’t have many pets growing up. I recall having a turtle as a youngster. A stray white poodle, who we named Tuffy, found his way into our family for a few months before we gave him to my great-grandmother. I had the requisite gerbil until, sadly, I found Chewbacca expired in his cage the …

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Chloe’s “Text”

I love to travel. Many years of experience have taught me that a light load is the way to go. My souvenirs are limited to refrigerator magnets and Christmas tree ornaments. I often feel quite inadequate as a tourist when I document $5 of purchases on my customs paperwork upon my return. Likewise, my mom …

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Arlington National Cemetery

To Learn About Life, Start in a Cemetery

Older headstones sometimes yield significant clues for the genealogist by providing a short biography of the interred – similar to one I found in the medieval cathedral ruins of St. Andrews, Scotland. It read: Here Lies the Body of Thomas Halyburton. Minister of the Gospel. He was Born at Duplin Dec. 25, 1674, And Ordained …

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