Craving Sweets? #FGS2015

You no doubt are familiar with the saying, “Like a kid in a sweets shop?”

The upcoming FGS Conference in Salt Lake City (11-14 FEB 2015) is a proverbial sweets shop (candy store) to every genealogist, professional or not.

There are aspects and nuances at local or regional gatherings but not to the magnitude of this.

Nothing can prepare you for your first FGS Conference.  It will be overwhelming, and you will love every minute of it!

Then when it is over, you will cry and crave more!

And the only difference between the first-timers and the returnees — yes, there’s only one difference:

  • the returnees rant, and (sometimes) hold their breath!

So, whether you attend to hear particular speakers like Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman or Joshua Taylor, or you want to sit in on all the sessions regarding DNA research, the 1812 Pension records or the public holdings of the DAR, there is always something more to see and do.

And never enough time to do it all.

Add to all this, the simultaneous running of RootsTech, and you have genealogical skill and the latest technology, all in one place, with the best research facility a very tempting few minutes away!

Hence the candy store.

So, how bad is your sweet tooth?


Will You Connect? #FGS2015

A week has gone by since MiLady and Nostalgia learned of Donny Osmond being at the FGS 2015 Conference in Salt Lake City, and my poor ears are still ringing!

As I waited eagerly and impatiently for further news to relate of February’s super session for genealogists, I began hoping that reactions this time will be of a far-less life-threatening nature to my well-being.

When I finally did receive the next bit of news, I was all excited and a little disappointed, as well.

Hangouts On Air with FGS Ambassadors
Yes, I have heard of hangouts.  Dear Myrtle has been hosting them on Mondays since the beginning of Time, but I always miss participating in them because of my conflicting employment hours.

But, my concern was not that, really. I have absolutely no working knowledge of how HOAs work. It was evident that I would need a crash course before the first session on November 6th.

So, once again, I made light conversation – or was it a mistake? – at the dinner table.

“Dear’st,” I called across the table to my favourite girl, “may I borrow your headset next week?”

[NOTE: MiLady works for the provincial health services in electronic media learning development. She does voice-overs and creates interactive training aids and visuals.]

A puzzled wide-eyed look returned my gaze.

HOA EventLogo“The Conference is conducting monthly chats upon the first Thursday of every month leading up to it,” I replied. “The first one is on November sixth.”

“Do you have a web-cam?” she asked.

Proudly I answered in the positive.

“Do you know where it is?” she continued with a wry smile and a raised eyebrow.

“No.” I said curtly, looking down at my empty plate.

My wife’s smile grew wider as she wiped away a couple of tears.

“Okay, you can use mine,” she said but then she quickly paused. “Have you used them before?”


After dinner was cleared, MiLady gave me on-the-spot instruction on the proper use of her equipment.

Lesson One – the headset-microphone

“Okay,” my better half announced, as I sat before my desktop computer. “I have asked Nostalgia to assist with this lesson. She is upstairs on a twin set waiting for you to speak with her.”

“Do I have to?” I said dejectedly, “I thought I’d be speaking with you?”

MiLady shook her head, saying something about tea in China and being unable to teach and converse with me at the same time.

After adjusting the mobile technology on my head, she gave me a thumb’s up.

“Say something,” she told me.

“Something?” I asked. “Something like what?”

“Hull-ew, is usually a good start, Rabbit!” a familiar voice blurted out but was barely audible through my computer speakers due to a blaring feedback hum.

“Hello?” I had asked to my computer screen.

“Yes, Dearie! Hull-ew, I say,” Nostalgia was ecstatic, but MiLady shut off my speakers and told me that I should be able to hear her through the headset.

“Hello?” I asked again into the emptiness.

MiLady stood at my left side and watched as I sat perfectly still.

“Well?” she impatiently asked. “Has Gia said anything?”

“No,” I sulked, “The anti-social Old Battle-Axe won’t talk to me!”

As my soul-mate carefully removed the headset to give it a closer inspection, a long cackle of superlatives (half of which I have not heard in over 40 years, and none that I shall repeat here), suddenly blasted from the single ear-piece!

“Hold on, Nostalgia!” MiLady winced as she called into the microphone. “It’s my bad. I forgot he’s deaf in his right ear. Give me a moment, please?”

Flipping the microphone and re-adjusting the headset, my girl smiled and told me to try again.

I cupped the ear-piece over my left ear, closed my eyes and took a sharp breath in.

“Hello!” I announced proudly. “My name is Rabbit, may I take your order?”

The woman with the matching ring to mine shook her head. “Silly, Rabbit, you’re on your own. I need a drink!”

“Would you like fries with that, Ma’am?” I chimed, as she face-palmed and left the room.

“Hull-ew? Hull-ew?” the other familiar voice cried out through the headset. “Is ANYONE there?!? Hull-eewwww!”

“I’m sorry,” I smiled wickedly. “All of our operators are currently busy. Your call is important to us; please remain …”


Are We Family? (A Tale of 3 Johns)

As I review the working title, it sounds like a trio of clients from a Red Light District, doesn’t it? 

I just wanted a short title that would be memorable and I think it works :)

In 1926 a small group of people put together a family reunion and decided they would document their family history.

It was a massive project taken up by a smaller group of novices a year later. They took notes of recollections from the oldest members amongst them, as well as many neighbours and close friends. They went to cemeteries and churches and copied everything they found.

By 1965-66, notes were mass produced privately with a hand-crank Gestetner machine, and each copy sold for the amount it took to cover the paper and copying costs to make more.

Within this collection, the first two pages explained the processes used to reach the decision of cataloguing the Family, and a “Time Capsule Challenge” addressed to future descendants to fill the empty holes and gaps of the Founding Generations.

But, what the challenge actually did was turn the research notes into a living document that would forever be in transition and change.

As the years passed, the Family prospered throughout the country, across the continent and over the seas, and a chosen few chronicled their immediate branches, but, the original “Time Capsule Challenge” went unanswered.

By 1982, I came into possession of one of these wine-coloured duo-tangs from 1966 that held just under an inch of paper browned with age.

It was a wonderful read for a 19-year-old history buff! There were three narratives, written in 1965, about the Founding Families.

Yes, families — three of them to be exact, each with a patriarch named John ATKINSON, where the families closely farmed in proximity of each other in Richmond Hill (1819), Victoria Square (1830) and Thistletown (1833).


This is a capture shot, not a narrative

Within these descriptive narratives, family members from Richmond Hill were reported as cousins to those in Thistletown, and possibly Victoria Square as well. Comments were that everyone physically resembled each other – but, like before in 1927, the 1965 research team was not able to locate any proof, so the age old question remained unanswered.

I was living in Ontario at the time (1982), so it was too easy to locate many of the sites named in the research papers: Dundurn Castle with its park-like grounds, and the many cemeteries that dotted around Lake Ontario from Niagara Falls to Toronto.

But the biggest obstacle that made me think twice was how to prove everything I held in my hands and build backwards from that — not so easy a task really when I discovered these two novice research teams did not cite their sources!

Having exhausted the paper trails of public libraries, online genealogy websites and consulting with many other researchers (some family and some uncertain), I figured early on (by the mid 1980s) that the only clarity to quell all the rumours, doubts and uncertainties would be DNA testing.

Now, in the present (2014), that lingering question from 1927 still remains.
It is a nagging question that could finally be answered; confirmed by a DNA test that would prove (or disprove) if any of the three Johns were actually related to each other!

It would also be an easy and painless way to pinpoint where the rightful answers have been hiding after 90 years.

I have a handful of male cousins that carry the ATKINSON name that might be convinced to participate, but without representation from all three families, how will we ever know:

“Are We Family?”

Connect. Explore. Refresh. #FGS2015


For me, it is the most difficult thing to do: stay connected. No, not the Internet or social media – wrong “connected.” I mean, stay connected with family.

I come from a long line of large families. Families that are vast distances apart, due to employment opportunities or the Gypsy Wanderlust gene that flares up and tells you, “A change of scenery is needed.”

When families are too large, too far away and (unfortunately) too busy, information — whether it is good or bad — takes a while to reach everyone.

For example: Just the other night I found out about some family members’ deaths, each having lost their long battle with medical problems. It was very upsetting for me, as one had been a fellow genealogist and very helpful to my research on his side of the Family Tree.

“Did you send your condolences?” Nostalgia had asked when I mentioned it in passing conversation at the dinner table that same evening.

MiLady, and her daughter, Paige smirked, and continued eating.

“Of course not,” I replied. “They don’t know who I am.”

“So?” Nostalgia paused, “Introduce yourself, Rabbit.”

“No,” I shuddered, imagining The Old Banshee (appropriately dressed in Victorian Black) at the wake, overwhelming all in attendance. “That’s your style, Gia.”

“It’s not THAT difficult, you know,” she gushed, waving her fork in my direction. “I can teach you how to be social in plenty of time for the next FGS Conference.”

[This is where I stress that it was MY turn to look over the rims of my glasses at her for a change!]

“No,” I repeated.

Gia sighed. “And I’ll need to teach you some manners as well.”

“And no you won’t, thank you.”

Nostalgia’s eyes sparkled. “Ohh, you’re so cute when you try to be a gentleman!”

I rested my silver upon the opposing sides of my plate before I shook my head and buried it in my hands.

It was coming …

Wait for it …

“So, where and when is next year’s Conference, Rabbit?”

“Salt Lake City, Utah, in February,” I groaned, as I rubbed my temples hoping to prevent the pending onslaught of another nagging migraine.

“Not RootsTech, you silly Rabbit!” she chided, “I mean the –”

I had to interrupt: “Both FGS Conference2015 and RootsTech will be in Salt Lake City in February.”

Nostalgia was taken aback. “A fortnight apart, I’ll wager,” she spat.

“No, actually,” I smiled holding out my hand for payment. “They will be running on the same weekend …”

Gia opened her mouth to spit another jibe.

“From. The. Same. Locale!” I quickly stressed.

And then, The Miracle occurred — the room was filled with silence! (Nostalgia shut up!).

“Oh,” she then said after a moment’s reflection, “I do have my work cut out for me. You know, Rabbit, that the Mormons will not put up with your shenanigans at either function, hmm?”

The two young men flanking me snickered, while the mother/daughter duo opposite me smiled wider.

(Who are these people? Really?)

“My shenanigans?” I sputtered, “Which one of us went to Texas and made a scene, hmm?”

“That was a little mis-understanding.”

“A mis-understanding?” I mocked, “Of course, it was! Did the paramedics think so too?”

Gia stiffened.

“Rabbit,” MiLady said softly.

I looked to my soulmate, who had just given me a more-than-obvious hint – a heart-felt request not to continue this topic. I nodded my understanding, as my mind scrambled wildly for anything else to discuss.

“I have heard, Gia,” I began, “that you were there barely three minutes, when you found YOUR Thomas!”

The Old Banshee sat up straight and beamed. “Yes, and such a charming man, he is,” she announced proudly. “He could teach you to be a gentleman, Rabbit!”

“A gentleman?” I queried with a raised eyebrow. “In the state you left him in?”

“Texas?” Chef asked confused.

“Yes, Son,” I replied. “Your favourite aunt made such an impression on everyone there, that the authorities from three states are still looking for her!”

Chef looked at Nostalgia with wide eyes. “You promised,” he pleaded.

“Oh, no, Dearie!” Gia answered him endearingly. “I didn’t. I avoided the bars and the cowboys like I told you I would.”

“Rabbit?” MiLady asked this time.

And two minutes later, you fled like a thief after dropping that poor fellow on the floor like a pile of rubbish!”

“I told you that was a misunderstanding!” Gia screeched, overturning her chair as she stood up, only to storm up the stairs in tears.


“Will Aunty be attending the Utah Conference, Dad?” Chef had asked after finishing his plate.

“Probably not.”

“But she enjoyed herself so much in Texas,” MiLady defended. “Why wouldn’t she go, this time?”

“Would you attend, knowing that all there will accuse you of attempting to kill the Thomas MacEntee?”

My Girl dropped her fork and returned a wide-eyed look.

“She did what?!?” she said in disbelief. “But, she idolizes him! She wouldn’t do that!”

I nodded and took another drink before I answered.

“She was so excited when Thomas smiled, taking her hand to say Hello, that Gia wrapped her arms around his neck and near-strangled him.”

MiLady half-covered her mouth, “Oh, poor Nostalgia! She was no doubt very nervous. I hope Thomas hugged her back.”

“But how could he, Dear’st? Gia held him so close against her … big, uh …” I paused, panicking to find the right word. “– heart, that she was suffocating him!”

“Wow,” my youngest son commented, “What a way to go!”

“CHEF!” MiLady yelled, waking him from his dreamlike state.

“Sorry, Mum! Sorry, Mum! Sorry, Mum!” he said scrambling from the table, clearing his dishes and flying up the stairs.

MiLady’s burning eyes fixed upon me instantly.

“Do something,” she simmered.

I looked dumbfounded, “Do what?” I asked back with my arms outstretched.

“I don’t know,” she growled, “He’s YOUR son!”


“Hey, Dad,” Captain added, as he quickly decided to follow Chef’s exit, “Why don’t you go in Aunty’s place and take Mum with you? You can attend Conference, check in with all your genealogy and genchat girlfriends and get some research time in too at that mountain place!”

“What?” MiLady stressed slowly as her eyes locked in my direction, again.

“They’re colleagues, Dear’st! Colleagues!” I quickly corrected. “And contrary to what SOME people might report, not all of them are girls.”

“Just the majority of them,” she said exasperated.

“Realistically,” I argued, “They will be far more interested in Donny Osmond rather than –”

“Donny Osmond?!?” MiLady repeated wide-eyed with a big, growing smile, “Donny Osmond? Really?”

Before I could nod my acknowledgement, my darling soulmate was gone – giggling into the darkest depths of the basement searching for her Donny Osmond albums!

As I looked down the basement stairs, wondering if (and when) I would ever see my wife again, a deafening thunder roared overhead, shaking the house to its foundations.

Nostalgia barreled down the bedroom stairs, clutching her cellphone.

“MiLady?” she screeched as I silently pointed to the basement.

“MiLady,” Nostalgia called out again as she leapt into the brackish abyss. “Is it true? DONNY OSMOND!”

I resumed my vigil at the top of the staircase, and quickly grew concerned as both of these women were quietly occupying the same room.

As I prepared to call out to my girl, I was defenseless to what happened next.


The ringing in my ears prevented me from hearing the stampede return from the murky depths.

The troublesome twosome was giddy and giggling as they clutched four dusty record jackets to their hearts.

“You should ask him to autograph these ones, MiLady,” Nostalgia urged, holding out Donny Osmond (1988), Donny (1974) and To You With Love, Donny (1971).

“But, but this one,” the-woman-I-thought-was-my-wife-but-I-hardly-know-her whined, waving Portrait of Donny (1972), “This one has Puppy Love on it!”

“Ohhhh,” they both gushed, looking at each other before smiling.

“You’ll just have to take them all, Dearie!” the Old Banshee announced, as I looked on slowly realizing that these women might be attending FGS2015 without me!


Gone to Texas!

It’s too late now, she’s gone.

Gone like an overwhelming whirlwind of graceful etiquette and disorganized chaos.

At the aeroport, I thought it would be interesting to watch (from a safe distance across the concourse), as Nostalgia joined the weaving, serpentine cue that plodded slowing to the security screening area.

MiLady questioned my reasoning. “Why?”

“She might need bail money, again,” I replied quietly as I watched the disguised Olde Banshee chat it up with the many other travellers around her.

When it was finally her turn to approach the conveyer, a young security officer handed Nostalgia a grey bin.

With a big, warming smile, Gia aptly stuffed her purse, sweater and watch into it, without losing the attention of her fellow travellers still enraptured by her colourful commentary.



When it was time for her bin and carry-on bag to proceed through the x-ray machine, my Dear Olde Fossil some how managed to find a final way to embarass me — in a way so innocent that I did not even think of it.

She spun around, looked out over the concourse, spotted us (unfortunately), and then began to jump up and down with one arm waving over her head, as she screeched her typical air-raid-siren wail:


Alarmed passengers looked for the source of the disturbing commotion, and upon finding the bouncing, black apparation that was Gia, quickly gave her a wide berth in the direction that she was waving — MY direction!

Now, as the concourse was clearing a path wide enough to host a World Cup soccer match, two elderly women were hobbling across the way to the luggage carousels, when one of them noticed the commotion and went wide-eyed.

“Ethel!” the taller woman pointed out to her cane-weilding friend. “Look!”

Ethel looked up at her companion and then squinted towards the security area. “Eh?”

“Over there!” the tall one continued. “It’s Cher, and she’s waving! Quick, let’s wave back!”

Ethel looked again and shook her head, before pulling down her friend’s arm. “That’s not, Cher, Esther,” she said, “She’s that freaky, horror movie hottie, Elvira, that your grandsons kept telling us about!”

“Ohhh,” Esther replied, “Maybe I should take her picture instead, then?”

As Esther fumbled with the camera app on her stupid phone, Ethel said, “Ohh, just hurry up and wave, Esther, she’s leaving!”

MiLady bit her lip while I rolled my eyes, both of us in awe of what we were seeing and hearing.

“Will. You. Wave. Back. To. Her. Already!” my favourite girl said through gritted teeth. “She’s causing a scene.”

I looked over my shoulder and quickly found her: over 40yards away … still jumping … still waving … and still wailing.

And over 200 strangers were pointing at her … taking her picture … and waving back!

It was unbelievable, and I quickly found myself with one arm stretched over my head returning the wave.

And it was at that moment when the jumping stopped, and the waving … and yes, finally, the wailing. Then, without missing a beat, Nostalgia spun back on her heels, followed the young officer’s directions and disappeared from our sight towards the boarding gates.

“She isn’t causing a scene, Dear’st,” I said as we started our walk back to the van. “She’s being Nostalgia.”

Presenting: Nostalgia! (Part 2) #FGS2014

Friday evening, I had to work late. I normally work day shifts on Fridays (so not to miss #genchat), but some unforeseen situations created a viable solution that only I could provide … hence a closing shift.

It was after ten o’clock when I walked through the door. Hungry, tired and sopping wet.

As I prepared to announce my arrival, after shucking my soggy boots, I noticed one body too many in my living room.

MiLady and Paige were talking to unknown female that I could only see from the back.

I quickly reasoned that this young woman was another Gothic friend of Paige’s due to her dark, yet alluring, appearance. She was tall like Morticia Adams with straight black hair that reached almost to the floor! And this young woman’s apparel was equally eye-opening. She wore a dark crimson corset tied with bright-red ribbon. At her waist, a skirt in matching fabric stopped just above her knees. Strangely, there was not a hemmed seam to her dress; what should have been pleats clung like ivy trails to her lithe form.

A fine black lace draped over this unique garment, also to her knees, and covered her bare arms.

Calf-high boots completed her stunning appearance and were laced with matching red ribbon tied at the back and –

[Are those eight-inch stiletto heels?!? I asked myself as I tilted my head sideways to better judge the spike length she was balancing upon.].

MiLady saw my strange head movement and nodded curtly. My eyes widened in silent reply, quickly followed by a shake of my head. I had to apologize for all my staring.

“Sorry, Paige,” I called out sincerely, “I didn’t know one of your friends was visiting.”

“That’s okay,” Paige replied with a big smile.

Paige’s mystery friend giggled.

“Good evening, Dearie,” I announced to the young lady as she slowly turned around. “I’m Paige’s step-father, but you can call me …”

“RABBIT!” an all-too-familiar voice screeched with out-stretched arms, charging forward.

Wide-eyed and caught off-guard, her arms collected and drew me into her chest. I couldn’t breathe!



When I finally regained consciousness, the Dark Lady was bouncing in front of me, beaming proudly.

“Do you really like it, Rabbit?” she asked like a giddy school girl, as she twirled in slow circles to give me her total look.

The red corset quickly drew one’s attention to her fashion model measurements. The fine black lace that draped over her shoulders, left her neck bare to showcase a large red oval stone upon a thick, black silky ribbon.

Black eyeshadow and eyeliner accented her already dark eyes. Those same eyes that could pierce sharply through you like knives were capable of so much more — they now looked like they could burn!

Her lipstick was shiny, slick, and red … VERY red!

“Rabbit? Rabbit!” she called, waving a hand up and down before my frozen face.

“He’s speechless, Gia,” MiLady countered as my blank expression was still evident of a massive shock.

“Oh,” the strange apparition, that sounded so much like my Dear Olde Banshee, whimpered. “Is that bad?”

“You’ve just surprised him,” Paige chimed in. “It’s like you are a whole new person, he’s just met, and that’s a big adjustment.”

“Ohh,” she repeated slowly, then she paused. “No, that’s good!”

My mind fog finally cleared about twenty minutes after the black apparition had rushed upstairs.


“What is it, Dear’st?” my favourite girl asked, having been sitting at my side the entire time since my attack.


MiLady grabbed the cordless phone, turned it on and placed it in my hand.

“You need to call your Mom?” she asked.

“No.” I answered, shutting off the phone and locking eyes with her. “Call. Them.”

“Oh,” my girl said after a moment. “Do you have their numbers?”

I shook my head.

“Text them, Dear’st,” MiLady urged. “Warn them THAT way! You might not reach them all, but …”

“It will be another Alamo,” I whimpered as my girl looked at me wide-eyed.

All my fears were realized: Nostalgia was finally ready for her genealogical trip to Texas

And no one will survive her. (Not even “her Thomas.”).

Presenting: Nostalgia! #FGS2014

It was the first weekend in August — a long weekend, where Monday is a statutory holiday (in Canada, not certain about in the U.S. though.).

And what made it so special, you ask?

Well, I didn’t have to work any of it, for the first time in almost a year!

So, plans were to relax and enjoy doing very little due to the extensive humidity. (“Very little” actually meaning to catch up on genealogy research.).

Booting up my computer, I opened my browser and found far too many tabs open. Upon closer scrutiny, each tab provided information about the upcoming national conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies in San Antonio, Texas.

Looking them over, I asked myself: When did I leave these open?

As I slowly closed them, I found the majority of them detailed the sessions and biographies of the many speakers that will be in attendance.  I ended up reading them …

MiLady then came up behind me and glanced at my screen.

“Ohh, she did convince you to go with her!” she chided.

“Huh?” I asked unsure of what I missed.

“Nostalgia,” my soul-mate said.

“Oh,” I groaned, covering my eyes to prepare for the impending migraine that would quickly move into the spacious rental area between my ears. “What has she done now?”

“You’re going with her!”

I looked wide-eyed at my wife. “I am?” I asked, “where?”

“Aren’t you?” she asked back.

“Are you telling me to go with her?” I inquired carefully, “Because I told her that I will not be her valet.”

My favourite girl appeared shocked. “You did?”

“Yes, I did,” I answered truthfully. “Why do you think otherwise?”

 MiLady pointed at my monitor.

“Nostalgia was printing those same pages, last night.”

 Oh, no, I thought, scrambling to my printer stand.

 [No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!]

I opened the tray and peered inside … three pages occupied the compartment!

Dejected, I dropped to the floor and yanked on the storage door under the stand, still hoping.

The door swung open to reveal only three of six reams of paper and no ink cartridges!

“She didn’t use it all, Dear’st,” MiLady assured me as I pouted. “You still have …”

“Hot pink, canary yellow and lime green,” I said, pointing at each package before closing the door.

MiLady was shocked.

“Would you happen to know what was so important that she murdered 40 trees to print it?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, MiLove,” my girl quietly said, nuzzling under my chin as she hugged me. “I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask her?”


Ten minutes later, I was still standing at the top of the stairs, contemplating the most cost-effective way to remove the paper-wasting pest upon the other side of that door. 

[A spray can of RAID is cheap.].

Rapping with the back of my fist, I was unable to say a word as the portal magically flew open after just one rap!

“RABBIT!” the Old Banshee squealed with a smile as wide as a hungry, man-eating Venus fly-trap. “I have so much to tell you!”

[Oh, no.].

Gia’s “welcome-come-in” greeting was really a yank on my (now, dislocated) arm as the door quickly slammed shut. My uncontrolled response to her greeting was me landing upon the bed face-first after a double somersault with a half-twist.

 Her words were garbled until I righted myself.

 “Gia,” I interrupted, finally sitting up properly after two minutes. “Don’t you know that you have been talking to my backside all this time?”

“Oh?” she replied a little disappointed, “And here I thought you were finally being a gentleman!”

“What did you need to tell me, Nostalgia?” I asked through clenched teeth.

“Congratulate me!” she announced.


“Congratulate you? Why?” I queried lingering on the last word.

“I have interviews that I must attend,” she said proudly as she scattered four inches of paper beside me. “And these are some of the sessions I have been asked to assist in the presentations of, and these are a couple of the plated lunch invitations, and …”

I rubbed my eyes as I tried to focus upon her overwhelming excitement, in preparation of my first attempt to try and comprehend her misinformation.

“Gia,” I asked fearful of the gamut of answers that she could give, “who will be interviewing you?”

She stopped and looked over her eyeglass rims.

“I don’t know,” she replied with a sincere and genuine smile, “I guess I’ll find out when I get there, won’t I?”

As my head reeled, I tried to find the right combination of words to compose my next question, while she described how she would be “assisting” some of the presenters.

[“Take over” is more like it really!]

“What is …” I paused, as my mind went blank. “What is your first presentation about?”

 “Oh!” she beamed, “Something you should sit in on, Rabbit … you’d actually learn something!”

 I bit my tongue and forced a tight grin. “And what topic is that, My Old Fossil?”

“Genealogy through mobile technology!” she answered ignoring my pet-name endearment.

My hands cradled my weary head, as I painfully recalled two years earlier: Nostalgia’s discovery of a cellphone app to a major genealogy website and her insistent application of the same upon my raw (and, at that time, not backed up) research of over 40 years!

[To Be Continued]

Meeting Junior’s “Miss”

It was Friday … about three weeks ago.

 Not your typical Friday though — Nostalgia, Milady and I took a trip to the aeroport with Junior to pick up his “Miss.”

 Showing up 45minutes before her arrival, we found a parking stall with little problem.

 Wandering around inside like a quartet of tourists, we eventually located the terminal arrival screens and argued as to exactly which gate Junior’s “Miss” would be deplaning from.

 There are only five gates at the aeroport: A, B, C, D and E, where “E” is reserved for international flights; but there are over 16 carousels.

 “She’ll be here around 17.17 at gate B,” I read aloud. “And her bags will ride carousel 16.”

 MiLady looked around the lower concourse, her eyes focusing on a gate across the way.

(Is this is where I mention discreetly it was the wrong gate she was staring at ;)

 Junior looked out of place in the middle of the large expanse of floor. Carousels to his left and right. Two escalators and a large, wide staircase sat in front of him, while four large terminal screens hovered behind him.  Travellers bustled in all directions around him.

 It was strange to watch my son through it all. He stood like a Pacific coast totempole in British Columbia, towering over everyone. Impressive and immovable.

 Nostalgia was her typical self — chatty …  Annoyingly chatty.

 “There is nowhere to sit down,” she screeched before pointing back from where we came. “Unless we go waaayyy over there!”

 Junior stood silent.

 MiLady and I turned and reviewed the screens. We still had a 20minute wait. Flights from the American mid-west and west coast had arrived early, as did a couple flights from the northern quarter of our Wild Rose province.

 “One flight has been delayed thirty minutes,” Nostalgia announced.

 Junior scrambled and looked at the terminals wide-eyed.

 “Not hers, Sweetie,” MiLady said to him calmly. “She’s still on time.”

 My son relaxed and in three strides was back to his sentry spot in the middle of the floor.

 Three more flights came and went before the clock finally flipped to 17:17

 In one flowing move, we all turned towards the staircase and escalators and waited.






Nostalgia was first to break the silence.

 “I knew it, I knew it!” she wailed, “She’s not coming!”

“Gia!” I growled under my breath, “Shut up!”

“The poor dear,” she continued, pointing at my oldest son.

 I looked at Junior, still standing in place with his arms folded across his chest. Staring down the emptiness.

 “I doubt her plane is at the top of the staircase,” MiLady implied, directing her comments to Nostalgia, who slowly got the hint.

 “Dear’st,” I then called to my soulmate. “Look!”

 As a thick and noisy gaggle of travellers came down to the lower concourse, Junior craned his neck to get a better look up the staircase and escalators, then bolted like a hunter’s dog flushing out a grouse in marsh reeds.

“Where did he go?” MiLady asked, too short to see over the exodus of travellers.

“Over there!” I pointed off to the left.

After a tender moment, Junior came back proudly with his shy girl in tow.

“Oh,” Gia commented quietly behind us. “She’s tall too.”

After introductions, it was evident: Junior’s “Miss” was terrified!

I leaned in and apologized to the poor girl telling her not to worry. Nostalgia normally has this effect on people.

Nostalgia’s Recruiting

It’s been strangely quiet the last few days.

Nostalgia’s been pouting, again. She has been unable to recruit anyone to accompany her to the FGS Conference in San Antonio.

“A true lady has an escort,” she growled, before spying me in the kitchen making some tea.

“Rabbit,” she then said sweetly, “why don’t YOU come with me to Texas?”

Oh, no,” I replied. “I’m not joining your entourage. I could not handle the embarrassment.”

FGS2014“It will be fun. I could introduce you to everyone,” she teased, clinging to my arm. “I know almost all of genealogy’s rock stars and royalty, you know!”

I chuckled quietly as I recalled details of Nostalgia’s cameo appearance in Utah, last February.

“Yes, you do, Gia. Yes, you do.”

“What’s so funny?” she asked, releasing me from her talons and taking a defensive step back.

“Oh, just remembering the Pirate Queen’s story of the Powder Mountain Flamingo!”

Nostalgia groaned and covered her face. “She promised that she wouldn’t tell you!”

“She didn’t,” I quipped, my smile growing devilishly wider. “She told her consort, and he told me.”

“Oh, do I want to know?” she quietly asked.

“Ahem!” I cleared my throat and began:

“On the glistening slopes of Powder Mountain, dressed in hot, neon pink, you were graceful like a flamingo …”

Gia’s eyes widened, a small look of surprise overtook her frightened face.

“Taking a run down the course, you swayed left and right — as if to music, although nothing played …”

The Old Banshee sat up, now beaming at the royal account of her snowboarding prowess.

“In and out, you carefully weaved past others that appeared to be still, until …”

She winced.

“A little guy wiped out a few feet from you, sliding into your flight path …”

“I remember him, the poor Dear,” Nostalgia cried.

“You somersaulted to avoid him,” I continued, “to the cheers of everyone near …”

She beamed proudly. “Yes! Yes, I did!”

“… but in doing so, you lost your balance upon landing …”

“Oh, that,” she sadly admitted, “that was very embarassing.”

“… and careened down the remainder of the course …”

“Thank you, Dearie,” she added, “that’s quite enough.”

“… like a deadly avalanche …” I continued obliviously.

“That’s enough, Rabbit,” she glared.

“… screaming ALL the way!”


[Chuckling, I quickly took my cue and fled.].

Travelling Back in Time

Thirteen years ago, I “travelled back in time for a future” with MiLady. [Yes, I need to explain that.].

When my favourite girl and I got together, it was after six months of conversing over e-mails, and MSN.

We tried telephone calls but $500 bills (amassed after only two weeks) put the kabosh on that! She had also came out for a two week visit, as she had never seen Eastern Canada or the Fort Drum area of New York State.

Yes, she lived in Western Canada not far from the Rocky Mountains, while I was in the opposite direction near the Great Lakes.

As for my travelling back in time comment, that referred to the three time zones that kept hindering our opportunities to talk indepth. If it was noon in Alberta, it was already 2p.m. in Ontario!

But, playing on those words, I called her at work one summer afternoon.

“We are four weary (and very hungry!) men that have travelled back in time to make a future with you,” I had said when she picked up the phone.

And, here we are!

But now, I am wondering if History is destined to repeating itself.

Last night, Junior made a late night call. Late as in, MiLady had already gone to bed and I was in the process of shutting off the telly and lights before following after her. Add to it, Junior doesn’t call that late.

“Can I talk to Mum?” he asked. “I need to tell her something.”

“She went to bed,” I answered. “It is okay to tell me instead?”

“Hmmm,” he paused. “Yeah, okay.”

Junior then proceeded to tell me that MiLady and I would be able to meet his girlfriend next month. He had just purchased her flight ticket. She would arrive early Friday evening (around 5pm) from British Columbia, and would be staying until some-time-I-forgot on Sunday.

“Oh!” I said rather surprised. “That’s very nice.”

“What’s wrong, Dad?” Junior asked with concern.

“What’s her name?”

My son laughed after realizing that the last time he and I had a serious conversation was a few months ago. He then gave me the details of how they met back in high school, but her family moved to the west coast at the end of that school year. Then, they re-connected through Facebook.

“Remember taking me to the bus depot a few weeks ago?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I replied.

“It was her graduation that she invited me to.”

He then went into more details — this time, regarding his visit. He met her family and close friends, and everyone seemed very impressed with him.

“Of course, they would,” I commented proudly. “You were raised like an old-fashioned rabbit!”

Junior laughed again and continued.

“Dad, will you tell Mum to check her e-mail?”

“Okay, but why does she need to do that?”

“I sent her a copy of the flight intinerary.”

“Oh, that!” I realized, “Sure, I’ll tell her and we’ll take you to the aeroport to pick up your girl.”


“Did I say something wrong?” I asked, now pacing across the living room carpet like a sentry.

“She goes back home on Sunday,” Junior said.

“Yes, we can take you back to drop her off. No problem, Son.”

“Dad … I’m going back with her.”


“Dad?” my oldest said lingering on the word.

“Yes, Junior.”

“Are you okay?” [More lingering emphasis.].

“Yes, Junior.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m fine,” I answered slowly, “but you get to tell Mum that surprise.”

“She already knows,” came the shocker. “She just didn’t know when.”

We exchanged a few more questions and answers before hanging up.

I then went upstairs and told MiLady the conversation. She was not surprised, she did know most of it.

Returning downstairs, I sat in the dim lamp light of the living room and pondered.

Does History repeat itself?

  • Junior’s lady travels west to met his family. (MiLady did the same to meet mine.).
  • Junior travels back with her. (MiLady left alone, but I travelled back a few weeks later with three little men.).


It was three in the morning when I next looked at the clock!

Nostalgia was sitting beside me, reading.

“Oh, you are awake!” she chided.

“Not for long,” I glared at her.

“Something’s bothering you,” she commented, “you are not normally this way.”

“Junior’s moving.”

Nostalgia’s face lit up. “Oh, good, he found a place! Will he be moving into the city? How close will he be?”

“Yes, he did. And yes, he will. And just under 14-hours of driving … He’s moving to B.C. On the island.”

Gia’s face froze for 13.18 seconds.

It was so serene, I loved it!

FGS 2015 Conference


It's A Super Session! FGS & RootsTech!

Are You Ready?

#genchat 14NOV: Secret Societies

My Other Blogs (1)



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,496 other followers

%d bloggers like this: