Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Genealogy Overdrive


I never did understand the shifting of a car into overdrive. Google searching tells me that it is a term describing a mechanism that allows an automobile to cruise at sustained speed with reduced engine speed, leading to better fuel consumption. I can certainly relate to "better fuel consumption." Does that sustained speed have something to do with cruise control?

This can also apply to genealogy ... cruising right along at a sustained speed until you hit a bump or detour. Then you crash or make other plans. Maybe the reduced engine speed means knowledge being applied to allow the brain to rest between episodes of sustained speed. I think my brain is working overtime in overdrive which is known to happen during the month of May.

Girl #2, Cheri, is working her brain overtime in preparation for our trip to Salt Lake City. Daily I seem to find something or think of something to add to my suitcase or to my research notebook, which is already bulging. We each pack differently, with #2 taking many bags. I try to consolidate, but this year I'm taking one extra suitcase instead of a large one nobody can lift into the car. My middle bedroom has been turned into temporary storage for suitcases and piles of things to take on the trip. Hope I don't get unexpected company.

My nights are cruisin' with intermittent wake ups when the brain signals something needs to be done before I leave or I need to research a long forgotten ancestor. Get up, write it down, then try to go back to sleep, which often doesn't happen. Girl #2 stays up most of the night and is now trying to reduce the hours she is up past midnight. Eventually she'll return to something more normal so when the alarm sounds at 6 a.m. in Salt Lake City she will wake up without being a grump! We will soon acclimate to the dryness of Salt Lake City, the altitude and time change. After long days of research, our brains will hopefully not remain in overdrive or make a sudden detour.

In between adding items to the middle bedroom, I am finishing a very intense month of physical therapy in order to walk like a normal person. I have matching knee scars that most people don't want to see. No shorts for me! Rigidly sticking with my calendar and with lists all over the house, how can I not be ready for the trip to Utah? I have to pre-pay my bills for late May and early June, have to plant flowers, pay car taxes, write a column and preview my lectures for June and July. Help! I'm running out of days and hours. Where is that overdrive?

This is the price we pay for spending two wonderful weeks laboring in a library full of books, microfilm and microfiche. We won't know if it's raining or if the sun is shining until we poke our noses out the door. Nothing will stop us short of a detour in making our annual pilgrimage to Salt Lake City.

Ruby --- YGGG #1

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