When I was in grade school, one of the first assignments we had in English class after our long three-month break was to write an essay “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.”
Since Labor Day marks the “unofficial” end of summer and students of all ages get into “back to school” mode, I thought it would be fun to write my grown-up essay about how I spent my summer vacation.
Conferences, Conferences, Conferences!
I had the pleasure of being an invited speaker for three excellent conferences. Two actually took place technically in the spring, but I’m including them anyway: The Ontario Genealogical Society May 13-15, 2011 in Hamilton, and the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, CA June 8-10. In August (19-20) I spoke at the Utah Genealogical Association’s summer conference, and that same weekend I also participated (via pre-recorded video) in Family Tree Univeristy’s first virtual conference. In a few days, I will be giving three talks at the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2011 Conference in Springfield, IL.
Hangin’ with Genea-Peeps
Part of the fun of genealogy conferences is getting to spend time with friends/colleagues. As a bonus, before the SCGS Jamboree, I was able to spend time with fellow genealogists/bloggers Donna Pointkouski (What’s Past is Prologue), Steve Danko (Steve’s Genealogy Blog), and Kathryn Doyle (CaliforniaAncestors.org).
[Also, how could I forget??? (thanks Sheri!) the fabulous day trip to Los Angeles and Rodeo Drive with Donna, Denise Levenick (The Family Curator), and Sheri Fenley (The Educated Genealogist). In our travels we came across the now infamous “Peter the Parrot.” Later that night we met up with the one and only footnoteMaven for dinner and got to meet Mr. Family Curator too!
I also spent many Friday nights chatting with fellow genealogists while listening to the many excellent guests on Geneabloggers Radio.
In July I attended my family’s 44th annual reunion (mom’s side). I wrote about it in the post: Ten Things I Learned at Our Family Reunion.
Living the Writing Life
It has been an unusually busy summer for me writing-wise (which is why I haven’t been posting much here). I was blessed with an abundance of freelance writing assignments for magazines and online content sites. In addition, I’ve been working on developing new courses for both the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and Family Tree University. I have also revised my popular recipe book: Baba’s Kitchen: Slovak and Rusyn Family Recipes and Traditions (stay tuned to this Blog for a post soon about the revised edition and how to purchase it), and have been fervently working on a new book (can’t reveal the details yet but it’s nonfiction and a fascinating story).
Chasing Elusive Ancestors
I haven’t had much time to work on my own genealogy but I did manage to squeeze a few hours in here and there searching online databases and viewing microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Most of this work has been on my paternal side of the family, but I’ve also made an interesting new connection regarding one of my maternal lines (hope to blog more about this in the near future).
So Long Summer!
I can’t believe that the summer is over, but I had some wonderful personal and professional experiences, and I’m looking forward to a productive fall with plenty more writing projects, a number of speaking engagements, and several classes both in the classroom and online.
Hope to see many of you at some of my upcoming scheduled events!