writing prompts

Day 16 – 2018 AWAC

The 2018 August Write Away Challenge

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Thu, Aug. 16 – Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you had a plan fall spectacularly to pieces?


Oi. Truth.

I had been corresponding by postal mail with my Uncle Bub for several months. I’d been working on our family history for some time and Bub was helping me fill in some blanks. He was an excellent storyteller and an unexpected stockpile of information treasure. He convinced me to visit the Saginaw Valley and do some of my own research, as well as visit himself and my Uncle John for some unprecedented storytelling.

And so at that young moment of my genealogy disease, I planned my very first ever Genealogy Get-Away. My excitement was both unspeakable and contagious, because before I knew it, my mother and brother were scheduled to go along! I knew that our April weekend would fly by faster than a… than a… than… uh… (oh my gosh; I ran out of coffee yesterday, and have no emergency resource; I’m really dragging, if you couldn’t tell, without my magic beans this morning)… well, it would be fast, for sure.

So I planned everything. I mean everything. I scheduled a tour of the church where our immigrant ancestor worshiped; I printed cemetery maps and plotted out our course through each section; I set up an appointment to review archived records; I set aside writing time for the evenings; I arranged with my uncles to visit and listen to stories; I planned for a visit to Manistee on our way home so we could visit my grandparents’ graves; I even bought tickets to a Detroit Tigers game — might as well do it if we’ll be in the area, right?

Absolutely nothing was left to chance. Meals and potty breaks? Showers? Downtime? Every bit of it was worked into my amazing Genealogy Get-Away Itinerary. And if there happen to be any pieces that didn’t pan out? — I had a backup list of things that could be easily inserted into the Plan. Oh, I was proud! And the only stipulation to my mother and brother joining me on this amazing Genealogy Get-Away was that they had to agree to follow my Itinerary. And they did. They agreed.

The Itinerary began with a 3:00a.m. departure on Thursday, April 12, allowing us plenty of time to pick up my brother in Petoskey and make it to Detroit in time for our baseball game. I packed. Everything was ready. I curled up to sleep for a few hours and set my alarm for 2:30.

I awoke to a 4:30 text from my brother asking me to call when we got to the Bridge. Apparently I missed my alarm!

Great way to start a meticulously planned weekend, eh? An hour and a half behind?

We did make it to the game — I think it was the bottom of the first when we arrived — and the Genealogy Get-Away was a successful weekend. But I learned something valuable about myself in the process:

I don’t wake up at 2:30 in the morning.

From the shores of Wicket Lake,



16 thoughts on “Day 16 – 2018 AWAC”

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