Category Archives: Genealogy

2017 Re-cap

While I had much family here for Christmas (some still here, till tomorrow), I didn’t worry about keeping to my blog schedule. So here I am, writing this post on New Year’s Eve, my birthday, for posting tomorrow. I think what I’ll do is just paste in our Christmas letter, perhaps adding a few comments at the end.

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Christmas displayDecember 2017

Greetings family and friends!

This branch of the Todd family has fallen into routine. Not a rut, for that has a negative connotation. Routine, on the other hand, can be good. It helps you to be efficient in your activities, and to effectively complete all tasks you need to complete. Yes, routine is good.

the four EsOur routine was broken a few times this year, three of them being extra significant. In June we drove, in caravan with our daughter Sara and her family, to the quadrennial General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene in Indianapolis. Richard was a delegate to one of the pre-assembly conventions. We went along to help out with the four kids, and, of course, to see old friends. Last time we attended general assembly was in 1980 when it was in Kansas City. The trip was good, without unsafe incidents of car trouble. It was indeed a good time. We saw those old friends, worshipped a great God with thousands of others, and were renewed and refreshed. Our accommodation was an older home rented by the week. We had a yard and parks nearby, so the kids had room to run.

Richard and SaraThen, on the way home, we spent a week in Branson, at a townhouse that is part of our timeshare company. We saw plenty of sights there. Branson has so much to do, for all ages. When someone wasn’t up to something, we just stayed at the townhouse. Miniature golf, Silver Dollar City, and a whole lot more filled our five days there. While we were gone for the almost two weeks, Lynda’s brother was here from Santa Fe to be with their mom. So we got to see him.

Another unexpected “event” came from Dave’s genealogy research. For years he has been trying to find out more information about his (supposed) maternal grandfather. Having only a name and a few anecdotal statements by his grandmother, he hit dead ends. Until DNA relatives showed up in 23andMe, and he was able to make connections. It turned out his grandfather had two other families, and he is now in touch with most of his previously-unknown first cousins from those families. Getting to know all these people, through Facebook so far, has been a delight.

And Dave had another “event” that broke up the routine. He’s been Corporate Trainer for CEI for eleven years now, and figured he’d stay that until his retirement at the end of next year. But, in early November his boss asked him to take on management of projects that have moved into the problem stage after construction. It started with three projects, is now up to four, and more are in sight. This has taken him back to his project management days. It has certainly been a change, as his hours have increased as he deals with the problems, leaving him almost no time for training. He thinks this new normal will take him right up to retirement.

Lynda has had some physical challenges this year. She’s had severe aches and pains show up in her legs, that caused her doctor to put her on a new medication. It turned out that med has some bad side-effects, however. She weaned herself off that med before things got bad. Now she’s wondering if other meds she takes have caused other problems, such as morning listlessness and what she calls “brain fog”. She does a lot of studying of health issues, and is hoping to gradually get off some meds and see if that helps. Meanwhile, she continues with stock trading, with Dave’s help from time-to-time. It looks like the year will turn out profitable.

We made several trips to Oklahoma City for grandchildren’s birthdays. They are growing up fast. The three older ones are in school, and little Elijah gets into everything when his sibs aren’t around. They teach him well. All three seem to like school, and to do well at it. Richard continues to split his time between pastoring the church and managing the R.O.C. ministry.

Charles at podiumCharles is now working two jobs. He continues as a dean for the College at the University of Chicago. He is also a dorm parent for an off-campus dorm. In both of these he stays busy. He will surely advance through university administration. The dorm thing is temporary. He plans on doing that for a year or two, then seeing where life and career takes him. Because his dorm job required him to be there over Thanksgiving, our family gathering is a Christmas this year.

EMB at birthdayEsther, now 92, continues as always, a little slower, a little farther removed from the world around her, but still kicking. She hasn’t had any new health problems develop this year. The biggest thing was the death of her sister, Faye, in July. We made the trip back to Meade for the funeral. So Esther, the oldest of four sisters, is the last still alive.

O Come O Come EmmanuelWe close this letter with a wish for the best for each of you. May God bless your lives, filling you with good things, and may they spill out with compassion for others.

Love,

Dave, Lynda, and Esther

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Emmanuel has come. We had a good Christmas with much family here, and contacting many more by phone. Yesterday I spent a quiet birthday with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law, as Lynda is in Oklahoma City for babysitting. For the moment, all is well. 2017 was a challenge in many ways. May 2018 be better.

Assembling a First Cousin List

That’s what I just did. I put together a joint first cousin list for my wife and me. Later in the post, I’ll say how many are on it.

First cousin is a pretty close relationship. They are children of siblings, grandchildren of common grandparents. First cousins share grandparents. Few people don’t know at least some of their first cousins. Although, I remember seeing an obituary of a person with the last name matching some in my wife’s family. I checked with an uncle of hers, and he said yes, that’s my cousin, but either he’d never met him or barely knew him. I didn’t detect a lot of interest.

Growing up, I always felt our family was somewhat small. Mom was an only child, so no aunts and uncles on that side. Her grandmother had half-sisters, but they never had children, so no first, first or otherwise, there. My dad was one of six children, five of whom lived to adulthood. All together they had 14 children who were first cousins. Four of these lived out of state and we rarely saw them. Almost never did those ten who stayed in Rhode Island ever get together. But, that was the tally: 14 first cousins from my two sets of grandparents.

Then I married Lynda. I came to find out she had a somewhat larger family. On her dad’s side there were four children who had seventeen children, not including three who died in infancy. They would make a total of 20. On her mom’s side, it was two children producing five, plus two who dies in infancy. It would have been more, except two of Lynda’s aunts died in a blizzard while in their teens. So, if you put those two lines together, that’s 23 first cousins. Definitely more to keep up with than me.

Thus, put us together, and it was 37 first cousins. That’s starting to be a big number, the number I had up until 1998.

What happened in 1998? I began making genealogical discoveries. That year I learned about the large family in New York/New Jersey (and some who had moved west) that had been kept hidden from us three siblings for decades. That didn’t produce any first cousins for me, but a bunch for my mom, and a bunch of second cousins for me. Through all this discovery, Lynda’s total stayed at 23 in her blended first cousin group.

Then came 2014, which I learned about my half-sister, the daughter my mother put up for adoption. That added one to the group, now a blended group from two sets of grandparents, so I was one of 15 first cousins. My half-sister had two brothers, who were also adopted, so I didn’t count them. And Lynda’s first cousin group was…still 23, our joint group becoming 38.

Then came August 2017. As I reported previously on this blog, through DNA testing, along with a few statements my grandmother made, I was able to trace who my maternal grandfather was. As I had come to suspect, he had two other families: a small one before WW1 and a larger one after WW1. My mother wasn’t an only child after all; she had five half-siblings, all of whom had children—13 children, in fact, who were my half-first cousins. At that relationship level, it’s a bit silly to keep adding the “half” to the defined relationship. We were cousins, first cousins, having a common ancestor at the grandparent level. That mean my blended first cousin group went to 28. My wife’s…stayed at 23 (how boring!). And our combined group was 51.

Genealogy research took it from 37, a manageable number, to 51, starting to be unmanageable in terms of keeping track of everyone. Of those 51, 39 are still living. The oldest and youngest are still alive. The birth years span 1937 to 1970. Three died in infancy, and none others have passed on. I’ve yet to meet twelve living first cousins.

So, why have I written all this? I really don’ know. It was on my mind today, as I completed for two of the new cousins to take DNA tests to confirm the relationship. I guess I wrote this simply because this is part of my life. This blog is to share my life, more than just my writing.

Update on Writing and Publishing Plans

Back on January 16, I laid out my publishing plains for the year, with special emphasis on the first quarter. At the end of that post I said I’d come back after the first quarter to give you an idea on my progress. Well, we’re now half-way through the second quarter, and I just now remembered I’m supposed to do that. Sorry that I didn’t follow through.

Documenting America
The Civil War Edition of my “Documenting America” series is nearing completion.

I can give a report now, for sure. I listed nine bulleted items that I wanted to accomplish in the first quarter. I’ll repeat them here, and give the progress  report on each one.

  • Jan 1: Begin reading for research for Documenting America: Civil War Edition. I wrote then: I achieved this. I’m reading a little almost every day for this.
  • Jan: Complete the first draft of Preserve The Revelation. I wrote then: I actually did this Saturday, Jan 14, at 8:10 p.m.
  • Jan 31: Edit Doctor Luke’s Assistant and republish it. I re-read this in 2016 with an eye toward making edits in it. I’m ready to go with typing. This schedule should be doable. I achieved this. I don’t remember the exact day, but while letting Preserve The Revelation sit a while, I typed the DLA edits and republished it, both in e-book and print form.
  • Feb 15: Edit Preserve The Revelation once. I achieved this, I think by Feb 15.
  • Feb 28: Edit Preserve The Revelation again, which I hope will be the final edit. I achieved this, though it turned out to NOT be the final edit. I had to do one additional round.
  • It's published as an e-book at Amazon; print book and other e-book formats, though some editing for Apple remains.
    It’s published as an e-book at Amazon; print book and other e-book formats, though some editing for Apple remains.

    Mar 15: Publish Preserve The Revelation. Much must be done for this to happen, some of which I’ve already set in motion. I achieved this, though not quite by my target date. The e-book was published March 23, and the print book on April 5.

  • Apr 1: Publish Headshots as a print book. I’m unclear of where I stand with this. In 2016 I edited and re-published the e-book version of this. I don’t remember how I did my edits, whether to a master file or to the e-book file. I’ll know more when I get back to this, probably early to mid-March. No, didn’t achieve this. Instead, I switched my attention to the next item.
  • Apr 2: Resume writing on Documenting America: Civil War Edition. Actually, I hope to write some on this much sooner than that. But I’ll be satisfied with not doing so until early April. My guess is I’ll have two months of writing to do on it. I achieved this. In fact, I’ve been able to give it much more attention than I anticipated. I wrote about this a week ago. As of last night, I have only four chapters to go to finish the first draft.
  • Blog on a regular Monday and Friday schedule. I’ve already missed a couple of those. I’ll be satisfied if I have 40 to 50 blog posts for the year. I achieved this. Since my Jan 16 post, I don’t think I’ve missed a scheduled day of blogging. Or, if I did, I blogged a day late, but got it done.

As for my overall publishing plans for the year, here’s what I wrote before, along with the progress report.

  • Finish my novel-in-progress, Preserve The Revelation, and publish both as an e-book and in print. Done!
  • Finish my non-fiction book-in-progress, Documenting America: Civil War Edition, and publish both as an e-book and in print. I said I was 40% done in January, based on work of a couple of years ago. I’m now sitting at 95% done on the first draft.
  • Four chapters done in the next volume; hopefully it will be a 2017 publication.
    Four chapters done in the next volume; hopefully it will be a 2017 publication.

    Finish my workplace humor novella-in-progress, The Gutter Chronicles: Volume 2, and publish both as an e-book and in print. Nothing done on this yet. I haven’t given up on it.

  • Write a new story in the Danny Tompkins short story series. Done! I published this on March 16.
  • Write a new story in the Sharon Williams Fonseca series. Nothing done on this yet. The plot for the next story still hasn’t come to me; though, to be honest, I’ve had a few glimmers into the plot, but have pushed them aside to work on other things.
  • Finish Carlyle’s Chartism Through The Ages, a non-fiction work. Not even thinking about this at present.
  • Continue working on Thomas Carlyle Chronological Composition Bibliography. Not even thinking about this at present.

Two other items have come to mind, which I’m adding to the list. Call me foolish, but I’m doing it.

  • Publish the six Danny Tompkins stories as a box set, both in e-book and in print. This should be fairly simple, the hardest part being the cover. Together, they will be just long enough for a print book.
  • Publish my research into the Stephen Cross family of Newbury, Massachusetts. This was genealogy work into my wife’s family, Stephen’s wife being the sister of Lynda’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. I’m planning a much longer book on the whole family of ten siblings, but that’s going to have to wait a while. Meanwhile, I have this part done, needing only a little narrative and formatting. It will be 80 to 100 pages, I believe, which would be a nice little genealogy book.

So there you have it, new publishing plans for the year, but no specific publishing goals for the rest of the second quarter. I’ll be back with future writing/publishing goals and reports.

Research while Searching

I’m searching for a topic to write on right now. Well, I’m sort of searching. I have six or seven things I know I’m going to write. Hopefully, someday in the future (the nearer the better), I’ll be able to carve out meaningful time to write. At present I can only carve out a few quarter hours at a time. That’s not enough to make the effort worthwhile, so I don’t carve out that time and write.

So instead, what I’m doing is researching. That may sound strange, especially when I say that I let the time I spend researching drag out to hours at a time. How can I justify the time to research when I can’t justify the time to write? My only answer to that is: All time spent researching will eventually show up in writing, somehow, somewhere, sometime in the future.

In 2015 and a little in 2016, my research project has been Thomas Carlyle, leading to two different works of his. I’ve discussed that on this blog before. However, that is perhaps useless research, as I’m not certain I’ll ever actually get those two works written. Both of them are started, and both are well along. However, they will have limited appeal, and I don’t know that they will add to any scholarship on Carlyle. Anyhow, I’ve set that aside for now, all except for occasional reading in his letters (I did a little of that last night).

About two weeks ago I decided to get on with research on another project. My wife’s immigrant ancestor in her paternal line is John Cheney. He came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, residing for a few months in Roxbury before removing to Newbury. A history of the Cheney family in the USA was written in 1897 by Charles Henry Pope. As is typical of genealogies written about that time, it focuses on the men, all those who carried the Cheney name forward. The daughters and granddaughters are given very short treatment.

My goal with this book is to document John Cheney’s life in a more expansive way than Pope could in 1897, given the limit of the resources available to him, and to list all (or as many as I can identify) of his descendants for three generations. Much has been learned over the years, especially in the Internet era. More is coming available every year as more and more documents are scanned and made available for viewing on the Internet, sometimes for a fee, but often for free. I won’t be able to identify all the descendants for those generations. John Cheney had 12 children, 10 who lived to adulthood, 9 of whom had offspring. They produced the third generations, and had a total of 65 children (at current count; trying to verify three more). Of those, it appears around 50 married. If they produced an average of 6.5 children, as their parents did, that would be 325 names in the fourth generation, the third generation of John Cheney’s descendants. That’s a lot of people, even in the Internet era.

So, I’m doing this research, trying to verify what Pope has in his book (which includes no sources for specific data), and trying to add information on the daughters and their offspring. I’m reasonably complete on John Cheney’s children, and can see an end coming for his grandchildren. I have only nine left with no information other than a name and who their parents are, plus the three that people. While I’ve been writing this blog post I’ve been going back to this research, and have found reliable publications that goes a long way to documenting the children of one of John Cheney’s daughters. I had their names from Pope’s book, but not a lot of data. I still don’t have as much documented data as I’d like, but with this new source I have a lot more. Yea!

I think I’ll end this. Time to button up this new find, write the name of the source, save the URL, and put this info in a place where I can find it later, on my Nook and on my computer at work. Progress as promised. I love research.

Seth Boynton Cheney – Mystery Man of the West

This announces that my latest book, Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West, is now available for sale at Amazon and CreateSpace.  This is a family history, not a book for the general market. It traces descendants through Seth, who was descended from John Cheney of Newbury, Massachusetts, through his son Peter. I’m posting this to be complete in announcing my books.

Here’s the link to the book at Amazon.

I just realized I don’t have the cover here as a jpeg, so I can’t post it. Maybe I can grab one from Amazon….ok, got the front cover, I think.

SBC book front cover

The Sunday Report – June 14, 2015

Well, I did a little better job keeping up with posts to the blog over the last two weeks; not perfect, but better. I thought for today I’d write a fairly simple report on what’s going on in my life, as it relates to my writing life.

We are, at present, playing host to our three grandchildren, ages 7, 4, and 2.  Consequently I’ll be working short days for the time while they are here, to keep my wife from going batty and to lessen the work she’ll have to do, which is always hard on her back. This will also mean I’ll have less time available to go to The Dungeon and get my work done. The kids came on Thursday, and will be here at least through next Sunday, June 21.

Fortunately, I just wrapped up my writing project. My family history book, Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West, was completed on Thursday. All but for one photo, that is, which I added on Friday. Yesterday I uploaded it to CreateSpace. All but the cover, which I tried to create beginning Friday evening and was unable to do. A friend at work is going to help me with it, and I suspect it will be ready by Tuesday. That will allow me to order a proof book.

The proof book is critical in this case, because I had planned to do the book in color, but that would drive the cost up to a minimum of $36. In black & white it can go for $12, or maybe a little less. $36 is too much, so I’ll have it printed in b&w. That will mean I’ll have to look at the proof and decide if I need to do anything with some of the color photos/illustrations. I may have to do without some, or swap some out.

Fortunately I have time for that. While I wanted to have the book completed and out by June 15, the Cheney family reunion isn’t till July 31-August 2. I’m sure the book will be done long before then.

Between now and then, the only other writing work I intend to do is make sure all my books are properly listed on Goodreads. I think five of them aren’t listed at all, and one has the wrong cover showing. Adding books is easy, so I can have those all added in one evening. However, changing a cover requires an action by a Goodreads staffer. I made a request six months or a year ago to have the cover changed, but never heard back from anyone. I’ll try it again. If I don’t hear back, I can just delete it then add it back with the new cover. At least I think I can.

Some greater use of Shelfari, an Amazon thing, might be in the cards, to see if it improves visibility of my books. Researching advertising services might be another thing I’ll spend a little time on.

So writing continues, though every day I’m seeing less and less reason to go on with it.

A Bounty of Photographs

The last three days has brought me just that—a bounty of photographs. Old ones, family ones.

On Monday we received a package in the mail from Lynda’s cousin Robyn. She had been in touch with Lynda via Facebook and e-mail, saying she had some Cheney family photos passed down from her mom. Given that I function as the main family historian, she thought we should have it. Also included were some papers: a souvenir marriage certificate for their common grandparents, a deed, and some other things.

One of the photos is a view of the Cheney ranch, south of Fowler, Kansas. It shows men on horseback or on foot, women on horseback, and four children, probably boys, atop a shed; twelve people in all. You can see a number of outbuildings, including a large barn, a stone shed that is still standing, buildings that show in other photos, and I think the homestead house in the background. In the foreground are cattle in a barbwire corral.

I already have a copy of this, but it is only a photocopy of it. And, either on the original or on the first photocopy, someone wrote what each thing was and drew arrows all over the photo! Not smart. This one is clean, the top right of the photo being damaged, but it shows only sky and could probably be restored. Other photos include siblings, uncles, scenes. At least one other photo is one I’ve never seen before, and I’ve never had a real one of the ranch scene.

On Tuesday I received a phone call from my nephew, Chris. He was contacted by a man in England. That man had photos of our family (though I don’t think he’s related) that were in the possession of my grandfather’s oldest sibling, Mabel Todd. The photos sent so far are of the two brothers who came to America, and one wife (not my grandmother, though that’s supposedly coming. Actually, the one I’m calling a wife of the brother of my grandfather is not identified, but it’s by the same photographer who shot the brother, so it makes sense. I don’t know if more photos are coming or not, but I think so.

It’s amazing what’s out there for your family history is you only look. This contact from England was out of the blue. Chris wasn’t even researching Todd genealogy at the time, when up pops the e-mail: Hey, I’m in England, I’ve got pictures of your family; want them? That’s called a random act of genealogical kindness.

Now, when I issue the next edition of Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West, I’ll have a decent quality photo to include of the ranch scene, not that old one that was barely viewable. And if I ever write a book about the Todds, I’ll have a bit more to go on.

Now, someday, I hope to organize everything. I had an antique dresser that’s close to full of photos. Some are ones we took back in our constant picture taking days; some are accumulated Todd-Vick-Sexton family. In a couple of binds I have Cheney-Stephens family photos, also needed organization and better preservation. Oh how I need to get to all of that and not leave it to my children when I reach room temperature.

Holiday Withdrawals

That’s one good thing about the holidays: They give you a chance to withdraw from life, if only for a brief time, and forget the normal things and think of and do different things.

This Christmas we left home on the 23rd and drove to Meade, Kansas. A little more than 7 hour drive, north to Joplin then across southern Kansas to the beginning of the high plains. The route is beautiful, through quaint little towns like Baxter Springs (on old Route 66), Chepota, Wellington, Medicine Lodge, and Coldwater. The landforms are varied, with the vegetation gradually thinning the farther west you get, along with the houses, and grain elevators becoming the dominant man made feature, other than the asphalt our tires hum on. Ranch land and farmland alternate. The winter wheat looks good this year. We saw lots of evidence of harvested cotton, which is a crop changes from years past.

Once in Meade, our Internet service was rather short lived, due to a computer failure of the wireless Internet service we used. So even brief checks of Facebook and e-mail became impossible. I had to delay my blog post, wasn’t able to track my page views and income on Suite101 (which, as it turned out, didn’t matter due to massive computer failures there that left the writers unable to access statistics for several days and which still isn’t fully rectified). So I just partook in family activities. Ate too much. Played lots of Rummycube. Attended church services. Talked with relatives. Drove past places of my wife’s childhood. Visited the museum. Ate even more. Talked even more. Alas, saw no football this last weekend, since neither the cousin or her mom had a sports package with their Direct TV.

Through all of this, I didn’t think too much about writing, except when Lynda’s brother kept asking me about the next version of my biography of their great-grandfather. We toured his ranch on Monday, first time I’ve been there in 35 years. We visited with the woman who now owns the spread, and she wanted to buy a copy of the book, Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West. Actually, she wants two (one delivered, and one to be printed). This is my first “book”, self-published on company copiers with relatively simple graphics, plastic comb binding, and lots of genealogy tables and information. But it was nice to have someone express some interest in the book. I’ve given away about 20 copies to relatives, maybe even 30 copies, and before this the only ones to express any interest in it are Lynda’s brother, one cousin in California, one cousin in England, and the local museum curator. Everyone else I’ve given it to has said absolutely nothing. Not one word of feedback.

Of course, that’s what I’ve come to expect from relatives and my writing. Almost no one is interested. One of Lynda’s cousins asks, every time I see her, if I’m still writing poetry, but never asks to see any. It seems to be more of a courtesy thing than real interest. And no relative, knowing I write novels, has ever expressed an interest in reading them. That is, until this trip. Two in-laws of that same cousin said they’d like to read Doctor Luke’s Assistant. So I’ll print and send them the latest version, and see what happens.

Well, I don’t want to exaggerate. My cousin Sue read Doctor Luke’s Assistant serially as I was writing it. She is a writer too (and a regular reader of this blog, I believe), and she expressed interest. Although, I’ve never bought a copy of her book and read it. So maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on relatives.

But it was nice to leave the pressure of office, writing, stock market, and all things regular for a few days. Here I am now, in Oklahoma City at my daughter and son-in-law’s house, where computer access is easy, checking Suite 101 and e-mail and firing off blog posts. I’m still ignoring most of my normal life, though a little football would be nice. We’ll head home more likely Saturday. Thus we’ll be on our normal Sunday schedule. I’ll be back to writing. I’ll be able to watch all the football I can stand.

But I’ll think fondly of our week away from the routine, and hope for something similar next year.

So Much To Learn

Today I have two major tasks at work: prepare for Planning Commission meeting tonight, and prepare for the brown bag class I’ll teach tomorrow noon. The P.C. meeting is easy to prep for: ten copies of two figures and about three pages of text. The figures need some hand coloring, but that’s a throwback to childhood and not at all unpleasant.

The brown bag is tougher to prep for, because I want to include a PowerPoint presentation with it. This is my second PowerPoint to prepare. The last one was all text. For this one, I want to include photos and drawings. This increases the degree of difficulty (from about 1.0 to about 3.5, I’d say). Plus, the last one I did was back in March, and I’ve pretty well forgotten all I learned then. So it’s a learning day. When I get frustrated with building the slide show, I just pull out one of the figures to color. I have till 6:00 PM to complete them.

Then there’s the whole question of learning photographs for the Internet. I spent some time at Flickr, following a link to their Creative Commons, which is the area that’s supposed to have the copyright-free photos. I had a little time with this, then Internet Explorer locked up. So I exited and went back to Flickr, this time the home page. And on that page I could not find a link to the Creative Commons. Am I missing something? I’ll get back to that after this post.

I love learning, but this is almost too much today. PowerPoint alone would be fine, or maybe the photo study would be fine, but the two together are somewhat overwhelming.

On the other hand, the pleasant evening I wrote about yesterday came to be almost exactly as I hoped. The genealogy meeting was good. I actually knew the speaker, and met a few new people. Any time you are in a library, even if it’s just the meeting room, is a good time. At home I filed and wrote and read and talked on the phone for a long time with my son. I balanced the checkbook, which in two prior sittings had refused to be balanced. I didn’t get to my financial record spreadsheets, or paying a couple of bills, but I have tonight for that. Another pleasant evening coming.

A Pleasant Evening Awaits

It’s 4:32 PM by the clock on my computer at the office. I returned here a little while ago from Centerton, where I presented my flood study to the mayor and department heads. This was for the purpose of presenting the summary of findings and recommendations, and to help them understand what their options are concerning future conditions in the drainage basin. Tomorrow evening I present it to the Planning Commission (for information purposes only).

I’d like to say that’s the end of the project, but, alas, it’s only the end of the study phase. I now need to pull together a submission to FEMA. This consists of reworking my report to include only those things FEMA will look at, filling out about 15 pages of FEMA forms, having one more exhibit drawn–the actual changes to the flood map, and getting the City’s approval of those. At some point this will involve a public hearing and newspaper ads. The actual flood map revision, which will be the end of the project, is likely 6 to 8 months away.

But, a burden is lifted. I look forward to a pleasant evening tonight. My wife is away (no, that’s not what will make it a pleasant evening), having gone this morning to Oklahoma City with her mother to spend a week with daughter, son-in-law, and grandson Ephraim. I’m going to take advantage of the time, however, and attend the regular monthly meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society at the Bentonville library. I’ve never been to this group. I look forward to the fellowship.

Then, what to do at the house? A quick supper of leftovers won’t take much time. I’ll probably read in Robertson’s harmony of the gospels, then go work on my own. I made some good progress on this yesterday, and would like to finish the appendix I worked on. That would feel pretty good, if I could finish that. The progress I made yesterday would have been greater except, having taken so long away from it, it was difficult to shift my mind from magazine articles (on-line and off-line)and Bible studies to that work. Tonight should be better, with me having not worked on other writing since then, except for this blog.

After that, probably about 11:00 PM, I’ll exit the Dungeon for the upper realm and read something lighter, say in an old issue of Writers Digest that I picked up at a thrift store. That will put me in the mood for bed, and I should get six hours of blissful sleep, dreaming about the Bible, genealogy, and writing, with a little successful engineering mixed in. What could be more pleasant to dream about?