Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
My youngest daughter and I have always been interested in our ancestry. She was fairly certain that she had a native American ancestry and I knew that I had a Great Great or maybe Great Great Great Grandmother who was at least 50% native if not 100%. I knew about this heritage from my father.
We adopted our youngest daughter and we had a general idea of her ethnic background. The information we had didn't include native American, but she still felt quite certain that it was a possibility.
So - a couple of years ago, I bought us those ancestry DNA kits as Christmas presents. I thought it would be cool to find out where we both came from and what ancestors we maybe shared.
The kits sat around gathering dust. Ramie finally registered her kit, spit in the vial and then sent the sample in for analysis. She was disappointed when the results didn't show any native American ancestry. It was a bit of a let down. Also, I thought for sure something would turn up from along the Mediterranean - nope - nada - nothing.
Her ancestors migrated from many of the same regions as my mother's family - England, Norway, Sweden, Germany - cool. I suppose that shouldn't be too surprising - lots of people came over here from those countries.
I stalled for a few more months because I didn't want her to feel bad when my DNA results came back and showed my native American background. I eventually decided I couldn't hold off forever and asked her to come over and help me to register my kit.
She got me all set up with my account. I tried to work up some spit but it wasn't coming. No spit. Geesh. She told me to suck on my cheeks. Nope. No spit. Where did my spit go. I kept at it and finally spit a little gunk into the vial. We both looked at it and decided that I couldn't send that to anyone. It was way too gross. I washed out the vial and dried it with a Q-tip or six.
Plan B. Have something to eat. Brush my teeth. Drink lots of water. Sit around. And then, when spit becomes available, try again.
So this became a full day thing because you couldn't eat or drink anything for like half an hour before you did the spit thing. I kept forgetting and would eat something and then I would go brush my teeth and start the whole thing of forgetting and eating again. It was so difficult - who knew spit could be so challenging. I was a spit failure.
I finally forgot about spitting and ordered a lobster flatbread from the Club for supper. I needed to cash a check at the bank and then pick up a prescription. After completing those errands I made my way to the restaurant. I noticed that I was thirsty - I hadn't had anything to drink in awhile - over half an hour...
I picked up my supper, got back in the car and drove back home, being very careful not to swallow. All the way home I sucked on my cheeks and I knew that I was maybe going to get enough to fill the vial up to the little line. Hooray - my spit drought was over.
I got to the house and ran into the kitchen. I found the kit and proceeded to empty the contents of my mouth into the vial... It was way more than I anticipated. I had to pour some out - and that was gross too...
Sooooooo anyway… I got my results back and I AM NOT NATIVE AMERICAN. What the hell? My Dad told us how his Great or Great Great Grandfather had married an Indian. NO HE DIDN'T. Gosh I remember coming home from elementary school in third grade and asking my parents about our ethnicity. The teacher had told us there would be a form to fill out the next day and we should find out our ethnic background. Dad told us to just put down that we were Americans. I told him we needed more than that. He told me to put down American Indian then, because that was our main background on his side of the family. So the next day, I went to school and filled out the ethnic background as American Indian.
Dad told stories of this person in our family who was supposedly an Indian. I'm sure he believed the stories he told and I believe whomever told him, believed the stories too. It just didn't show up in our DNA. Anywhere.
I didn't know that much about my father's family but now I know that his crew came from much the same background as my mother's family. England, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Wales and an added bonus of Ireland. So, no native blood but I do have a bit of the Irish in me.
This whole ancestry thing is interesting. The DNA results have confirmed a lot of the things I already knew to be true and have also cleared up a few things that I thought I knew to be true but weren't.
The information available online is amazing and has proven to be a real time suck. I get on the website and the next thing I know, hours have passed. I will be writing more about my tribe - even if it's not the tribe I'd anticipated...