On the 27th I went, by myself (gasp) to the 9th Annual Genealogy Fall Fair by the Fairfax Genealogical Society. The biggest obstacle was overcome successfully... I did not get lost, turned around, or take the wrong exit off of I-495. For me that was the biggest deal of the morning; particularly since I left my house at 6:30 am, while it was still dark. I felt like my husband and I had a role reversal yesterday morning. I was the one with the travel mug of caffeinated liquid and the to-go breakfast, he was the one kissing me good bye in the bath robe.
The doors opened at 8am and I was one of the first into the room. Perused the book collection (oh....books...drool) and found a seat close up to the front. The presentation didn't start until 9am so I had plenty of time to kill. So, I spent half an hour vendor perusing then sat and looked through all the pamphlets I picked up. Lots of interesting material, things I didn’t know, and places I now want to see.
One thing I have heard, and read, over and over, is that you should sit down and talk to other people when you attend these events. Well for this shy wall flower, that is very hard. I know right: me shy?! Well writing words in the privacy of your own home is much easier than actually having to hold a conversation with someone. For the first hour I spoke with no one. I just people watched. Which, is a favorite past time of mine anyway. It would have been easier if one of my friends had been able to come with me. Visiting a museum alone is so much better than a conference. However, by the end of the day I had met and carried on great conversations with the people sitting at the table with me. We shared ideas, thoughts, tips, and a very yummy lunch.
At the first break I went over to the Fairfax Genealogy Society table and asked some questions. Guess what…I ran into Dear Myrtle!!!! Love her blog, and it was very cool to meet her in person. What a wonderful lady. I did decide to become a member too. They have a lot to offer, and even though I won’t be able to make a lot of their meetings, the trips and member benefits seem worth the $22 dues.
The three lectures presented by Claire Bettag, CG, FUGA were fantastic. I learned so much that I didn’t know about land records, the serial set, and the manuscript collection at the Library of Congress. I need to schedule time in the near future to make a trip up there. To live so close to some of the best research facilities in the U.S. and not get there is criminal. There will be posts in the future, I am sure, about the discoveries involving these newly found resources.
Happily my helium hand did not get me in trouble and on my first day as a member I did not volunteer to do anything. I am a service oriented person, and it nearly killed me. However, as I get older, I have found that I get better and better at managing what is on my plate. That being said, I am sure the will power to stay as an observer won’t last for too long. I am just not that strong.
Now… how do I convince my husband that I NEED to go to the NGS conference? Anyone have a good argument that I can throw at him on why it is a moral imperative that I attend?