Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It Takes Some Planning

It was just announced this week that RootsTech 2018 registration has opened.

And, I can't wait!

I have attended every RootsTech Conference except for the very first one.  Even though it was only a few short years ago that the first one was held, I thought it was only for those who are technically savvy.

And, I didn't think I was anywhere near good enough in my technical skills to attend a conference.

I was wrong.

I convinced myself to go after winning a registration for the entire conference, so off I went.  I was nervous, for I felt there would be no one as out of place as I felt.

I was wrong.

I took full advantage of the technical classes and labs, as well as the traditional classes.  I talked with other professionals that admittedly had felt the same as I had.  I made the most of every moment I had there.

And, I came away recharged, and ready to be a better genealogist.

Early-bird registration begins today, 20 Sep 2018, and runs through 13 Oct 2018.  You will save a big chunk of money by registering early.

You may register here: 

As in previous years, I will be both a Speaker and an Ambassador for RootsTech 2018.  If they have enough confidence in me to invite me to be either one, then I feel I have a responsibility to promote the conference.

I began to squirrel away money for my trip awhile back.  It's expensive to stay in hotels that are close to the venue.  And, I want to be close to the venue.  It's where the action is.  

There are other hotels that are in walking distance that are quite a bit cheaper than the ones directly across from the Salt Palace.  But, I don't want to walk far.  The Salt Lake City streets are wider than most American city streets.  Brigham Young supposed made the following statement:

"The story goes that Brigham Young, who led Mormon settlers to the West in 1847, directed that the streets of Salt Lake City be made sufficiently wide so that a wagon team could turn around without “resorting to profanity” (Deseret News, July 13, 2009)."

For this 62 year-old grandmother, I come close to resorting to profanity when attempting to walk very far in Salt Lake City.  

Mr. Kerry, who often travels with me, is coming with me this year.  He hasn't been able to attend for a couple of years, and is excited to be returning.

As a speaker, I will have things up and ready to go well before I arrive.

As an Ambassador, my job has now begun to promote and report on this great conference.  One thing I will focus on will be reports from actual classes that I take.
There are bound to be wonderful keynote speakers, celebrities, and singing groups galore.  I will attend all of those, as will thousands of others.

But, I want to focus more on the actual meat that people can use as a takeaway from the classes.  People often ask me what I do when I'm not actually speaking.

I'm attending classes!  My learning is far from over.  

So, Mr. Kerry and I...and, perhaps you, will be preparing for our trip to Salt Lake City at the end of February.  I want to be ready for all that will happen, and to spend plenty of time in the Vendor Hall.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ida's Girl

Thirty-three years ago today my mom died.

You just never forget the day one of your parents pass on. 

Mom never met a stranger, and I don’t believe I have either.  She told me I could learn something from every person I met.  I’ve seen her sit and talk to a senator and a state representative, and turn around to talk just as respectfully to the cafeteria workers at my school.

She saved me from a group of boys one evening.  After I left a store, some boys began circling around me on their bikes, poking me in the chest and backing me up against the wall.  I knew mom couldn’t see me, for she was parked across a field that had a decorative concrete wall between us.  Suddenly, something came crashing through that field, and I saw my mom ready to come out swinging at those boys.  They were terrified, not knowing where this beast had emerged from.  They scattered like oil and water, and I fell onto her chest just weeping.

She was fiercely loyal to her family.  We often made trips to Kentucky so she could check on her family.  She was the oldest of eight children, many of whom died in the flu epidemic or complications from diabetes in their adult years.  Only one other girl would be born, and she died at three years old. 

She was a Kentucky hillwoman.  She taught me how to shoot, and wasn’t satisfied until I could hit every target to her satisfaction.

She and dad grew a garden that would rival Jack and the Beanstalk’s best efforts.  I’ve never known anyone to grow a garden like them.  Dad always waited for the call that the smelt fish were running in Michigan.  One year, we hadn’t used all of the fish from the previous year.  Mom simply put one into each hill of corn and beans she planted.  For the next few days, every doggone cat in the neighborhood came and dug up those hills.  She and dad simply started over.

I once asked her how she and dad ever made it through the Depression.  (They married in 1932)  She said they were so poor they didn’t even know a Depression was going on.

She took me into the woods and taught me what I could eat to survive on, and what to stay away from.
It couldn’t have been easy for her when I was born.  Her family was grown and almost out of the house when I came along.  My sisters were 16, 19, and 21, and the oldest two were in nursing school.  Mom was in her forties, beginning all over again.  She developed toxemia with me, and had blood pressure problems the rest of her life.

I was known as “Ida’s girl”.  Now, I’m just known as Miss Peggy.  I wish more people knew her so I could still be known as “Ida’s girl”.  That’s the highest compliment.

I only had her 29 years, and it’s not fair that my sisters had her longer.  There are times I could sure use her sage advice. 

Mom…I am surely missing you today.  I can’t wait to sit and talk with you again.