As the family plans its summer schedule, the term “day trip” looms large, as I’m sure it does for many families in these cost-conscious times. I’m toying with the idea of the genealogy day trip, which would thrill me to no end. It might not thrill the kiddies as much, though.
Still, on the positive side, my kids are a little older now and might actually enjoy trooping through a graveyard or three. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a chance to make fun of Mom and her graveyard obsession. And a chance to take goofy pictures of Mom weeding graves. Sweet!
So I scribbled out this list of possibilities within a day’s drive of northern New Jersey:
• To Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island to photograph family markers there — my parents, and several aunts and uncles.
• To various cousins’ houses to look at their photograph albums. (Hmm. Might do this on a day the kids are in day camp.)
• To NARA-NYC to look at a bunch of indexes. (Another one for a day-camp day. In a perfect world, my kids would love hanging around microfilm viewers for five hours … but …)
• To Albany County to take a better picture of my great-great-grandparents’ tombstone. I really need to rectify this awful photo, which has been bugging me for four years. I would post it, but I’m just too mortified. If I succeed in getting a better one, I promise to post Do and Don’t pictures.
Will I do all of these things? The biggest enemy to productivity is the way summer fries a perfectly good brain. Summertime always seems to stretch into infinity on the day school ends. With so many more hours of daylight, what’s the rush?
Then, all too soon, it’s Labor Day already, and the genealogy to-do list has maybe one item crossed off.
I think I’ll ask the kids tonight how they feel about cemeteries.