“Dear Santa…”

Since it’s the time of year for holiday “wish lists” I came up with a few items I wouldn’t mind seeing this season. Problem is that most of them really can’t be wrapped or placed under a tree or in a stocking. But here’s my list anyway.

1. A 48-hour day. I would really like to have more hours in a day to accomplish all of the tasks on my “to do” lists—both my professional/personal list and my family history research list. While I feel I am pretty good at multi-tasking and getting things done, I always seem to want to take on more jobs and more responsibilities. My husband also tells me that I have so many great ideas, which may be true, but I don’t have sufficient time to carry them all out.

2. A winning lottery ticket. Boy would it be nice to be independently wealthy so I wouldn’t have to worry about things like health insurance premiums, depleting my savings account, or whether I can afford the trip to Slovakia I would like to take this summer. And, I am not greedy. I don’t need “Mega Millions” – I’d take even just one or two mil. I am not that interested in buying flashy material things or a bigger house or fancier car. I would just like the freedom to do the things I love to do while my money earns interest in the bank or my stock options soar. These favorite things include: write, give lectures on genealogy and writing, and travel to do research or see new places. While I do all of the above on a much smaller scale now, it would be nice to have the flexibility to do so full-time.

3. A magic fairy. It would be great to have someone I could call on to help me organize the boxes of unlabeled family photographs I inherited from my parents and relatives and have stored away in our spare room. Oh, and I would like that same fairy to wave a magic wand and sort the 40+ boxes of items I brought from PA to NY when I sold my parents’ house this summer. What on earth did my mother think she would do with the more than 100 vases she collected over the years? Then there’s Dad’s endless collection of tools, nuts, bolts, and nails, from his carpenter days working on the railroad. I swear I could open the next “Home Depot” in my garage.

4. A chance to see my parents again. I really miss my mother and father. And I while I realize how fortunate I was to have them in my life for as long as I did, there are still things I wish I could share with them on a daily basis. For example, I wish my dad could be here to see the research process for my current book project, Sports Memories of Western Pennsylvania (my dad was not interested in genealogy, and it figures the year after his passing I sign a book contract for a book he would be interested in reading!). Then there’s my mother. I know that she would be proud to be in the audience of one of my genealogy talks, or see my articles in print, or excited to accompany me to her mother’s ancestral home, Milpos, Slovakia, this summer. I recently read Mitch Albom’s book, For One More Day, and it really made me wish I could have one more day with my parents.

5. An agent. During a recent book fair I had a discussion with a fellow writer who told me that I “must get an agent.” I admit that I have thought about it, but not all that seriously. I’ve been going the self-publishing route for quite a few years now and have done well with my target audience. But, perhaps 2007 will be the year when I will find an agent to market my new projects. So, if you’re an agent looking for new clients and like my writing, I’d welcome the opportunity to chat with you!

Well, that’s my list. Items #1 and #3 are wishful thinking. And because of my faith, I believe that one day #4 will happen—that one day I will be reunited with my parents. I’ll keep working for #5. And as for the #2- “Hey, you never know!” There’s always a chance I could win the lottery, so excuse me now while I go buy my ticket!