Thursday, October 2, 2014

Putting Off Writing Blog Posts

Sometimes one does not feel like writing or things get in the way of getting the words to flow in writing a post. Lately I have been doing a lot of reading, more as a distraction from dealing with my mother's probate and the selling of her home. Even though we are working with a potential buyer and have had several offers, my anxiety is running rather high. Over the weekend I spent about three hours re-doing the power point presentation for this week's class.

To add to this anxiety, in teaching my classes the last two weeks, there have been some computer and projector glitches. For instructors this can lead to panic attacks.  The first week the computer somehow shut down and did not want to restart. Finally after we located two back up computers mine came back to life, but had a blue shadow over the screen. Following some inspiration and moving the slides forward and backward, the screen came back to normal. Then this week when restarting the computer to get it to connect to the projector there were suddenly 57 updates from Microsoft that prevented any movement towards the presentation. This time the backup computer came in very handy and we were able to get on track with the power point presentation. But, first there was the slight glitch of one of the prongs on the connectors that had been bent somehow. Using an ink pen and very gently moving the prong the connection was easily made. The updates took three hours to complete and yes, the computer should have been shut down and restarted the night before.

The classes are always enjoyable and there is such a spirit of communication between the students and me. Their patience is very much appreciated. They occasionally bring new findings and pictures to share with the class. We do a series of six classes each term, and vary the classes over three terms, for a total of eighteen classes. The best part for me is that the classes are held at the local senior center, located about five minutes from our home. One of the goals in teaching is to introduce the students to the local family history center, again only five minutes from our home. We live in a small community, but the participants may live a little farther away. On November 1, 2014 we will have our local Family History Fair, from 9am to 4pm, and the public is welcome to attend and also enjoy a free lunch. Our class members are excited to participate in this local free event.

This morning in returning a call from a fellow family history center worker, she reminded me that our monthly training was happening in ten minutes. Very quickly there was a change and it was on to the family history center. The staff who works in our center is wonderful and spending time as a group is very enjoyable. After sharing business items and information on the upcoming Fair, we watched an hour long webinar. There was much to be learned from the presentation. One of the final topics was about reading genealogy publications such as the NEHGS quarterly and the NGS quarterly. In recent weeks my reading included some of both.

Last night in reading Heritage Quest Magazine from May/June 2001 there was a serendipity moment for me. In the article, Memories and Mysteries, by Janet Elaine Smith there was information from an article, English Origins of William and Judith (Tue) Knapp of Watertown, Massachusetts. It provided information about Thomas Smith who married Mary Knapp. They were the parents of Joseph Smith who married Hannah Tidd, who was the daughter of John Tidd and Rebecca Wood, who are part of my favorite family line. The information provided was previously unknown and provides proof of the family connections going back another two generations. Then an email was sent to Janet Elaine Smith, wanting to identify the issue of the NEHGS Register so the source citation can be added in my notes. She graciously emailed back this morning claiming us to be cousins. She has a genealogy blog, which will be one for me to follow in the future.

So, when you don't feel like writing, the next best thing to do is some reading. For me it is a stress reliever with added benefits. Someone sent me some Norwegian/Swedish books that they collected from a Norwegian Lodge in Seattle, WA, that were discarded during a downsizing of their library. What I don't want to keep will be offered to the local Norwegian Lodge here in Portland, OR. Then another friend said to get ready for some more books from her as she continues to purge her collection. Over the years many blessings come in gathering other people's and society's discards. In genealogy we should never turn down offerings from others, as we may be lead to discoveries that further us in our research. We either learn more about how to research or make finds for our family lines or for those we have worked with.

As you can see by now, my putting off writing a blog post for this week has been overcome. Somehow when the gentle urgings to write are felt we have to slow down and capture the thoughts we are meant to share. Find those relaxing moments, do some reading to overcome life's pressures, and focus on being lead to those wonderful discoveries. Serendipity truly is being lead to those things we are not expecting to find.

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