“Here we are at the beginning of another year and again hoping and praying that the new year will see a return to some semblance of normal.” That’s what I said this time last year. It seems that’s happened for many people, but not for me or most of my friends.
Oh, I left the house more in 2022 than in 2021, but I didn’t go too far. And I ate in a restaurant four times. In April, I met a couple of good friends that I hadn’t seen in person since January 2020 for lunch in Glasgow, Kentucky. That was my first time in a restaurant since February 2020. It was a little weird but also felt normal at the same time. In June, I met another friend and her husband in Lexington, Kentucky, for dinner twice when they traveled through Kentucky going east on a trip to visit family and heading back to St. Louis the next week. And I attended a Hopkins Family Reunion in September, which drew sixty people. It was held outside and, as far as I know, no one got sick. The next day, I took an out-of-state 2nd cousin, who was here for that reunion, on a quick tour of the Hopkins family sites in Rockcastle County, and we had lunch in a restaurant.
I did a little on-site research. In May I split a day between the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky History Center, both in Frankfort. And twice I went to the Rockcastle County courthouse, here in Mt. Vernon.
And I went back to my routine bi-weekly nail and pedicure appointments. But I’m still wearing a mask most of the time when I’m out.
It will soon be three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Here’s hoping 2023 becomes the year I cross the state line and stay in a hotel again. OK, back to genealogy.
My plan to add ancestor family story pages to this website has been a much slower process than I envisioned when I started it two years ago. I have no excuse for why I haven’t written faster considering all the time I’ve spent at home in the past three years. But that’s water under the bridge.
I have completed stories for three sets of great-grandparents and four sets of 2nd great-grandparents (including each couple’s children). That project will continue in 2023 (and for the rest of my life).
I didn’t do as much blogging as I planned in 2022. I know I’ve said that about this time every year for the past several years. But I’m going to do better in 2023, and I really mean it this time. I did manage a photo post every week. And a few of those topics that had been on my “to-write” list for several years got done. In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, with the goal of drafting blog posts and family stories to jump start content for 2023. I wrote over 50,000 words. All of that has to be edited to be ready to publish, but it’s a good start.
A weekly photo post will continue through 2023. I probably have enough pictures to run that another year or two. And I’m bringing back “This Week in the Family History,” which has been on a two-year hiatus. This time, it will include more distant ancestors, their siblings, and cousins in each generation, so the list each week will be longer. One of each week’s events will be featured with more than an acknowledgment of a birth, marriage, or death.
Once a few more generations of family stories are done, I want to have those published as books. I did a quick and dirty book for immediate family on my paternal grandmother, her parents, siblings, grandparents, and aunts/uncles in late 2021. I learned a lot in that process and plan to re-do that book to include another generation or two before making it available to extended family. Doing the same for both of my maternal grandparents is also on the to-do list.
And then there is that book about my paternal grandfather that I’ve talking about for years. I found the two biggest outstanding research pieces for that story during 2022. I’m never going to answer all the remaining questions, so I hope to make progress with that book in 2023. My goal is to have a solid second draft ready for an editor by the end of the year.
Happy New Year!
May 2023 find us all healthy, happy, and enjoying life to the fullest.