Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to the Blog

It has been twenty-four days since my last post, or almost three weeks. Where did the time go? People are wondering why the lapse of posts and the one word explanation is, vacation. We left for Rock Springs, Wyoming on the 29th of July and returned home on August 12th. Two weeks of sleeping in motel rooms, eating motel breakfasts, roughly 913 miles each way, made us grateful to come home to our beds and routines.

Our reason for going to Rock Springs was the impending birth of our fifth grandchild, our daughter's third son. My dear husband and our middle daughter with her two daughters rode in her Jeep Commander, me in the back seat most of the way. The girls were very good for such a long trip. Both were set up with their own DVD players and other activities. They had lots of snacks and we made several stops along the way, especially at McDonald's with the indoor air conditioned play areas.

Baby Thatcher arrived mid-way through our stay and we were able to enjoy him for a full week. The first week my daughters worked together to finish the move of our daughter's family a few weeks previous. We went shopping and bought things for birthdays and for the birth. I just love buying new baby clothes, and when he arrived much smaller than her two other boys she needed some newborn size clothes. We ate lunch and dinner at her condo, which is a very nice three bedrooms, two bath, main floor unit. By evenings we were worn out and grateful to return to the motel so everyone could have a good night's sleep. Sometimes we even went back during the day for a nap.

To entertain myself I brought along four books. These were from the books that were being transferred from a Family History Center that was downsizing to our local center. They are rather dated, but never the less might be familiar to older genealogists. Reading is the only genealogy related thing I did during this trip. With only occasional time for reading email, I did no research and only responded to important contacts. It was amazing that I was able to finish all four books.

The first was, The World's Funniest Epitaphs, by Ronald A. Bremer, published in 1982 by Ancestral Routes. It is a quick easy read of 200 pages of creative liberty taken on headstone readings discovered by the author, his acquaintances or just made up. Few names or dates are attached, just funny and crazy at times verses. "The book is dedicated to all those who have died to make it possible."

The second book was, Collecting Dead Relatives, by Laverne Galeener-Moore, published in 1987 by Genealogical Publishing Co. All 155 pages are true to life crazy experiences of genealogists. It is like a reality show of what happens when a genealogist goes out in the real world to find information on their ancestors. The sub-title really states the theme of the book, An Irreverent Romp Through the Field of Genealogy. The illustrator, Randy Calhoun, captures the essence of those experiences. My six year old granddaughter was enchanted by these drawings. This is a great way to open the door to genealogy for the much younger generation.

The third book was, The Further Undertakings of a Dead Relative Collector, by Laverne Galeener-Moore, published in 1989 by Genealogical Publishing Co. Another 166 pages of entertaining reading, with more drawings by Randy Calhoun. The Prolegomena (Introduction) begins with the sentence, "Genealogists do so have a sense of humor!!!" At times it can cause one to laugh uncontrollably and then shake your head in agreement in how true to life the situations really are.

The fourth book was not really a genealogy book, as I discovered later that my friend included it as she knew I was dealing with my mother's estate. It is, Beyond the Grave, by Gerald M. Condon, ESQ and Jeffrey L. Condon ESQ, published in 2001 by Harper Business. These two men are lawyers who have practiced for many years in the business of estate planning and probate settlements. It was not light, easy reading, but it was entertaining as they share real life experiences of their clients. There was a lot of valuable information that will help me as we go through the probate process in the coming months. The book helped keep me from crying on the way home, as departing from my children always makes me sad.

Now that we are back home, phone calls, emails and skype are the tools we use to stay in touch. With so much to catch up on and the estate responsibilities I have little time to sit around and mope. The plans are for their family to come in November and I will be in Salt Lake City in January. Taking the plane to SLC and renting a car to drive the two hours to Rock Springs is also a possiblity. For now I am just very happy to be back home and able to work from my office.

Have you had some fun vacation/genealogy travels this summer? Be sure to record what you did. While we were there we saw the Dinosaur Museum, they went to the county fair and splash parks, and I spent hours holding this precious newborn grandson. Watching the grandchildren interact and play together are moments that become eternal memories. I hope you are able to make some of those memories with your loved ones.

Crystal LeBlanc Walker

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