Saturday, September 3, 2011

Longer than having a baby!

For the past year or so I've been a bit player in the Federation of Genealogical Societies' 2011 Conference, "Pathway to the Heartland." You know what? Giving birth to a national conference is a lot like having a baby, except the planning takes longer.*

Proud parents are national conference co-chairs, Josh Taylor and Paula Stuart-Warren. Proud godparents are Susie Pope and David Kent Coy, co-chairs for the local host society, the Illinois State Genealogical Society. I guess that makes FGS president, Pat Oxley, the doting grandmother, and all the FGS and local committee chairs are beaming aunts and uncles.

Everyone involved has worked hard to give the conference goers, Librarian Day attendees, Ancestry Day registrants, and FamilySearch Kids Camp participants the best life possible. The parents have planned and prepared as much as they can. Just as real parents discover, some things you just can't plan for; you deal with them as they happen. 

This child grows quickly: a week later, it's over until next year, when the whole process repeats itself in another city. Of course, planning for the next child has been underway for awhile. Conference parents examine what worked and didn't with the older children, and with this child, so they can do better next time.

Many "family" members are already in Springfield, soon to be joined by the rest of the clan, preparing for the delivery. If you're attending, perhaps we'll meet. Please say hi! If you've been involved at all in the birth of this baby, a big thanks for all your efforts. Virtual cigars all around!
(*Disclosure: I don't have kids. Also, to you who have had difficulty conceiving; who are adoptive and adopted; and who have lost children, I am sensitive to your situations, and ask that you take this post in the light-hearted way in which it was intended. )

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome to Round Tuit Genealogy

Truth be told, I'm in it for the beads :)  
Thomas MacEntee says the Geneabloggers get beads.
I want beads too! So I'm blogging.


I write in my journal too infrequently to think that I can blog regularly — I've been known not to write for a year or more; hence the name of my blog. It's a family story; the kind that goes on so long, we nearly forget the point. The kind my siblings tell; the kind that make their spouses groan.

See, Dad always said, "I'll get around to it." Usually this involved building something. For an electrician, he was one heck of a carpenter; one heck of a (fill in any trade here). He built two bedrooms, a bath, a walk-in closet and a ton of storage space in the unfinished attic of my childhood home. He built little wooden boats for my niece and nephew to float on the pond in the park. He built a picture frame, a bar in the basement, shelves for his workshop... so many things. No elaborate plans, either. A quick pencil sketch on a piece of scratch paper, and that was it. And darned if his projects didn't turn out exactly as he envisioned. 

He was not one to boast of his handiwork, but not content to do a less-than-perfect job. He'd actually cringe if he saw construction that didn't measure up to his standards. 

An uneven wall? "Pitiful; just pitiful."  

Or a building on which he worked more than 60 years before. I don't recall exactly what he hated about the building, but we'd hear about it every time we passed it. He'd almost cover his eyes, it pained him so much. Which could prove dangerous, since he was the one driving.

Where was I? (Oh, right; Dad...Perfectionist...Get around to it.) Anyway, Dad's insurance agent once handed out a little promotional wooden disc that was stamped "Round Tuit." Dad collected a bunch of them and passed some down to us. When he died in 2010, I think we buried a Tuit with him... an inside joke, as it were.

Not only did I inherit one of Dad's precious Tuits, but also his procrastination and pack rat tendencies (which, if we genies call it "archiving," gets us a reprieve. Or so I'm told). If Dad's perfectionism kept him from calling the Maytag repairman when it was something he could fix just as well (and for a lot less), it was Dad's procrastination that kept us going to the Laundromat for years. 

Being frugal ("Cheap is the word you're looking for") was second nature to him, being a child of the Depression. Dad's pack rat tendencies included such items as four electric motors and a set of wheels from a supermarket cart. Because he was going to build a (fill in the blank again), once he could get a Round Tuit.

So that's the story of how this blog got its name. It may be about family, sometimes. It may be about genealogy, most times. And I'll blog whenever I get a Round Tuit. 

(Hey, you Geneabloggers going to FGS — can I get beads now?)