(with Ginger Truitt
---- — The thing about a weekly column is that I rarely remember what I write from week to week. Sometimes, the kids will come home and say something like, “What is your article about? Everybody at school says you are in love with our principal!” I have to stop and think, “Did I say that? I don’t remember saying that. Wait. I remember now. I said when I was 14 I had a crush on MY principal!” Thank goodness I can prove it in black and white or my children would never forgive me. Occasionally, they don’t anyway. All of this to say, I arrived home and sorted through the mail and newspapers that have accumulated over the past six weeks. As I glanced over my articles I had one thought, “Good grief! Readers are probably sick to death of hearing about Berlin!” Truth is, for all of my fascination with Germany, there is no place like home. I spent at least half of the trip wishing I was on my front porch, watching the leaves change, and breathing in the crisp autumn air of the Midwest. And here’s another truth: while sifting through the mail, I found the results of my DNA test. In August, I filled a tube with saliva, and shipped it to Ancestry.com, eager to find out my exact German make up. For weeks, I have swamped you with stories about my innate connection to the land of my ancestors, but as it turns out, my saliva doesn’t show a trace of German DNA. Unless it came from the kiss that guy stole at Oktoberfest. I know there are scientific reasons as to why, even though my grandpa spoke German, I have a blood disorder that is distinctly German, and I passionately love Schnitzel, I am actually 78 percent British, 15 percent Scandinavian, and 7 percent Portuguese. (Portuguese? I totally didn’t see that coming.) I am most intrigued by the Scandinavian percentage. According to the information I received with the test results, my ancestors were most likely Vikings. Vikings are very cool; I mean, other than the robbing, pillaging, and hostile brute force takeovers. But women of the Viking age were strong, independent, and in charge. They not only ran a tight ship within their household, but they were often women of commerce. Their men were frequently out of the country, and they were responsible for everything back home, including the business. This must be the ancestry that prepared me for having a hubby who travels for weeks at a time. Plus, I’ve always fancied men in horned helmets. Yes, I think I do see a bit of Viking in myself. At least 15 percent. While it is all quite fascinating, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that I didn’t hit any of the German DNA markers. Seventy-eight percent British? I’m still in a bit of shock, actually. I am sure the test results are spot on, but won’t me mum be bloody surprised? Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. You can find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt-Author), Twitter (@GingerTruitt), or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.