+
upworthy
More

Imagine taking the road trip of a lifetime to reconnect with family. This woman made it happen.

When you think of road trips, the first things that probably come to mind are awesome playlists, random snack stops, and whether your Subaru will make it all the way there (don't worry, it will).

You might not think of somebody like Marcia Orland, who hit the open road this summer after her 76th birthday.


Marcia Orland with a picture of herself as a child growing up in Warsaw, New York, and with a map of her trip. Image by Pam McComb Podmostko, used with permission.

She wasn't just looking to visit antique shops and disconnect for a while. The trip was a way for her to reunite with relatives she grew up with in the upstate New York town of Warsaw, an hour's ride east of Buffalo, and capture their childhood memories and family stories.

“I hadn't seen my cousins in 50 or 60 years, and I realized if I didn't do it now, the stories would be lost forever," Orland said.

She hunkered down in her home in Summerland, California, a beach town near Santa Barbara, and mapped out a 37-day road trip to visit her cousins, who were spread out throughout the country from Tucson, Arizona, to Fairport, New York.

Marcia connects the dots. Image via Marcia Orland, used with permission.

In preparation for the trip, she started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of the hotel stays, food, fuel, and the Toyota Prius she rented (by the end of the trip she had raised $5,500 of the $6,950 she requested).

Image via Marcia Orland, used with permission.

The packing was relatively light: She took two suitcases of clothes, an iPod and laptop, CDs of family photos, digitized old family films, and a cooler for water and snacks.

Along with the provisions, she also packed two video cameras (she mounted one on the dashboard), a tripod, a microphone, and four external hard drives. Orland has been a personal historian for 11 years, which means she helps families tell their stories in video and print form. Now she's applying those skills to her own life — she plans to make a documentary about the trip.

Capturing the trek with a dash cam. Image via Marcia Orland, used with permission.

By the time she left on Aug. 2, she was excited.

“I had been looking forward to the trip for so long, I was happy to finally start it," she said. “I had originally had the idea for the trip in 2010, but life kept getting in the way. As I was leaving, I realized I was accomplishing something fun and meaningful, and I felt proud."

On the journey, Orland was hoping her cousins could tell her more about her parents and her aunts and uncles.


Marcia and her cousin Bill Embury in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Image via Marcia Orland, used with permission.

She wanted to learn things about their early years in Warsaw and gain more insight into their family dynamics.

Her cousins confirmed and added to the memories she had. “We talked about the simplicity of the times we grew up in, the feeling of being safe in spite of World War II going on, and the relaxed small-town atmosphere," said Orland.

Marcia and another cousin, Diantha Heitmiller, in Richmond, Virginia. Image via Marcia Orland, used with permission.

Along the way, she also encouraged people to save their own family stories (as a good personal historian must do!).

To accomplish this, she posted clips of her travels on Facebook (#FindMarcia) and held “show and tell" events, where community members in the places she visited shared stories about heirlooms, mementos, and precious objects.

Orland originally became interested in helping people preserve their memories after her parents died just a few weeks apart in 2004. She founded her company, Afterglow Media, the same year, with the goal of helping others preserve their histories.

As for people interested in creating their own epic family history road trip, she recommends having a plan and preparing as much as possible, but to expect the unexpected.

“For instance, at one personal history 'show and tell' event that I hosted, I noticed a 13-year-old boy sitting at a nearby table listening to the stories being told by the adults," she said. “I asked him if he'd like to join us, and he eagerly did. When the participants realized how much the stories meant to him, it did more to inspire them to continue personal history conversations with their own families than anything I could have said to them. It was a wonderful moment."

You can watch Marcia Orland talk about her trip here:

Sometimes it's not about the destination, but the memories we form along the way.

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

Baleen whales include blue, humpback, gray, fin, sei, minke whales and more.

We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Denmark, that mystery has been solved.

Keep ReadingShow less

You can learn a lot by alayzing faces.

There are countless situations in life where we have to figure out how someone really feels, but they have a good poker face that keeps their feelings well-hidden. According to body language expert Terry Vaughan even the most deceptive people in the world have a tell: the left and right sides of their face don’t usually match.

So, which side do we believe? Vaughan says the left.

“The reason this is a powerful hack is because the left side of the face is more likely to reveal the ‘true emotion’ or the ‘dominant’ emotion if there’s a mix,” Vaughan says. The reason? “The right hemisphere of our brain does more heavy lifting in dealing with processing emotions. The left hemisphere…is a little more analytical or ‘strategic.’”

Keep ReadingShow less