You may remember a blog entry from last summer regarding the partial set of stainless flatware that my grandmother Wilcoxen gave me when I was in high school. Although the pattern had long been discontinued, I had decided to try and pick up pieces through EBAY and antique stores to complete the set and use it for my everyday dining. Since then I had acquired enough pieces to complete 10 place settings and I was still monitoring EBAY in hopes of finding matching service pieces and the elusive iced teaspoons.
I had been a little less conscientious of late in running that periodic search, but I remembered to check last week and was amazed to find that someone was offering a complete set of Grypsholm flatware. I jumped into the bidding immediately and kept a close eye on it for several days. When the auction began to draw to a close, I discovered that there was another interested party and in the final hour the bidding war got really hot. Both of us wanted that set of flatware in the worst way. It was in the last minute that I emerged victorious.
Today my package arrived, containing 12 full place settings, PLUS all the service pieces, PLUS 12 of the coveted iced teaspoons. I think I have sufficient now. Grandma would be pleased. I know I am.
I found myself pleased about something else on Saturday. I attended the monthly meeting of the Smithville genealogy society and the topic for the day was Genealogy 101. The speaker was a friend of mine from DAR, which was one of the reasons I was attending, plus you always learn something, even in the basic beginner meetings.
Ella began by asking the 15-20 attendees how long they had been at this thing called genealogy. A good number of them were very new to the hobby. A couple of them had been founding members of the society, which was formed 17 years ago. She herself got started in the early 1970s. She turned to me and asked how long I had been researching and was surprised to hear that I began my ancestor hunt in 1968. I had her beat by several years even though I am about 20 years her junior.
As she made her presentation, I enjoyed the reactions of the new genealogists. They had no idea of the journey in store for them. Census records, deed records, probate records, online databases, military records, Genweb, NARA, and on and on. They were taking notes feverishly. I wasn't. I've been immersed in all these records for 4 decades. With every topic and idea she presented to them, I was fully aware of what they might find when they got there.
I've always considered myself a competent genealogist. There was something about watching that group listening to a woman I consider to be a very good researcher and realizing how thoroughly I knew what she was talking about. It was like a little light bulb going off in my head.
I'm a good researcher. I know what I'm doing. And I'm having fun.