#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal – Endwell: My Early Teen Years

When the annual A to Z Challenge begins on April 1, 2021, Molly’s Canopy will participate for the fourth time in the month-long blogging marathon. My theme this year is Endwell: My Early Teen Years — where my genealogy journey germinated.

In 2017, I blogged about Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont Childhood, where my genealogy journey began in our Albany County farmhouse — sharing stories about my earliest sense of family and relatives.

In 2020, during the Coronavirus quarantine, I returned to my childhood in Endwell: My Elementary Years to explore how my interest in family, ancestors and heritage germinated once my family moved to the suburbs circa 1957.

In 2021, I am going back again to explore my early teen years in Endwell — rolling out the next chapter of my own story from A to Z at one letter per day (minus a few Sundays) throughout April.

  • My inspiration: Genealogy bloggers who wrote about their own lives during previous challenges.
  • The rationale: We spend so much time searching for our ancestors and telling their stories that we forget to tell our own. As family historians we owe it to posterity to include ourselves in the mix.
  • The urgency: Not as great as last year with vaccines now in play. Yet there are still those COVID-19 coronavirus variants to worry about — so there is no time to waste in getting these stories out there.

Leaving an ancestral diary

Have you ever wished your ancestors had left letters or a diary — some tangible record in their own voice? I know I have, and I don’t want to be guilty of the same omission. So I intend to tell the next part of my own story during this year’s #AtoZChallenge.

My plan is to blog about my early teens in Endwell, N.Y., the Broome County suburb where I grew up with my parents, two younger brothers and two younger sisters. Along the way, I’ll examine how my heritage quest intersected with my early teen years.

  • Time: The late early to mid 1960s.
  • Setting: A small upstate New York suburban community.
  • Backdrop:  Malverne Road, a dead end street one block from the Susquehanna River and packed with more than 50 children during the Baby Boom years.
  • Players: Me; my immediate and extended family; some of my ancestors and relatives; neighbors, friends, classmates and visitors.

Please take a seat and get comfortable. On April 1 the curtain rises on Endwell: My Early Teen Years.  See you then!

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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24 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal – Endwell: My Early Teen Years”

  1. Ah Molly. Thank you so much for your help getting this far. I am now going to settle down and read your blog. Who knows? I may even learn how to participate!!!

  2. I look forward to your posts. I live in a community near to Endwell, and, in fact, work with someone who lives not far from the street you grew up on.

  3. I stumbled across your elementary years challenge and so enjoyed reading each one. I am also from Endwell and was just two years behind you in school. My memories of Hooper School, classes in churches, fire station, etc., as well as Seeley’s and “early Endwell” mirror your own experience. Delightful to read! Thank you.

  4. Molly, it is going to be great, since with your vivid recall, teen diary, and observant historical sense, the past will come alive again for all of your readers! Looking forward to it…and good luck!

  5. Dear Molly – good for you to remember to record your story for posterity as well as that of your ancestors. Can’t wait to hear the stories. All the best with the challenge and thanks for commenting on my blog too. It’s lovely to receive all that positive support. https://familytreefrog.blogspot.com/

  6. I wrote about my childhood during one A-Z but I didn’t have enough photos or enough memories to split it into two periods.

  7. I like your new challenge , Molly, and look forward to reading what you discover. I don’t suppose there will be many ancestor mysteries to solve or lost documents to research. I have great difficulty remembering anything from last month, much less the names and places of my childhood. Years ago I kept a diary while living in London, but if I were to read it now, I probably would not recognize myself.

  8. I appreciated your post, Molly, as to date I have heard nothing about this year’s A-Z April blogging challenge. You are right about the fact we can be good at writing about our ancestors, but often ignore our own lives. I think my most successful A-Z Theme, in terms of reader feedback, was “I Remember When……Memories of My Childhood” – and I think you were writing then on a similar theme. So I look forward to reading about your teenage years – a bit of a wilderness for me as I was at three High Schools across the country, but hardly any photographs record the moves.
    E and giving some thought to what I shall write about this year.

  9. Sounds like a fun challenge – both to write and to read. Will be looking forward to it. My daughter-in-law gave me a year’s subscription to something called “StoryWorth” which sends me a question each week about my growing-up years and various relationships with people and things. At the end of the year they will be published in a little book for me. So far, I’m having great fun with it. Has anyone ever heard of this?

  10. I’ve never tried the A-Z Challenge, but always admire those who do! I can’t wait to read yours. And thanks for the inspiration – life is too short!

  11. Thanks, everyone, for your visits and comments! Looking forward to this year’s A to Z Challenge and reading what you all write. See you on April 1!

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