I’ve been writing this blog for three years. That is a lot of words and thoughts. I find at this point in time that I need to make some changes to my life to accommodate my ever-changing circumstances. As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I am blessed to have my Mom still with me. She keeps me on my toes, in more ways than one. But as she has entered her 92nd year of life, I am called on to spend more time helping her and picking up the slack from her cutting back on what she considers her “jobs” around the house. Without elaborating too much, I should admit that I’m not getting any younger and keeping up has its effects that aren’t always positive. These seismic changes plus the projects that I am working on, or want to work on, means it is time for me to re-evaluate my priorities and time.
That is a long-winded way to say that this blog isn’t going away but will become less frequent. Twice a month is a fair amount of research and writing on top of everything else going on. And I find when I’m juggling too many things, my creativity takes a nosedive, which makes getting a blog post finished a real challenge, not to mention some of my other projects. I hope to post something at least once a month. They may not be as long, which might be welcomed news for some of you, and they might float between 3 and 5 weeks apart but I will be trying to keep to that. If that gets too challenging, I will be posting another of these kinds of posts at some point in the future.
I am not giving up either history or genealogy. My serious attention to developing plans of attack on my personal genealogy is paying off. I have recently put some data to my step-grandfather’s life and acquired a picture of him when he was about sixteen. And as I mentioned a few weeks ago on my Facebook page, I’ve acquired a picture of one of my g3-grandfathers in his military uniform from the Civil War. That was just in time to become a part of his center block in a memorial wallhanging for my Civil War direct ancestors. I created blocks for each of my seven direct ancestors who served in the War and had them printed at Design Your Fabric. I was astounded at how well they looked when they arrived. Mama and I are still playing with the ton of Civil War reproduction fabrics I have to decide what looks best to add to these blocks to make the wallhanging. Meanwhile, I need to learn to use my new sewing machine to do the quilting with the machine and not by hand. My hands are not as young as they used to be.
I am also learning the Adobe software programs, Acrobat, In-Design, and Photoshop. The first two to create an electronic “book” of all of the Yellow River Baptist Church records that the church can make available as they see fit. I will help them with that as much as they may need. My scanning of the individual pages and an effort to get them back into what I hope is close to the original order of the pages has been a blessing to work on. I am nearing the end of this phase and will wrap it up by ensuring all of the records are appropriately stored in archival boxes. My ancestors who are buried at Stewart Cemetery are calling to me to help the church finish the work we need to do there. Stay tuned as we work all of that through. Speaking of the church. It is really the last of the institutions that were once a critical part of the community of Oak Grove. The second Sunday in June is Homecoming for the church. It will be 179 years old! Whether you have a regular church or not, think about joining those long-standing members for a day of celebration of one of the oldest Baptist churches in the panhandle. I promise I will remind you before 9 June 2019!
And of course, my book on Oak Grove in Okaloosa County is moving along. I am still doing research in some areas but I’ve started writing and pulling my analyses of records together for the book. This part of writing a book is the hardest, followed pretty closely by the editing part so it will be taking up a good chunk of my “work” time every week.
In-between the above, I am continuing to re-scan and create good quality images of all of my most important family photographs and making sure I have three copies of each photo; one on my computer, one on a separate hard drive/thumb drive, and one in the cloud. Same goes for all of the important documents I have that are related to family history. This is like interviewing the older members of your family before it is too late. Just sit down and get started. Do a little every week. You will be surprised how good it can feel that if you lose the original, or you only have a digital copy, that it won’t disappear if the stuff of life happens when you aren’t paying attention.
And lastly, I’ve decided to get serious again about a year-round garden. What passes for fresh vegetables and fruits leaves a lot to be desired if you buy from a store. We do buy some of ours locally, and that applies to meat, milk, and eggs, but that usually entails half-day trips which at this point are neither convenient nor easy. We also stick to organic when at all possible so for fruits and vegetables that often means I need to grow it in my yard if I would also like to avoid the impact of shipping costs from California, Latin America or New England on the environment. I began the process of moving from the above site to nearer the house a few years ago and then had to let it go. So, I’m re-doing those newer raised beds and adding some that are waist-high so my Mom can help from her wheelchair, and we are having some work done on the house and property to make it more comfortable and more efficiently productive.
For anyone who saw the house during this last few years when I just had to let a lot of it go to keep up with the critical basics, you won’t recognize it the next time you come to visit! And if all stays somewhat in balance I hope to reclaim my old garden spot and the greenhouse for some perennials. There is nothing like a carrot straight out of the garden and that goes for nearly anything else we can grow down here. If all my Meyer Lemons stay on my trees, I will have a LOT of lemon juice to put up. Thankfully the squirrels don’t care much for lemons. Now the peaches are another story. I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t keep sampling by pulling a half-ripe one off the tree, taking a bite and throwing it on the ground. The birds and rabbits are much easier neighbors to live with.
The wonderful thing about life is it keeps right on moving whether we are prepared or paying attention and I’ve always tried to make sure it doesn’t get too far ahead of me before I make adjustments. I would rather adjust to circumstances before all my options are gone and I’m against the wall. If you follow me on Facebook, you might consider following my blog here. You will get a notice when I’ve posted something. Facebook isn’t 100% at getting new posts in everyone’s feed and if you are like me, they can slip by sometimes. If you follow me here at my blog, consider following my Northwest Florida History and Genealogy page at Facebook. I will be posting links and thoughts somewhat more frequently there that will be just snippets compared to these blog posts. I appreciate each of you and your time to read my posts. Thank you so much.
Until Next Time