Developing pneumonia and subsequently a paralyzing case of Guillain Barre Syndrome in early October resulted in my having a ‘Rumplestiltskin’-like experience of ‘waking’ up after two months in the hospital and not knowing what I had missed in my life as an devoted genealogist. The hospital in which I was confined had no Wi-Fi or Internet connectivity for me to use so in addition to wanting to be home with my wife, I wanted to get my hands on my computer to see what I had been missing. It turns out that a lot was going on!
I received about 1,400 emails during the months of October and November, some from distant and new-to-me cousins. The emails also included my daily fixes of Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings blog and Dick Eastman’s “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.” I missed several new postings of my favourite blogs like Sheri Fenley’s “The Educated Genealogist” and Amy Coffin’s “The We Tree Genealogy Blog.” I missed two updates to my RootsMagic genealogy database software (which has now been installed successfully).
I missed several new databases that were either introduced or updated by Ancestry, including the Canadian Expeditionary Force World War One Burial Registers that contained the following record for my great granduncle James Gammie, “Died of Wounds. Took part with his Company in an attack on the morning of September 28, 1918, and was wounded in the back by shrapnel. He received attention and was evacuated to No. 22 Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed later in the day.” I have always felt a closeness to ‘Jimmy’ Gammie as his death resulted in my family immigrating from Scotland to Canada.
Most importantly to me, I missed during my two month absence a whole lot of new episodes from my favourite podcasts! I have shared previously my strong views on the tremendous value of podcasts. During October and November, I missed four episodes of the Genealogy Gems podcast, produced and hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke, including her special 100th episode. Being stuck in hospital I was unable to offer my congratulations to Lisa so – better late than never – Way to go Lisa, for a great job, incredibly well done and always creative, interesting and inspiring! When I finally had a chance to listen to episode 100, which was filled with highlights from past episodes, I was amazed at the number of times I said, “Oh yeah, I remember that gem.” I also missed three of Lisa’s premium Genealogy Gems podcasts and before I left hospital, my annual premium membership expired. Not to worry Lisa, I’m absolutely renewing! And because Lisa isn’t busy enough with Genealogy Gems, I missed three new episodes of the Family Tree Magazine podcast that Lisa also hosts.
Finally in the podcast realm, I missed three new episodes of the Genealogy Guys podcast, always fun and educational, George and Drew should not be missed. If you have an interest in history and perhaps a United Kingdom based ancestry, you might be interested as I am in the UK National Archives podcasts. I missed nine new episodes of their podcast in just two months.
Last but not least on my immediate family ‘front,’ I missed the death of ‘Oliver’, one of our two cats. Oliver (pictured above) was found crying in a culvert by our youngest son, Joe, on a cold, rainy day. He was brought into our home for safekeeping just until a good family could be found for him. He was named Oliver as he was the lost boy. Although he wasn’t very old, it appears that he suffered a heart attack on the night of December 4th and was found the next morning by my wife, Ellen. I wish I had been here to help Ellen through the loss of a pet that she was very close to.