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Monday, February 5, 2001

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Family history

I really had to push it riding my bike to work this morning. I don't know why it was tiring me out so much. I slept last night, but some mornings my body is so tired. No, it's not tiredness, it's more like walking through thick pudding. My body just doesn't want to move. I was awake and ready to go but my body just held back. Sometimes it's like this when I walk and I can't seem to walk fast enough and I end up taking the second bus to work after walking part way.

We got into the 80s today. It felt good. I enjoy the warmth after a cold spell. There is something sensuous about it. After a few weeks or a few more degrees it gets old but in the spring after a cold spell it feels wonderful. It's like the warmth goes right down to my bones. It won't last long in February, even February in Tucson. The weather already is predicted to start down again.

I finished read "The Russian Album" by Michael Ignatieff. Michael traces his family's history from high ranking families in Russia to the plains of Canada as they go from advising the Tsar to fleeing for their lives from the bolsheviks. He only has a glimpse of what it was really like as his grandparents died before he was born and his father and uncles remember only a little of what it was like and disagree on many of the details.

I've been enjoying these family biographies lately. There is something special about a person writing about their own family that gives it a different quality than a "professional" biography by a person who perhaps did more research but didn't grow up knowing the people they are writing about. Michael's family was renowned in Russia and even outside Russia but to Michael it's the uncles he listened to while he grew up and the talk he heard about their childhood was part of his psyche. He ends with a realization that his family does not define him but it is a part of him.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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