Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Already!

Its February first and where I live (Chicago) we are about to get hit with what meteorologists keep proclaiming will be the 'biggest' snowstorm since 1967. Unfortunately, I wasn't here for that one but vaguely recall the snowstorm we had in 1979 because in order to get to school (and yes we DID have school) we had to walk in the street because there was so much snow on the sidewalks. My brother (who is 13 years older than me) was only 8 in 1967 and according to my dad went outside jumped off the brick banister from our front porch and promptly disappeared into the snow.

So if you are living in the path of this latest snowstorm that is going to start sometime this afternoon and last till tomorrow afternoon or evening, here's a suggestion from a genealogist.

Stock up on food, water and candles. Make sure your laptop or iPad batteries are charged and in case you get a power outage. Warm up your printer and have your genealogy websites at the ready. A winter storm is probably the best time to do some research or even get started on your family history if you haven't already. Let's face it, you have to keep busy doing something if we're getting 1 to 2 feet of snow right? Tell your kids (or grandkids) stories about when you (or your parents) were younger and what they did when there was a snowstorm. Heck tell them stories about the blizzard of 1967, 1979 or earlier ones (like 1930 for Chicago). Tell them what it was like to see cars, and buses abandoned in the streets because of all the snow. Or what it was like to try and get to work downtown, like my dad tried but didn't quite make it.

Then once the snow has stopped falling and the winds have died down enough you can go outside, dig out as a family, since the kids probably won't be in school till Friday. Build a snowman (or snow family) or a fort in the backyard. Have a snowball fight, I think the most important thing is to do something fun as a family with your family. You could also help out your neighbors by shovel, snowblowing or plowing their sidewalks or driveways, especially the older neighbors that can't get out and do it themselves or if they live alone.

Genealogy isn't always about just doing research but exploring family history and getting to know the family you have around you right now. Make genealogy fun and make the time pass faster especially during a blizzard.

Stay safe, stay warm and see you on the other side of the blizzard of 2011.

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