Friday, July 24, 2015

Where Did My Hobby Go?

Photo by Midge Frazel, 24 July 2015

Coloring Away Stress
As you know, I am the Highly Caffeinated Genealogist. The amount of energy I need to be a researcher, writer and social media devotee increases each day. Even in these early days of retirement, I find myself working every day.

Wait! Didn't genealogy used to be my hobby?

I was eight years old when I learned about ancestors. I was one of those little girls who carried around a tote bag filled with things to keep me amused while the grown-ups talked. I was an only child and only grandchild. I kept coloring books, sewing, crossword puzzle books, my stamp collection and something to read in my bag. Oh, yes, and a notebook. It became a journal as I got older. I wrote down notes about what my parents and grandparents talked about when they talked about the old days. I developed my own code in case someone read it. During the week it lived in my bureau at my grandmother's house or apartment. Jacks, dolls and jump ropes lived in that drawer too. You'd be surprised at how little attention people pay to a quiet, busy child. They gossip and tell stories about people. They didn't notice when I asked a question, like this: 

My grandparents toasted to the Pilgrims. My head snapped up, "Pilgrims, they are family? Which ones?" They didn't know but I found out much later, they were both Mayflower descendants.

When I became a teenager, I moved the notebook to the box I kept my stamp collection in my closet at home. It did look the same as the "stamp" notebook, I kept with which ones I wanted to get. I took it to the Providence Public Library when I read the genealogy books, the reference librarian held behind the desk for me. I thought of genealogy as just another hobby. 

I recorded births, deaths and marriages in a separate book in my desk. I took them with me when I working on learning about my paternal grandparents that came from Scotland. I developed my own pedigree charts, family group sheets and oral interview pages. My father and his family thought it was cute until I asked questions they couldn't answer. Then, things got serious. The genealogy books were right. I was going to have to keep asking questions.

Those two things and a 3 ring notebook moved with me when I married. My in-laws gave me information and some photos of hubs family. I kept asking questions.

MacWorld in Boston had a booth for their Mac software Reunion. It was expensive. I saved up my pay for it. In 2001, when Family Search went live online, I was ready. The librarians referred people to me to help them. I became the tech lady that did genealogy. 

But, where did my hobby go? I sure miss it. So, I have taken up coloring. How did I find out about this? I read an online article about an artist in my hometown

At least, I can finish these pages. Isn't it annoying that genealogy is never finished. Look, here is something I completed.

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