It’s hard to believe I’m in Wisconsin in late September in 90+ degree heat. When planning this part of the trip way back in the spring, I was concerned that it might be too cold! Last year, I saw frost in upstate New York in early October, and I was hoping to avoid that. As it turns out, no worries there!
Earlier this month in Ohio, temperatures were in the 40’s at night – delicious sleeping weather! I tend to have an instinctive urge to make soup when the weather turns cold (don’t we all?), so I went out and bought the fixins for two different kinds of crock-pot soup: split pea with ham, and a black bean and veggie soup. Once here, though, considering the weather, I made the soups but then froze them for later. Who wants soup in this heat??
It was a long haul from Ohio to my Wisconsin destination – about 500 miles – and it involved driving through Chicago, which was a source of some angst before the trip. My main concern was the possibility of getting stuck in a major traffic jam, and not being able to make it to my scheduled stop in a reasonable amount of time. As you know, I plan all my stops, and I never want to be in a situation where I have to choose a stopping place on the fly.
It turned out just fine. Here’s a picture of the scenery on the highway through Chicago:
I’m liking it in Wisconsin. I went to college here (Beloit College), so it certainly brings back happy memories. The campground is quiet, and my site has a lovely lake view:
So I’m here to research my great-great-grandfather Darwin Erasmus Goodenough and his family. Unlike the other research locations I’ve visited, this time it’s only one family group, one surname, and one county, which makes everything so much easier. And I’ve never camped so close to all the important places; I’m about five minutes away from the courthouse, the library, the town where the Goodenoughs lived, and the cemetery.
While reviewing my digital Goodenough surname file in preparation for my research here, I ran across this cartoon which had been in my father’s genealogy files:
My parents both had a great sense of humor, particularly my mother. They enjoyed the teasing about their surname – they saw it as a conversation starter because those who hear the name for the first time usually make a comment of some sort. Sometimes it’s “Oh, that is so CUTE!!”, but mostly it’s “Is that spelled the way it sounds? Really??”
You can imagine the jokes I’ve heard about my surname throughout my life. I had a tough time with it as a kid, because I saw it as a put-down. I wasn’t great, fabulous, or exceptional – I was just good enough, which is what the above cartoon is implying. As an adult, though, I took my parents’ cue and went with the flow.
And then, my wonderful ex-husband set it all right when #1, he gave me the name Roberts, and #2, he put a different spin on the standard joke, by announcing during his speech at the wedding reception that he’d told his mother, “Mom, I finally found someone good enough!” Now THAT made me smile!
While doing some newspaper research this week, I stumbled upon this little gem from 1890:
Nothing like a good joke – er, Goodenough joke – to feel that connection with my ancestors! Evidently, Goodenough jokes have been around for a long time.
As I got out of my car at the cemetery, this was the first headstone I saw:
which makes me extremely grateful for being Goodenough instead of Junk!