I have many things to be thankful for: my family, my health, having a home to live in (even though some of it is torn up now due to the burst pipes we had over the summer), and of course everything I do in family history research - being able to research my ancestors, learn about their lives and difficulties, and my ability to reach out to others through various programs and by speaking around the country virtually at this time.
Did you know that this blog started 12 years ago yesterday? During that time I have written over 150 posts and hopefully helped others find resources to help them in their research. I am not the most prolific writer but I do enjoy doing it when I have the time and feel inspired. I am thankful for those who have been following me from the start including Becky Jamison and Thomas MacEntee who were the first people to comment on my first post back in 2008.
So much has changed since 2008. My first couple posts were about planning a family reunion on a budget, a ward service project that I helped organize, newspaper collections from Australia and New Zealand, and the National Day of Listening. It is always interesting to see where we started in our blogs. I seem to recall Becky Jamison mentioning once after she posted a new blog post that she realized she had already done a very similar story a few years earlier. I know I have probably done the same thing over the years.
After reading through some of my early blogs, I wanted to follow up on my 2008 post about the National Day of Listening. National Day of Listening is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving and was started in 2008. The intent is for each of us to spend some time listening to the stories of others so we can understand more about those around us. Story Corps has provided a great website and tools to help you listen and record the stories of your family, friends, and neighbors.
Following up on the National Day of Listening, one of the projects that I have helped to develop this year is the creation of a youth family history workshop which will be held during the Christmas holiday. This initiative is part of the Indian River Genealogical Society's community outreach plan and will be kicking off this year. We are inviting youth, aged 12-18, to join us in learning more about their family's history and the history of others in their community. The workshop will be held remotely by Zoom. We have pre-workshop activities including scavenger hunts and escape rooms similar to those that I developed earlier this year, short lessons on researching the census and newspapers, and group discussions where they can share their discoveries. Our first events will be held in cooperation with the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation's Teens Listen Project. The Teens Listen Project engages youth in the community in developing their interviewing and listening skills while recording the stories of members of their community. They will be interviewing the pioneers of our area, veterans, "river folk", and others to preserve their stories. We will be working with these same youth to help them discover some of the back story through various records before they perform their interviews, so they will be prepared and have specific researched information to use in their interviews.
It has always been my intention to give back to the community, whether that be through this blog, my family history activities, my daily life, or in my career where I supervise an incredible team of dedicated scientists working to restore the Everglades ecosystem. I hope that each of us takes the time to pay it forward and do something nice for someone.
years. They went off the air at the end of the last century (1998). What I love most about the Animaniacs is their satirical way of looking at the events in our world. It is fun for children since they like the surface level slapstick comedy but adults will get the deeper meanings of the stories. Last night we started our marathon viewing of the new season but we still have several more episodes to complete for this season. Guess what I will be doing this afternoon.
Have fun, take some time to enjoy life and your family, and most of all relax and find pleasure in the things around you. Have a great Thanksgiving!