The Best QUARANTINE Activity Ever!
By Jeanette Vale
She may be leaning away from him, but you can tell she dolled up to lure him in. He’s a dandy rogue, polished and gliding in for a smoochie-smooch …
And that is as juicy as this article is going to get–What kind a of company do you think we are? We sell tactical knives and machetes! We grunt and wipe bear scat across our face while we box up your orders.
Okay, I used the promise of a love story to get you in here, and it worked because we all love good chemistry. But do you know what the best quarantine activity is, ever? It is reading stories and looking at pictures of the people who came before you--your ancestral family!
Did you know that you (probably) have a cousin out there who has done research on your family history? And did you know that there are family history sites online that your ‘probably’ cousin uploaded these pictures and stories to?
You are a few clicks away from seeing all of it! If you are in quarantine, you’ve got nowhere else to go. It is quite addicting to hang out with your ancient family. You can read stories you have never heard before. You might laugh and cry, you might call your sister and tell her what you found.
Somewhere today a man is asking himself “why can’t I quit smoking and why do I love chicken pets?”. If he found out that this child was his fourth great grandfather, he would cry with relief, “now my life makes sense!”.
If you have lost your sense of taste and smell because of a variant, you can still visit your great uncle (in your family archives) who came to America with seven bucks in his pocket and who’s pizzeria, today, gets five star ratings on yelp. If you are struggling to get a business off the ground, you can draw strength from this relative.
I have an account to one of these family history sites. I asked my mom questions. She answered as I recorded straight onto the site. I did it in two-minute increments, but it was FUN to find out stuff I never would’ve known if I did not ask her. She is nearing eighty years old. What a gem those recordings are to me.
My father died over twenty years ago. We have a recording of him strumming a ukulele and singing. It is SO lovely to hear his rich beautiful voice. We recorded him telling his favorite stories and laughing. I love hearing his laugh.
There is a place where I can type all the big events in my life on a timeline. It's interesting to see things linear.
When you die, an immense record goes into the casket and ground with you. That is very sad. You have stories. You have recipes. You have juicy gossip about why uncle Fester joined the circus. Your children, nieces and nephews want those, maybe not now, but in the future they will.
I am fifty years old. I forget a lot! When I look at a journal entry that I typed into this family history site, I read what I captured, and I am amazed at the details because those very details had evaporated from my noodle soon after the event.
Write your stories. What was your first fishing trip with your dad like? How did it make you feel? Did you ever get to cook in the kitchen with grandma? What did you make? How did it taste?
If you don’t like typing, at least speak into the recorder, and capture it. Keep it short so the computer doesn’t shoot sparks or have trouble saving. All of it stays private–until you die, then it goes public. So be aware of that.
The mental health benefits of doing this are amazing. It is new fresh material that will put sunshine into your day. It connects you to the people who made you! It’s a free vacation to somewhere else. Who knows, you might just meet up for dinner with a cousin and talk till three in the morning.
The stories you remember about your grandparents are so valuable. Do a session of recording all your memories about them. What were they like? Do you remember stories they told you of their grandparents?
What If you lost your photo albums in a house fire?
Here’s a hack: I open an old photo album and take snapshots with my cellphone camera and immediately upload those images to the family history site I use. Scanning them onto a USB is better, but I don't have a scanner and until I find one (yeah, right), these photos are being backed up. The photo’s look good. Having them is better than not having them. I also type a description under the photo with as much as I can recall of that moment.
Record your children, their little voices are precious. Their wisdom is spot on. Sit them down and ask questions. This pays dividends. Ask them what they would tell their sixteen-year-old selves if…… (play that wisdom back in their teens when they are about to make a questionable choice).
We assume Social Media sites will always have our memories. But guess what? I lost my Justin Bieber video footage! My five-year-old and I were singing along and looking fly. “Baby, Baby, Baby..Oh! Thought you’d always be mine”. It was a money recording! I can’t find it anywhere--the lyrics of that song, so fitting. My five-year-old is now nineteen and doesn’t want to be seen in public with me. Man, I used to be cool. My timeline can prove it, but you can’t see it till I’m dead.
You know what is not amazing? How we don’t print photos anymore. Instead, we have a closet full of old computers that we lost the cords and passwords to. Of course, there is the cloud now days. But still.
This new generation does not know the joy of getting a thick packet of photo’s after waiting a whole week! In 1995 my family went to Hawaii. My sister and I took an underwater camera with us while swimming. We did the craziest vogue shots. Gla-mormaids.
When we got home and stood in Walmart looking at those photos, you could hear our screaming cackles all the way to the automotive section. My stomach hurt from laughing that hard. NOT glamorous material. What will our posterity think of us?
I’ve been in quarantine twice now. Quarantine was long and depressing! Visiting my ancestral family was mentally refreshing to me. I loved it.
Capture your stories and make your posterity rich. You will have the best quarantine time EVER! Step on, Prep on and enjoy your people.
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