Friday, March 22, 2013

at RootsTech 2013 - I am one of 6700+

RootsTech 2013 is BIG! I am overwhelmed with this conference. At the general session which opens the conference, there was standing room only in a hall that holds several thousand people. There was an announcement that 6700 people had preregistered, about 2000 children signed up for a Saturday session, and no telling how many people will walk in for a day trip. That's BIG! 

Monday, March 18, Bob and I took an AMTRAK train out from Naperville, Illinois. We reserved a sleeper. It is a little more expensive, but we had our own bathroom, beds, and the meals were all included. The trip starts out about 2:30 p.m., a couple hours later we were going across the Mississippi River where we had the pleasure of many bald eagles perched on the trees at river's edge. By the time it was dark, we were cruising through Iowa and Nebraska. We went to bed knowing the best was yet to come. Day break our train was in Denver getting  an engine that would take the grades up into the mountains.

Having breakfast as we climbed the east side entering the "tunnel district" which was a 30-mile stretch of about 27 tunnels of various lengths. The longest was across the Continental Divide -- 6 miles. There was a lot of snow on the mountains and in a distance you can see the ski trails or tubbing. The weather was beautiful, partly cloudy, but sunny. I would recommend this trip through the Rockies any day.

Our train winded its way through valleys and canyons and along the Colorado River for many miles from a narrow river to fairly wide. Our last canyon in Colorado was the Ruby Canyon then we were in Utah. Dinner time on the high desert. Our train came into Salt Lake City station about 45 minutes early, about 34 hours since we left. 

I decided to come in a day before RootsTech 2013 so I could spend a full day at the Family History Library. I had a few things to check on and came away with a few discoveries, too. My husband who isn't interested in genealogy or family history, went to Trolley Square to visit Sam Weller's book store. He spent some time there looking for old books on Ernest Hemingway. Then until we were suppose to meet for dinner, he walked around SLC getting to know downtown.

Today, Thursday was the first day of the conference. As I said before there were a lot of people there. The classes were packed. The vendor hall was packed. The ladies rooms were packed. But nobody cared because we were all there to learn more about our hobby and technology. It was wonderful, exhausting, and rewarding.

After the conference closed down, there were a couple things for us to do. A reception at the Leonardo museum, a trip to the Family History Library, a concert at the Tabernacle, or just collapse in your room. We went to the concert.

Now I'm collapsing as I type this... I'm hitting the pillows. Tomorrow is another full day.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Birthday Memory

Recently, I came across a birthday letter I sent to my two brothers five years ago. I guess I was getting nostalgic as usual around this time because so much has changed over the years. Or maybe it was because I wasn't interested in the "Hallmark" birthday card greeting that doesn't seem really that personal all too often. Or was it both?
I celebrate my birthday same time as do my two half-brothers, Dwight and Harvey. I was born on Harvey's special day 18 years later, and two days before Dwight's, he's 21 years older than I am. We can't forget each other's birthday. Each year as long as I can remember, the cards cross paths in the mail from each of our states – to Massachusetts, or to Illinois, or to Montana – during the beginning of March, reaching out to say "Happy Birthday" on the 8th and the 10th.
The other day, I was thinking about the birthday dinners we shared when I was very young. Those days were very exciting for me. I knew we would have spaghetti. Mom would have the sauce on the stove early. I got to taste it from the big wooden spoon. She would open the “Red Cross” brand LONG spaghetti noodles in that blue-paper package. I would help put them into the boiling water... very carefully not to splash the hot water on me.  
We would get out the white table cloth for the big dining room table, set the table and wait for my brothers to come over. That wait was the longest. I would go to the bay window to look... it seemed you two would NEVER get here! It would mean - when you got here, we could EAT! Most of all though, we could have the slurp-up-the-spaghetti noodle races.  And that was the most fun of all. Everyone would be laughing. Mom tried her hardest not to laugh, but couldn’t help herself. She must have been thinking about the job she would probably have getting the sauce out of my blouse and the tablecloth when our shenanigans were over. Grandma Porteous never understood. 
So, in honor of those days long past, I will eat spaghetti on the 8th and I will be thinking of my brothers.
I did have spaghetti on my birthday that year, 2008. And I plan to have spaghetti on this birthday, too. I don't know how many spaghetti birthday dinners I have had over the years, less than 68 that's for sure. 

The 8th falls on a Friday this year, I'll be spending it out with friends to a great Italian restaurant. My two half-brothers won't be with me (they live too far away from Illinois), but my memories will be there. I'll be thinking of those times as I'll slurp up a spaghetti noodle just for fun.

Happy birthday 89, 86 and 68!