Sunday, September 11, 2011

Who Am I?...

I know a lot of you now see my signature, read my "About Me" section and all that and know my name is Mel. (Wow, I sound like the Earl show.) But it doesn't fully explain... well... me.

Why do I use the handle "Caledonia Lass"? I'm sure I have told this story before, but I've got lots of new followers and will tell it again. :)

That's a fun story in itself.

First of all, I'm half Scottish/Irish. My other half is Dutch. I have relatives on my Dutch side that have traced our family tree all the way back to the 1600's in Netherlands. My grandparents came over to America when they were young. I'm second generation Dutch on that side of my family in America. My mother is the youngest of 11 kids. I'm the youngest of 4 and the youngest of 53 grandchildren.

I'm very proud of my Dutch heritage, but know little of my Scottish/Irish heritage.

I do know that I am from the clans MacGregor, McLeod, Williams and one other I always forget. But I am drawn to my Scottish/Irish heritage. The sound of bagpipes stirs something in my blood. I want to visit Scotland in a bad, bad way. I also want to trace my family history, but don't know where to begin.

Anyway, way back when I was playing Legends of Cosrin, I became good friends with a guy who was Scottish. At the time, he was the only person I had confided in about my writing and he encouraged it to no end. I told him what I was writing, I would send him my stuff and he'd give me honest feedback. So when I came across Writing.Com, I struggled with a user name. I didn't want people to know who I was, I was super shy about my writing and confidence was severely lacking.

So I asked him, give me a user name! And he came up with Caledonia Lass. I've used it everywhere. He knew my heritage and when I asked him what the heck Caledonia meant, I immediately agreed that was the best name he could come up with that fit me perfectly. Most people know how to find me with that user name and I have no intention of ever changing it. He was one of my very best friends and when 9/11 happened, I knew where he worked and scrambled for days to get in touch. He survived, he is okay. But when the game went the wayside of better things to do with our time, I lost touch. I've kept his email but haven't gotten any responses, but that's okay. He was in my life during a time when I needed to be placed on the right path. So every book I write will always have a special dedication to him because of that.

So thanks, Herb! I wouldn't have come this far without your friendship and support!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool way to get your writing name! I have some Scottish in my background as well.

Laura M. Campbell said...

Scotch-Irish blood runs through me, too! It's a strong, yet feminine name. You never explained what Caledonia meant. I would love to hear about it. I'm a sucker for name meaning and origin.

There is a place in my heart for friends I'm no longer in touch with. The memories we've shared fill it up, pushing out any sadness.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Alex~ Very cool way to get it. :D

@ Laura~ I had forgotten the meaning, but when I went to look it up it said: Caledonia is the Latin name for Scotland given by the Romans. Modern usage is a poetic/romantic name for Scotland as a whole. (Found it on Wikipedia)

Mel Chesley said...

Oh! Campbell is one of the clans my husband belongs to. He has Scottish in his background as well. I knew there was another clan I was forgetting. I'm associated to Campbells, but only by marriage. :D

Jamie Gibbs said...

That's a damn good way of getting your handle :) Family history is a hell of a lot of fun once you get into it. Gravestones are one of the best first places to look at - they'll instantly give you date/place of death and rough date of birth too. From there you can look at census records and go from there :)

Mel Chesley said...

Might sound creepy, but I love wandering around old graveyards looking at the headstones. History just fascinates me to no end. I've got a little bit of a start, I just have to keep digging to come up with my family tree stuff. :D