Thanks to Gini of the Ginisology blog for awarding “Tricks of the Tree” with the “Happy 101 Award.”
This award requires that I list 10 things that make me happy. So here goes… (not in order)
1. My daughter, Mary Kathryn Hait, who turned four at the end of November, makes me more happy than anything else in the entire world.
2. Obviously (if you know me at all), genealogy makes me happy – but specifically the feeling that you get when the records DO exist, you find them, and you make a breakthrough. I also love the look, feel, and smell of old records, really digging into those pages from a hundred or two hundred years ago. Microfilm just doesn’t have the same attraction (though my right arm – my “cranking” arm – certainly gets its fair share of exercise. )
3. Writing is a real joy to me. I started writing stories when I was a child, though fiction just isn’t really my bag anymore. I was first published in a “real” magazine when I was twenty years old, and, with a few distractions, have been writing ever since. The number of books sitting unfinished in my files could fill a library (as any writer could tell you), but I am particularly proud of my more recent genealogical writing (see #2 above).
4. Helping others, especially with their genealogy. In addition to my professional research, I will often try to help others with their research problems and brickwalls, by commenting on their blogs, or through email with people I have met on Twitter. I also volunteer as a site administrator for Genealogy Trails. This involves transcribing records for free access on their county websites.
5. Good music – my favorites are hip-hop, R&B, blues, and (just to confuse everyone) the Beatles and some other “oldies,” and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and all the old crooners.
6. Good movies – it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I am a HUGE fan of the Star Wars movies. The Godfather trilogy is also a favorite. I’ll watch a good comedy any time, day or night.
7. Reading. I have read several thousand books over my lifetime – on all topics – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, history, science, sci-fi, you name it. Except romance and fantasy (the “elves and dragons” variety) – those I just can’t get into.
8. Talking about myself. (Doesn’t everyone just love me?) My wife says I’m the President of my own fan club.
9. Peace. Not in the sense of anti-war… in the sense of “peace of mind.” I used to meditate, though I just don’t ever seem to have time to do so now. Instead, I try to practice the kind of “active zen” expressed in Zen in the Art of Archery. Doesn’t always work, though, because I still have to deal with people.
10. Spending time with my favorite. Most of my family has moved out of the area, but whenever possible we try to get together.
Just missed the list…
11. Watching the Washington Redskins. I love football, and am a third-generation die-hard ‘Skins fan. But there was not much about this past season to make me happy.
Now I have to name 10 genealogy blogs that I would like to pass this award on to (not in any order):
1. “Reclaiming Kin” by Robyn Smith
2. “footnote Maven” by the Maven herself (Especially love the “citation geek” articles)
3. “ThinkGenealogy” by Mark Tucker
4. “Kick-Ass Genealogy” by Katrina McQuarrie
5. ”GeneaBlogie” by Craig Manson
6. “Family Matters” by Denise (moultrie creek)
7. “GenealogyandFamilyHistory.com” by Carolyn L. Barkely
8. “Genealogy’s Star” by James Tanner
9. “The ProGenealogists Genealogy Blog” by the ProGenealogists team
10. “Genwriting” by Phyllis Matthews Ziller