Tuesday, December 30, 2008

'Ello, Family!

Dear Family, 
Danny Dowd here.  I write to wish you all a happy almost New Year's Eve and to give you an update on the status of the "Desert Dowds".  We're having a marvelous time, and though it is unusually cold here (below freezing all the time), we remain active.  Dad is planning some big westward jaunt to celebrate the new year, accompanied, of course, by a hike.  As of now, I am the only one up, though I suspect Mom and Dad aren't too far off (Drew is waiting for the next ice age to arise.)  The morning quiet is wonderful, and though I'm listening to my iPod on and off, it feels very peaceful.  The sun rises at about seven thirty here, which is really throwing off my internal clock.  I must echo my paternal progenitor and encourage all to contribute to this blog/website thing.  I love you all, and hope to see you all soon.  Granddad, how's it feel to be approaching octogenarianhood?  With myself just into my twenties, I feel some odd sort of kinship, though I realize we are in slightly different situations.  Daniel Osborne Dowd now signs off and hopes for great things for the new year for all concerned.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Mountain Man

Christmas Eve, Moab, UT

On Christmas Eve, we hiked to Delicate Arch, one of the quintessential formations of Arches National Park, just outside Moab.    A friend of mine, Mother Margaret Neil, wrote earlier in the day reminding me, "The Christ Mass is almost here.  Keep a moment to remember the candle."  So we lit candles in this splendid natural space and thanked God for the light of Christ.  

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness this Christmas season.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

As most of the Dowd clan knows, the St. Louis Dowds (thats me) are in Moab, Utah for the holidays. Today was Christmas, and we had a great time. After the presents and a great breakfast, my brother Dan and I headed out for a little afternoon hike.

We went to Hidden Valley, a hike which is decievingly difficult. At the trail head, it looked as though we would hike through a gap in the rocks, but as it turned out, that was not the plan. We hiked straight up the bluff, about 900 feet of zig-zagging "trail" (I use that word lightly, as it was more of the path of least resistance, and less of a trail). Anyway, it was a great hike to burn off some of the ham and potatoes from Christmas Eve dinner. Here a few photos from the trailhead looking back. I regret that I never took a picture of the bluff we climbed, and I didnt bring my camera with me on the hike.

Namesake RVs

Dowd Flats RV Park, just south of Moab, Utah, where our bunch is holed up for Christmas. As the light began to die at the end of the day I went out to shoot a few photographs, especially this one to share with the family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ancestral Blog For Christmas

This is the inaugural post for The Dowd Gazette, a web log (blog for short) designed to provide a vehicle for the presentation and distribution of family news. The Gazette will publish accounts, dispatches, polemics and screeds penned by the sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of David D. Dowd, Sr. and Martha Combrink Dowd, for many years residing at 1021 Oxford NE in Massillon, Ohio.

It is worth remembering that the internet is vast, with many nodes and crannies, but also public. Be warned that extremely personal accounts--perhaps those that reveal surprising details about peculiar undergarments or unsolved crimes--will be visible to all who click by. Contrarily, the same realities of access may turn up wonderful surprises. That is, digital searchers and passersby with a fervent interest in--say--broader Dowd family genealogy will be able to contact us with information of interest. As a blogger with several years of experience by now, I can say that the latter is far more likely to occur than the former. Our intutive filters are pretty good, except for the foolish and the chowderheaded. Since no such persons are known to populate our family, we should be okay. So let those amusing anecdotes fly.

The idea of this project is this: we all bemoan the loss of letter writing and despair of the frantic pace of contemporary life. But we all use computers for our work, and many of us use them as a sort of informational leisure tool. We can all read this blog, and by subscribing to the RSS feed at right, we can be notified via email of fresh postings as they occur. We can all learn to write simple posts and upload photographs of sporting exploits and birthday misadventures. We can opine on the issues of the day. We can gnash our teeth about the Cleveland Browns. Really. The sky's the limit.

If you're interested, the snippets of map visible in this blog's headline were taken from the US Geological Survey Map of Massillon, Ohio. Another, more legible detail of same is shown at the top of this post. Below, just to underscore this whole 21st century thing, a satellite photograph courtesy of Google Maps of Rose Hill Cemetery on Wales Road north of Massillon, where David and Martha are buried.

Send questions to me. Get a Google account and let me know what your gmail address is, so that you can be listed as a blog author, which will enable each of you to write your own stuff and put it up for the group to see.