Saturday, July 30, 2011

Did I Take It Too Far?

Most genealogists would not dream of taking a vacation and not doing genealogy. We somehow manage to take our family vacation in an area that just happens to be the stomping ground of one ancestor or another. We visit old homesteads, graveyards, courthouses and civil war sites. We go to family reunions or visit distant cousins. Many of our vacations turn into genealogy research trips…or is it that our genealogy research trips turn into vacations. 

Whichever way it is traveling can be expensive so combining one with the other just makes sense…provided you can get your family to agree that visiting your 92 year old aunt in Missouri is almost as much fun as going to Disney World or the Grand Canyon. “Look sweetheart a probate record!”

But I think I took it a bit far when I combined my genealogy research trip with my honeymoon. 

I really can’t take all the blame. I wanted to go see the castles of Europe (very romantic) and my husband wanted to go to somewhere exotic like Fiji or Bali. Then HE suggested (see already it’s his fault) that we had never seen all of the United States we wanted to, so why didn’t we go see things like Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C., New Orleans, the Alamo and Parker Arizona and Grantsville, Utah.

(Did you hear tires screeching in your head just now…I did) What? Wait a minute…Parker Arizona? Grantsville, Utah?  

Well, now that we were both Parkers it seems we were going to stop at every Parker town, city, truck stop, whistle stop and feed store with the name Parker. (Or Grant since that is his first name) It got so bad that at one point I insisted on finding a Kim somewhere in the country and going there. 

Well folks, all we could find was a town called Kimberlina, and a few places named Kimberley or variations of that name. My name is Kim not Kimberley. Yap, even on my birth certificate. My father felt I would quit possibly get writers cramp from just my last name…he wasn’t going to tack a long name like Kimberley on the front end. Plus he had a huge crush on Kim Novak.  But there were no towns, cities, rock formations, travel lodges or parks called Kim. No, wait, that’s not completely true. We found a Kim, Texas. We went there. It used to be, sometime long ago, a whistle stop. All that was there was a train watering station.

So can you really blame me when our 1978 motor home chose to break down in Salt Lake City that I jumped on the two days of “down time” to spend my honeymoon at the Family History Library? (That was the fourth day of our honeymoon…the third had been spent on the salt flats with a flat tire…I had used the time to catch up on some data entry)
I think my new husband (a non-genealogist) knew he was in trouble when I asked to take a “little” detour. We were in Austin, Texas visiting my friend Pam; Bastrop and Taylor weren’t that far away. Just a “day trip.” If he didn’t know it then he probably did when the sheriff knocked on our door and told us we couldn’t camp in the cemetery. Not camping I assured him, just visiting with grandma and grandpa.
Nope…my genealogy honeymoon didn’t end there (and neither did the marriage.) We traveled on to Washington D. C. ……..OH MY GOSH!  The National Archives.  I can’t believe I’m going to admit that I did this…I can believe I did it…just not that I would admit it. I sent hubby off for a day of site seeing on his own while I spent a day in blissful heaven at NARA.
I wish I could say that that was the extent of it…but, no.
It was a six week honeymoon/genealogy extravaganza.
What do you think…did I take it too far?

Jumping to Conclusions (Part I)

Sometimes you learn genealogical lessons in the day to day living of our lives. Stick with me here and you'll see how I found a genealogy lesson in an attempted robbery.

I was on my way home from a month long trip to Louisiana. I had spent a glorious month visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins. I had discovered first cousins and spent wonderful hours with them reviewing photos and swapping stories. I visited graves and spent a good amount of time in courthouses, libraries, and church offices. But finally I was headed home.

After a couple of days travel I pulled into a hotel in Arizona. I was very tired. I parked my car in a space right outside my door. Although I was tired it was still early (11pm Arizona time but only 9pm in Louisiana) and I could not fall asleep. So being the good little Techie in Training that I am I fired up my laptop. I decided to download some photos from my camera into the computer and maybe write a blog. I was working at the desk when I heard glass breaking. I moved the drapes aside and peered out at my car. I couldn't see anything amiss. There was a guy, however, looking into the windows of a van parked a couple of spaces away from my car. I decided that something was hincky. Stupid me, I put on some pants over my nightgown and went outside to investigate. I know, I know...STUPID. There could have been someone very dangerous on the other side of that door. Like I said, Stupid.

Luckily someone must have been looking after me, because there was nobody in the parking area. All was quiet. I checked out my car and everything seemed to be ship shape. So I went back inside, finished up my work and went to bed.

The next morning I packed up my car and left. As I was pulling out of the parking space I noticed that I ran over some kind of metal rod or brick-a-bract, a pizza box and some other trash. I drove half a block to the nearest gas station and (now pay attention here) filled my tank. (the gas tank on my car is on the passenger side) The pump was out of receipt paper so I had to go inside the station for my receipt.

When I came back out to my car I noticed that the small (vent) window of the back seat on the passenger side of the car was broken out. I mean smashed, and shattered. On the passenger side. Right above the gas tank.
I was furious. Someone must have broke the window while I was in the store. I had not noticed the window being broke while I filled with gas go...the window was broke after I filled with gas.

I pulled my car around to the front of the store and stormed toward the door. I was addressed by a nice looking young man who informed me that he worked for a mobile glass repair and he could fix that for me and that it would be covered by insurance, my deductible waived. My response was, "I bet." I jumped to the conclusion that he must be the one who had broke my window to drum up business.

I marched into the store and demanded duck tape and cardboard to seal up my window. They didn't have any. Now I jumped to the conclusion that since I HAD to come into the store to get the receipt, giving that "repair guy" the time to break my window, that someone in the store must be in on it. I was seeing red. I was livid, frustrated, annoyed, overly tired, and just plain pissed.

I tore out of that place like the hounds of hell were on my tail. I got about a block and pulled over, took several deep breaths and called my husband. He calmly (he's always calm when I get hysterical) told me it would probably take most of the day to get it repaired but that I should call AAA and get started with the process. I didn't want to waste a day in Arizona dealing with glass guys and with my luck AAA would send that mobile glass guy that I was sure busted my window in the first place. So I elected to drive to the nearest place where I could find duck tape and cardboard. Three blocks later I found a auto parts store where the clerk provided me with said items.

After my makeshift repairs I got in my car and headed out.

 I don't know why I did it, I have no idea why I turned the car around and headed back to the hotel, but I did.