Looking Back!

looking_back

Thoreau had it right! You should never look back unless you plan to move forward. 2013 ends at midnight. When I wake up in the morning, 2014 will appear on my calendar pages. A new year is dawning. So I find myself looking back over the old year and planning for the new one.

As a general rule, I’m not a resolution maker because I am not a resolution keeper. Aside from the annual resolution regarding daily exercise, I don’t sit down and make out a list of promises. My exercise resolution usually begins with great vigor and then fades as the year advances. The weather has a lot to do with that. I don’t go for walks when there is ice, and I don’t like to do a lot of exercise when the temperature nears 100 in the summer. Other than that, I try to exercise moderately.

Instead of resolutions, my focus is on things I would like to see completed. This is where my manuscript moves to the top of the list. I’ve been working on for it for two years, but it has really taken shape in 2013. And I am beginning to see a completion date for that manuscript–hopefully, in the spring. I started working on it in May 2012. Then Howard had some medical upsets, placing the manuscript on hold. I think I restarted it two or three times before finally moving forward with it. And I really didn’t take charge of it until July 2013. The research really slowed down the writing. There were a lot of problems that needed to be solved before I could move forward. Fortunately, all of that is unraveled, and I am now advancing. And I’ve made some exciting discoveries–one of them relating to an area where we formerly lived.

Howard and I lived in Platte County, Missouri from 1965 until 1967. We were back in that same area for another two-year stint from 1975 until 1977. We are familiar with the area around Parkville and Weston, and we are also familiar with Vernon and Bates Counties, Missouri. Some of my mother’s family lived in Bates. Howard and I traveled through both Bates and Vernon Counties on our trips over the years. I had no idea I had distant cousins on my father’s side of the family who lived throughout that area, so that discovery was quite exciting. There is a cemetery in Platte County where a number of these cousins are buried. I think we drove past it once when we were on a Sunday jaunt in the mid-1960s. So, I’m really excited about these new discoveries. What things we discover in genealogy!

My target date for completion? No specific date. I have five chapters left to write for Section 2 and 10 chapters on the horizon for Section 3. I am looking at early May as a possibility–nothing definite yet. Besides all the writing, I have all the editing to do. And I will need to decide on the pictures. This is definitely the most difficult book I have ever written.

All of my research this past year has related to this book. A number of branches on my tree are hanging loose while awaiting my attention. That won’t happen for a while. There are some lines on that tree I have not looked at in years. I will tend to them later when my focus shifts in a new direction. I also have another manuscript I’ve been playing around with for a long time. Once the current manuscript is completed, I will shift my focus to that. Research and writing certainly makes life interesting, and it will make for an interesting 2014, no matter the direction!

We didn’t take any trips in 2013. I don’t know whether we will take any trips in 2014. That all depends on a number of factors. We once traveled extensively. It seems that the older we become, the less enthused we become about travel. So I won’t make any resolutions about traveling anywhere in the New Year. Who knows? We may surprise ourselves!

Late in 2013, we returned to the church where we started when we first moved into this area in 1980. Thomas Wolf once said, “You can’t go home again.” That’s not true in this case. We returned to the church and will rejoin it sometime in the New Year. I guess we needed to do a lot of exploring over the years. The exploration period is finished, and it is time to settle in.

2013 has been a rough year for some. 2012 was more difficult for us. I hope that 2014 will be a shining light not only for us, but for everyone else as well!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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