Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Week In Paradise (or close) -- The Family History Library

I finally made it to Salt Lake City in July. It has been a goal of mine for years -- not to Salt Lake City in particular, but to "The Library". What a great week I spent there --- in the middle of July (hotttt). In spite of the heat it was a trip to remember.

I had a little pre-trip anxiety because I wondered if I could: (1)drive there all by myself (2)work from 8am till 6pm every day (whew shades of working years!)(3)be able to find my way around the Library (4)drive Salt Lake traffic in the rush hour both going and coming (5)find suitable parking close to the Library (6)go all day without a nap (hmmmm perhaps the biggest question).

I am happy to report that none of these preconceived issues were a problem. Thanks to a nice rental car that made it easy to drive there, adrenlin rushes that made working dawn to dusk a piece of cake, wonderful organization of the Library that makes getting around easy, the "Garmin Girl" of my borrowed GPS gadget, finding a wonderful parking lot on my first day that was 1/2 block from the Library, and finally, just not having time to think about naps!!

The first day I stopped at Grand Junction to visit and stay overnight with Ryan, Katie, Jack & Grant. What fun to see all the activity in a home with two little boys -- and the energy! We had a nice "dinner" and visited with Katie's parents. I was politely corrected by Jack that it was "dinner" not "supper". I slept in Jack's bedroom in the extra twin bed and we told stories till I dozed off in the middle of one.

The next day I journeyed on to SLC. We had a lovely dinner on the deck and had delicious Portabella sandiches that were so tasty. Chad & Zoe's back yard is gorgeous, enclosed with trees and shrubs making it a private outdoor room.

During my week in SLC I read 81 microfilms and looked at 67 books. I can't say I "read" the books as usually I was looking at the indexes to see if anything promising was there. Although that is quite time consuming as well. Most of the microfilms can be ordered locally for $5.50 -- but the beauty of going to SLC is that you can go to the cabinet and get the next one immediately if needed rather than waiting to order. The books can not be accessed without going to SLC, so that is a big bonus. Next time I will spend more time in the books.

I stayed late Wednesday night as they had a class I wanted to go to, so it was 8:30 before I left that evening. Needless to say, it is a very busy place.

Another wonder is that it is directly across the street from the famous Tabernacle and the beautiful Salt Lake City Temple, also across diagonally from the Conference Center. It is amazing how after a few days I took for granted looking casually across at these buildings I have long admired.

The extra big bonus was that I spent the evenings with Chad & Zoe (and of course, Sasha). Sasha was always there to greet me when I got home and I think she thought I was going to live there now --- Chad & Zoe were glad to see me make it home as well, although not quite as demonstrative as Sasha. Their hospitality was a real treasure to me, and I don't mean just monetarily. That sure did help me make the trip possible,though.

Actually, I had another reason for making the trip. My great great grandparents, Eugene Casey and Jencene Jensen did a similar trip about 1931/32. I have pictures of them in Ottumwa, Iowa when they came to visit their daughter and family. The pictures show them, my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and her cousins and siblings and aunts and uncles. Eugene had checked himself and his wife out of the South Dakota Old Soldiers Home and went on this trip. It was an "of course we can do it trip". They went to Nebraska and Iowa and visited all of their children that were still alive. I always admired that, and I wanted to see if I could do the same thing. They were a bit older than I am, but close enough. What tough people I have for ancestors.

In summary, this trip was one in a lifetime and I will treasure it forever in my memory.

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