Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your "Other" Life

This week Randy Seaver has gone off the deep end and is just talking crazy stuff.  Look what he came up with for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge:

1)  Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!

2) Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.

What?!  A life outside of genealogy?  Hmm, I think I kind of remember that . . . .

Actually, I used to have quite an active life in addition to my genealogy.  But for the past two years I've been on disability, and the two years before that I was working with an injury, so that changed a lot of things for me.

I love to cook.  For about 15 years I hosted a big seder for Passover with several friends.  I sometimes cooked for other occasions also.  I volunteered at a couple of places that provided meals for different groups.  I need to get my energy back up before I can do any of this again.  I haven't cooked a seder dinner for four years.  But I still find cookbooks that I just have to own, and I love reading recipes for inspiration.

I enjoy many types of needlework, particularly cross stitch and embroidery.  I have made several samplers for family members for births and marriages.  One year I did a special Christmas piece for my brother.  I'd like to be able to do that again sometime.  First on my list is finishing the Passover afikomen cover I started . . . um . . . seven, maybe more, years ago?

I have done historical reenactment events for several years.  For about ten years I was a drummer at a few Elizabethan-era and other Renaissance faires.  I also do events with the local costumers society.  I still manage to do one or two events a year.  A really special event was a dinner held in 2012 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Everyone was dressed to the nines in early Teens formal wear.  That was also the year I turned 50, and a friend of mine coordinated a surprise "Happy Birthday" performed by the orchestra at the event, and all the attendees sang.  My eras of interest run from Elizabethan to the 1920's.  Later than that, and I usually don't participate.  I've made some of my period clothing and have also bought pieces from other people.

I absolutely love to travel.  Between working at BART and then surgery for my injury, I wasn't able to go much of anywhere for a few years, but last year I was able to go places again, and I even went to Cuba.  One of my favorite trips is when I get to see my stepsons and grandchildren.  Like Randy, when I go to genealogy conferences, I always check to see what relatives are in the area (I think I have relatives in just about every state) and try to visit them, and sometimes I manage to get in some sightseeing.  But that's getting back to family history again, isn't it?  I visited my stepsons and grandchildren earlier this year, and I hope to be able to make another trip this summer and then again for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  In addition to that, I'm going to Jamboree, the IAJGS Jewish genealogy conference, and the International Black Genealogy Summit — yup, all genealogy-related!

So genealogy is the main thing I do with my life, but it's kept me sane during all this time I haven't been able to do other things, so I can't complain too much.


  1. It's really tough being so young and being disabled. I can truly empathize. But, you're amazing! I get exhausted just reading about all you do! I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to work again after this Lyme ( I'm already sick of that name). It's taken a huge toll on my body and though I don't want to wallow in misery, I have moments when I just cry and feel completely sorry for myself. Last night I watched the Mother Theresa movie ( The Letters) and it helped me to muster more courage and resilience.
    Passover is truly a labor of love and devotion. I won't sugar coat it- it's exhausting but I look forward to it all year long. I prepared a small Seder this year but I was exhausted before I began and had actually resigned to not having one at all. Par for me, I changed my mind last minute which only forced me to work even harder! I am thinking I was already showing symptoms before Passover. It is especially challenging for me living where I do in VA because I don't have easy access to Kosher for Passover foods. The stores here think that anything Kosher is acceptable. Like you Janice, I buy old used Passover recipe books and love reading them for inspiration. Until next year :D I would love to attend your Seder!
    I too love re-enactments. I actually wanted to become an interpreter at Jamestown/ Yorktown Foundation or Colonial Williamsburg and almost applied for a job this summer until I became ill.

  2. I totally understand, and all I can say is to hold on. I feel better now than I did a year ago, even a month ago. I celebrate tiny victories, such as managing to take out the trash and recycling on time three weeks in a row.

    I have to admit I fudge on my seders. I follow all the rules about which foods are not permitted, but I rarely manage to find kosher for Passover ingredients.

    Several years ago I remember an opening at Williamsburg that was posted out here. I thought about applying, but I didn't really think I wanted to live in Virginia.

    1. VA is a beautiful state and has a few really incredible towns like Charlottesville ( Jefferson's Monticello) where my step sister lives that are more upscale artsy and progressive and not very typical of the state overall. Monticello would be the place to interpret in my opinion ( vs. Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown). The problem with Colonial Williamsburg is that they are not very generous or loyal to their employees.

    2. Indeed, Virginia is beautiful, and I have been there several times. That's a lot different from living there, especially for someone who hates humidity.

      I hadn't heard that about Williamsburg. That's a shame.


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