Dear Diary

“I found her diary underneath a tree . . .” -Bread (David Gates)

I wish! There are no Civil War diaries, no On the Way Home (Laura Ingalls Wilder) accounts, or Anne Franks hiding in the branches of my family tree. My mom started keeping a journal decades ago, but the trials and tribulations of the squirrels raiding the bird feeder, the snowplow redepositing snow on the freshly shoveled apron of the driveway, or the progress of the new bank building behind their property do not make riveting reading. Sorry, Mom!

So this will consist of a diary for this week, tracking what research I’m able to do—or not. We’ll see where it takes me. It may not be any more interesting than Mom & the squirrels . . . 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Dear Diary: We arrive in Orlando for a week in a vacation rental home with our children and grandchildren. This is always a hectic day, with three separate vehicles converging on a single property. We also have two airport pickups. A quick stop at Publix supplies the perishable items for tonight’s dinner—chili. It’s a “first night” staple for us, as it is fairly simple and easily reheated for the late arrivals. One son’s flight was due at 8:30, but storms in Atlanta caused delays, pushing his arrival to midnight. But he got here, which is all that matters.

And yes, he ate chili at 1 AM!

Genealogy: zero. Not good, since the blog is due tomorrow! Fortunately, I’d uploaded images to WordPress before we left home, and had crafted footnotes then, too. I had a start, but was far from complete. For a day that was busy with getting everyone settled, it’s about what I expected.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Dear Diary: Up early, and church. After breakfast, I played air hockey, skee ball, and “rolling pool” (children too young to risk using cues!) in the game room with grandchildren. Then it was pool time. I moved my laptop to the outdoor table, in hopes of working on the blog and not being a stick-in-the-mud. No such luck. The grandkids were having too much fun, so not much blogging was accomplished.

Pool shenanigans make it hard to focus on blog-writing!

After lunch, and packing youngest ones off for a nap (not MY job!), the obligatory Florida afternoon rain arrived (our timing was perfect!). It was time for the serious work of grocery shopping for 11 people for the rest of the week. After sketching out who would cook what, when, a list was created and my middle son and I trekked to Publix. He’s a wonderful cook, but shopping with him is a often scavenger hunt, looking for unusual (for me) ingredients! Two carts and about $200 later, we emerged victorious, with the emergency items of a long-handled turner and a flame-thrower (both needed for the grill).

After bacon cheeseburgers, potato salad, and leftover birthday cake, I headed back to work. With three hours to deadline, it should have been doable. I made the ill-advised decision to bring my laptop to the home theater to watch Ironman 3 with three of my kids. The recliners were a little too comfy, so dozing occurred. Oops! Frantic typing resulted in a published blog 3 hours late. I tumbled into bed at 2:30 AM.

Genealogy: an ugly win is still a win — I’ll take it!

Monday, 10 June 2019

Dear Diary: Up and walking at 6:30 AM. Don’t ask. Next order of business was surreptitious cream puff baking for surprise “Cream Puff Hot Fudge.” It’s a Detroit thing—Google it. Children were packed up for the walk to the community pool—complete with lazy river and water slides.

Lazy river to float on, or swim along with. It was cool and relaxing, and only a 15-minute walk away.

Late morning was a good time for that—neither too hot nor too crowded. An hour or so was enough, then we walked back to our house for lunch. After the late night before, plus morning pool time, a spell in the hot tub seemed like a plan. Another thunderstorm rolled in before the timer ran out, but it was better than nothing.

I took care of some “housekeeping” with the blog, keeping middle son company while he cooked. We enjoyed a selection of Asian dishes for dinner, finishing up with Cream Puffs Hot Fudge.

Fried rice, sweet & sour pork, and a pea salad. Not pictured: rice noodle soup, fried tofu, sautéed shrimp, and vegetable toppings.

Alice in Wonderland entertained the 4-year-old while his little brother got a stroller ride. By the time all the kids settled into bed, the parents had conked out, too. An early night seemed like a good plan for me, after the prior evening’s over-indulgence.

Genealogy: 0, but sometimes we just need to take time to clean up our clutter . . .

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Dear Diary: The house is very quiet, as two adults and two children are victims of an intestinal bug. Hopefully it will resolve itself quickly. In the meantime, a comment to last week’s blog required some research on my part, along with a response. Some catch-up work with the diary entries was needed as well, while memories were still fresh. That was interspersed with jigsaw puzzle work. Yet another cloudburst made us happy we hadn’t intended to spend the week doing theme parks!

I have no idea what dinner was, as I succumbed to the same bug as others that afternoon . . . Fortunately, my children are all excellent cooks, so no one went hungry, I presume. I crashed . . .

Genealogy: good start, followed by a fizzle . . .

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dear Diary: I survived the night, and everyone else is hale and hearty. After hitting my 10,000 steps and eating breakfast, we walked to the community pool for more lazy river time. Lunch, naps, and a Cars matinee in the home theater—complete with popcorn!

Absurdly large TV with projector on the ceiling, and 12 reclining seats with cup holders
in 3 rows.

Unfortunately, child #3 picked up the bug before dinner.

I watched a genealogy webinar, and after urchins were asleep I started working on the next prompt: Earliest.

Genealogy: back on track, a bit.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Dear Diary: Last trip to the store to fill in grocery gaps. It’s like trying to have the bowls of dip and chips finish simultaneously. How do you feed 11 people so everyone has enough, but it’s all gone on Saturday morning? It’s an art, not a science!

Time for the hot tub, followed by drifting on a raft until the rain. I managed not to be eaten by any of the “water monsters.” Nap time was perfect for doing some research, and I remembered why I have been stymied by the Jost line. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the memo about the Cars3 viewing, so missed it. After dinner were rousing games of Settlers of Catan and Elder Sign.

Genealogy: squeezed a little bit in, but at a cost.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Dear Diary: Last day, and time to start packing up, but more importantly, EAT ALL THE FOOD! Most of it can’t travel with us, so we either eat it or have to throw it out. But first, one last visit to the community pool for water slides and floating down the lazy river! The week’s worth of recyclables were sorted at the landfill, emptying a good section of the kitchen floor. Wet things were dried out, dirty things cleaned up, and storage areas emptied, so we didn’t forget anything. Nevertheless, we took a break for Moana after naps!

Emptyish refrigerator. The three drawers are empty, and most of this will be breakfast or lunch fixings.

Lunch and dinner made an adequate dent on the food stores. Unfortunately, another adult had succumbed to “the bug” early in the day. He recovered enough by the end of the day, so that flying home shouldn’t be a problem. Packed bags made their way into trunks, in an attempt to simplify the morning’s exodus.

Genealogy: pretty much zilch. Too much going on to be able to focus.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Dear Diary: Up at 4:30 AM, so that 2 adults could be shuttled to the airport. Another left shortly afterwards, after pouring sleeping children into their car seats (to hopefully continue sleeping!). Only one family remains, so while they slept, I checked the empty bedrooms and bathrooms (looked under beds, opened drawers and closets) in search of mis-remembered items. Completed rooms were closed up to mark them “done.” Then the final breakfast-cooking, lunch making sprint, emptying the refrigerator, cleaning the kitchen, emptying the trash. Everyone was out of the house by 8 AM, heading home by plane or car.

I swear Atlanta traffic must be payback to Northerners for the sins of Sherman! After 10 hours of driving, we finally stop at our motel outside Knoxville. After a quick dinner, I try to finish the daily entries, so tomorrow is just an editing day.

Genealogy: zero, unless you count blogging.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Dear Diary: Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a weekend in June (specifically Cade’s Cove on Father’s Day!)=bad idea. Lots of traffic in the park, most of it slow. We saw what we needed to, today, and got to the motel a little early. It was a more relaxing day than yesterday. We needed that! Time for final touches on to the blog to end this longish week.

Genealogy: same as yesterday—blog work, not really research—at least, not this week. The results?

Weekly Stats:

  • 9 days
  • 7 adults, 4 children
  • 3 automobiles
  • 2 airline delays
  • 2 birthdays
  • 20 “official” meals
  • 1 Disney jigsaw puzzle
  • 5 6 8 stomach bugs (and one repeat)
  • 4 3 movies
  • 1 National Park
  • rain showers? We lost track, but they didn’t ruin any plans
  • 3 RPGs (Roll Playing Games), at least. Maybe some I missed.

Family history research for the week? Marginal.

Family history memories created? Priceless.

Sometimes it’s important to take a bit of a break.


3 thoughts on “Dear Diary”

  1. Well you got me with the opener – I’ve always been a Bread fan. Sounds like you had a busy but fun vacation. I’m astonished you tried to do genealogy or blog during it. You have some great, fun descriptions (I was going to copy some examples, but it’s late). Relax. See you next week!

    Liked by 1 person

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