When I was growing up, I was the youngest and the only girl. My brothers' favorite sport was to see who could make me cry first at the dinner table. They were good at it. They were also very good brothers, always letting me tag along and playing games with me. They are still great brothers and I'll bet if they tried, they could still make me cry at the dinner table. We had an unusual last name (Gfeller) and I still have yet to meet anyone else with that name. It is the kind of name that when I had a teacher that my brothers had, the teacher would know we were related. That was sometimes good and sometimes not. It is the kind of name that makes my brothers use their first names when making reservations. When I used to travel all over the world, I would always look up Gfeller in the phone book. The only place I ever saw even one Gfeller was in Lucerne Switzerland and there was a whole page of Gfellers.
The other day I was checking out the Moleskine website to see what was new. I love the Moleskin journals and pocket notebooks and use them all the time. They were mentioning a company that makes soft leather covers for the Moleskins. The name of the company? Gfeller Casemakers! Here are photos from their site for the Moleskin covers:
Then I was a Carter. Easy vanilla kind of name. Everyone knows how to pronounce it and spell it. Simple and short. Now I am a Smallenburg. This too requires spelling at least twice each time. It is the name of a small (of course) town in the Netherlands and there are a number of Smallenburgs there. My grandmother, the one who married a Gfeller, was of Dutch descent.
My other grandmother was Italian. I was named after both of them. Virginia after my Dutch gramma and Rose after my Italian grandmother.
In the late 80s, I lived in the Netherlands (Holland) where my daughter met her now husband and now I am married to a guy who is half Dutch and half Irish. Funny how things come full circle.