Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh, What a Week!!

Last Monday evening I had an insect sting or bite that I didn't even notice until my arm began to swell.  On Tuesday, I began taking benadryl for the swelling and I was heartened that it was contained -- it didn't spread.  But it didn't go away either and I knew I had to see a doctor.  We were planning to drive back to New York on Wednesday morning, so I decided not to see a local doctor here in Pennsylvania, but to wait until I was home --  a decision I shouldn't have made, but in fact there were no bad consequences.

On our way home Wednesday, after we had been gone an hour, we realized we had forgotten to bring a very important flash drive, so we turned around, went back to the cottage, got the flash drive, and proceeded to drive home, arriving two hours later than we had expected.  And arriving into a very hot New York City, with record breaking 100 degree temperatures.

I got to the doctor on Thursday and he prescribed a powerful antibiotic and  told me to come back in a week for blood tests.  Also, if there was no improvement, he wanted me to come back Monday (that is, yesterday.)  I noticed a small improvement on Friday, and by Sunday it was clear that the antibiotic was dramatically reducing the effects of the infection.

One of the things on our schedule in New York last week was to have work done on our car -- it needed a new power steering pump and and oil pan gasket.  So we took the car to our mechanic Thursday morning.  We also had an important joint meeting of the finance, property, and stewardship committees at St. Mary's.  Liz is working on putting together a grant proposal for some of the money we need for a new boiler at St. Mary's.

But our major preoccupation while we were in New York was working towards a resolution of a family situation involving some property in Vermont.  That took up almost all of Liz's time and good deal of my time on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Since my arm didn't need attention, on Monday morning we began loading the car for our return to Heart Lake.  Thin coming weekend sees a trip to Vermont for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a return to New York on Sunday so I can attend a meeting at Morningside Gardens on Monday, and then a return to Heart Lake next Tuesday, a week from today.  So our packing took that upcoming schedule into consideration.

We got off shortly before ten in the morning, not good, but not too bad considering the things that had been occupying us on Sunday (I haven't yet mentioned the Vestry meeting and a farewell party for our interns, both on Sunday afternoon.)

After about 35 miles, at the top of the Palisades Parkway, I discovered that there was too much play in the brake.  I was cautious with the brake as I went over Long Mountain on Route 6, and drove more slowly than usual on Route 17 to our favorite stop at Stewarts in Goshen.  I began to notice a little stiffness in the steering, and thought, oh gee, I'll have to take it back to the garage to have that looked at.  But as I pulled into Stewarts, I found that the power steering had failed completely.   Manually steering a modern Buick is a lot different from manually steering a car was in the 1950's.  A kind woman in the Stewarts directed us to a good garage in Goshen who sent us on to the local GM dealer.  It turns out that we had sprung a leak in the brake line to one of the rear wheels, so we lost brake fluid.  About the same time, the new (rebuilt) power steering pump failed.  It was a message -- it's time to stop putting money into this car.

So we looked at cars in our price range that the dealer had, and narrowed the choices down to two, one five and one six years old -- a Buick LaCrosse and a Chevy Malibu.  The Chevy is very like an updated version of the Vega we were driving when we first began going back and forth to Heart Lake -- it's very practical for carrying stuff, but not as comfortable as the Buick.  The Buick has a very roomy trunk like our present Buick, and will suit our needs very well.  So I think we'll go with the Buick.  Both cars had to be prepped, so we got  a loaner Malibu, and after the 2 hour drive to Heart Lake from Goshen, I am strongly leaning to the Buick.

Soon we face a four hour drive to pick up the car and come bake to the lake.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Publishing my Family History and Genealogy

Finally my genealogy is back online at my new website.  I'm starting small -- so far I have information up only on people descended from my 2nd great grandfather, Manzer Judson Goodrich.  Manzer's oldest son, my great grandfather Earl Ashton Goodrich, was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, not far from Heart Lake where I am writing this.  I am beginning by publishing the information I have on his family, because several of my first and second cousins have expressed interest in the family stories.  All four of Earl's grandparents, six of his eight great grandparents, and three of his sixteen second great grandparents lived in Susquehanna County.  Two of his great grandparents lived in adjacent Wayne County, Pennsylvania and two other great grandparents lived two counties away in Chenango County, New York.  I'll be adding information on all of those families.  After that I'll be moving on to my father's family, my maternal grandfather's family, and my great grandmother Grace (Dayton) Goodrich's family.   There are also pictures, letters and other exhibits to be added.  I can't predict the order in which I'll be adding things.

For over fifteen years I have been using what I think is the best genealogy computer program on the market, The Master Genealogist, commonly called TMG, from Wholly Genes -- the link is actually to the Wholly Genes website.  Some people think that TMG is hard to use, but I have always found it pretty straightforward.

The web presentation of my genealogy data is generated by John Cardinal's program Second Site, which is designed for use with TMG data.  I am also using Second Site to link the narrative section of my family history to the more specifically genealogical pages.

I have no connection with either Wholly Genes or Second Site except as a satisfied user, although I contributed two chapters to the book Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist.

The website is in its infancy and has a lot of growing to do.  Right now all I have is the beginning of the narrative and some rudimentary information on Manzer Judson Goodrich, his three wives, and his descendants.  Part of it is still pretty kludgy.  There will be pictures soon and information on more people.  Navigation will improve, too.

Monday, July 04, 2011


We're back at Heart Lake for the summer.  This year I swear I'm going to make real progress on my family history project as well as getting the books in the attic organized.

I thought I might have separation anxiety after my term on the board at Morningside ended about two months ago, but in fact I don't.  I'm just relieved, especially given what the current board has to face.  If I feel moved to do so, I may write a little about that later.

I have agreed to remain as co-chair of the Tenant Selection Committee (our name for the admissions committee) and have also agreed to join the new Apartment Sales Committee.  Those committees are meeting on Monday and Tuesday evenings next week and I'm going back to New York for both meetings -- which means two nights away from here.  Not so long ago, it cost about $35 to make the trip -- now it's over $50.  

I'm also still Treasurer of St. Mary's, a position I want to give up, and that will take some of my attention (and gas money) this summer aas well.  I'm grateful that others, especially Warden Dorothy, are carrying a great deal of the responsibility for financial planning and keeping us on track.

 For the most part, I'm free -- freer than I've been any time since February 2003.