Since the intention of this blog is to discuss genealogy, family history and Tyrolean culture, I usually keep my posts on theme and don’t relate anything of a personal nature. However the past two months have brought a number of unusual circumstances into my life and I want to share these with you. So sit back with a cup of coffee while I relate the trials and tribulations of my recent adventures during self-isolation.
In September my computer crashed and burned! Yep, I had a dead laptop and a big headache to go with it! Since I rely heavily on my computer for just about everything (including this website and blog!) I knew I had to meet the problem head-on and get through it.
After a few days of online research using a borrowed laptop from my husband, I decided on a new PC, ordered it from Amazon and a week later my shiny new computer was delivered to my door.
Then the fun began! Luckily all of my graphic and genealogy files were saved to external hard drives. No problem there – all of my precious specialized files were safe and sound. And I had automatic cloud backup for my main hard drive through Backblaze. However I soon found out – reloading all of my software and then restoring thousands of files from my old computer to my new laptop was a massive job! Thank goodness I had cloud backup or I would have been in real trouble. The annual fee to Backblaze was certainly money well spent!
Since I am also a graphic artist, there are hundreds of embedded files such as fonts, etc. that had to be located and reloaded into the correct program. It took almost three weeks to get my new computer in working order. Although I lost a few apps and files here and there, for the most part I was back to normal by the beginning of October. This is one reason why you have seen so few blog posts from me in the past two months.
The second thing to occur in my life during this time of isolation is an unexpected turn on the genealogy research path. Since March I have been actively helping NPEs (non-parental events, adoptees) along with others who have family members with questionable parentage, locate birth parents and solve family mysteries. This has taken up the majority of my time and I now consider myself a full-time “Search Angel” (someone who works pro bono in helping others locate family). Within the past seven months, I have solved six “cases”, found a number of unknown half-siblings, yanked a few skeletons out of dark family closets and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Helping others in their life-long search for the truth is both thrilling and rewarding. I now consider this to be my life purpose. So – I am currently in the process of channeling my genealogy energy towards the goal of being a full-time “gen geni” (genetic genealogist). Although I’m not exactly sure how this pivot will occur, I am making tentative plans to proceed in this direction. I love being a modern-day detective, using DNA and genealogy to solve family mysteries. And believe me – I have found many strange and unknown events hiding in every family tree that I have researched!
In closing, I would say there is certainly a silver lining to this time of self-isolation. With no social engagements to contend with and quiet days allowing for deep research and concentration, I have found a rewarding direction that naturally utilizes my personal skills.
Thanks for listening to my private ramblings! If there are any folks out there with lingering questions about their family origins (unknown birth parents, mysterious grandparents or unexplained DNA matches) send me an email and I’ll see if I can be of assistance.