Hello, Dear Readers! Didn’t blog last weekend because I was trying to do what I recommend everyone do – organize your genealogy. It is NOT fun!
Let’s start with the negative to get it out of the way…
It resulted in my allergies going bonkers from the dust (and the Sahara Dust Storm further put me over the edge), bags of refuse for the trash collectors to have to heave away in the intense heat (we’ve had advisories for a week now) and a field day for the cats who were running through the piles knocking them to the floor just to see paper fluttering. Why do cats do what they do?
On a positive note:
- I can find everything I need quickly
- I have a lot more office space
- I have a much healthier environment
- I found a few personal genealogical gems
- I feel great that I am well on my way to completing the task
I would love to tell you I started this major undertaking because it was the right thing to do but that wouldn’t be honest. Two weekends ago, we had a generator installed since I’ve got a freezer full of food that I typically don’t have at this time of year due to the ‘rona. In Florida, summer is the lean times, meaning we grill and eat lots of quickly made cool foods right from the fridge. Open a can of kidney beans for a salad, mix up a can of tuna with some mayo and you have a sandwich, you get the picture. Since our groceries were in such short supply of canned goods and charcoal from the break in the supply lines, I didn’t stock up as usual and instead, had to rely on frozen items. I don’t want to lose all that food when the power goes out, which it does in our area frequently, so we decided to buy a generator and have it installed.
That meant we had sporadic electricity the day it was installed so I didn’t blog. I had all intentions of doing that the following day but, I was bored so I decided I would just go through one of four tubs I keep in the office where we store our warranty receipts and other important papers. That project consumed me for the next few days so the blogging didn’t happen.
I may have mentioned in past blogs that my family and I have been fortunate so far escaping covid which is spreading like wildfire in my area (well, we think one of our kids had it in late January and the other in early February but it was mild compared to what could have been and hubby and I didn’t get it, although we were in close proximity to both of them at their sickest. One kid tested with the results of no immunity so we have no idea what they had but it matched all but one of the symptoms. Hmm.)
I don’t know what “virus” infected our appliances but in the past three months, the following has needed repair: refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave (still waiting for parts), toaster, coffee maker, iron, sewing machine, vacuum, pool vacuum, pool heater, laptop power cord, cell phone, blow dryer, flash light, water softener, ceiling fan, chain saw, pole saw, blower, jet ski battery and then, there was the well guys cutting the lines so we had to have the internet and phone cables reinstalled and they broke several sprinkler heads so there was more fixing needed. Luckily, most of those items were under warranty (which says a lot about how items are made these day). Although that saved us tons of money, it resulted in my constantly pulling out the four tubs to find the necessary paperwork to contact companies to arrange repairs. The organizational system quickly became a mess and I knew I had to devote time to cleaning it. With the electricity off it seemed like a great time to devote to it.
You may be thinking – why does she keep this stuff in tubs? Simply because I live in a hurricane state. After losing everything in Hurricane Elena in 1985 I learned that file cabinets aren’t the way to go here. Put stuff in tubs and you can easily transport in your car when you flee and have the documentation to prove to FEMA when you return. Plus, no bugs get in and it does cut down on dust somewhat.
I got the brilliant idea to change the file folders from “Small Appliances”say, to the room in which the item is held. That meant making new labels; I love my Dymo but that’s starting to act weird, too. Any item we no longer owned went into the trash and those remaining went into a pile on the desk based on the room they were housed. That’s where the cats had a field day.
My reorganization left me with space in the tubs so I decided I’d tackle an attic niche where we store tax returns. I had taken Judy Russell’s APG seminar earlier that week and according to her, I only needed to store the IRS documentation for 7 years. I’ve had much more saved and although I hated the thought of pulling it all down and going through it, decided I had to do it. That’s where I made my personal genealogical discoveries that are meaningless to everyone but my husband and I. I found his very first tax return from the 1970’s when he worked part time at Pepper Pot Pizza. I found my Work Permit signed by my guidance counselor and school nurse for my first job while in high school (it was for a summer job as a “basket girl” at a local pool – I became a mole that summer, standing for hours in a dark room that was a partial basement handing patrons baskets to put their belongings in and then retrieving them when they were ready to leave. It smelled of chlorine and sweat. Yuck! But I was making $2.00 a hour so all way good.) I found paperwork for family members who were deceased that my husband and I served as administrators. Looking over some of the medical records reminded me of things I once knew about the person but had filed away somewhere in my brain and wouldn’t have been able to retrieve had the documents not jogged my mind.
Tossing all that stuff out felt great and now everything is together! You’d think I’d stop there but I was on a roll so I next decided to clean a small tub that I place in person conference syllabuses. I decided to pitch what wasn’t important to me and scan what was. I am in the middle of that project now.
I am leaving two shelves of genealogical gems to clean out when I retire someday. They once were housed in the attic (hence the dust) but when we cleaned the attic out a year ago I moved them to an indoor storage area. I seriously hate the thought of going through that stuff and figure it will take me a few months to get all that organized – it’s WW2 diaries, notes from older family members, letters, etc. What does one do with old film, negatives, camcorder stuff? We’ve digitized all of it to DVDs and some to the Cloud but what should I do with the original? It’s probably deteriorated and no longer viewable even if I had the device to see it. I actually was ready to pitch it but hubby said no which is surprising as I’m the one who usually hangs on to stuff. Let me know if you’ve faced this situation and how you resolved it.
So, for the remainder of today, as I look out at the milky white sky, I’ll be scanning my dwindling pile of syllabi. Think I’ll get another cup of coffee first. Have a great weekend!