April 09, 2014

Photo Project...A New Beginning

"Family History" by alittlebirdy
A year ago today, I submitted a post on some Google+ genealogy groups to get input and recommendations about how to best take on a rather large project of scanning the family photos that are now in my possession.  There are many boxes, photo albums, and slides full of both identified and non-identified pictures of my relatives and family friends.  As seems to often happen, the project never really got off the ground.  Certainly I loved the input that everyone gave and I also did research on naming conventions and archival pens.  Alas, it never became a priority...until now.

Synology DiskStation DS1513+
I've recently started having space issues on my laptop's hard drive.  My digital pictures take up more than half the drive and it's gotten to the point where I often worry if I'll be able to download pictures from my camera to the laptop.  I use cloud-based services and external hard drives for backup storage, but the main drive is saying, "Help me!"

I'm happy to say that I bit the bullet last night and ordered a Synology DiskStation DS1513+.  This is a NAS device that has received rave reviews by techies like myself and will give me plenty of storage for my current files plus all the soon-to-be-scanned ones.  I am really jazzed about this!

With my storage issues solved, my archival pens at the ready, and my scanner dusted off, I'm ready to begin this long adventure of digitizing my family's photographic past.  I'm looking forward to the challenge and will post updates along the way.

© 2014, copyright Chris Odom

October 02, 2011

6 Years Goes Quickly

Tomorrow will be the 6th anniversary of my mom's death.  It's truly amazing how quickly the time has gone and how much has changed in my life.

1) I'm now an uncle to 5 nieces and nephews; a godfather to 1
2) I'm part owner of an LLC which owns 6 rental houses
3) Have earned more responsibility and exciting opportunities at work
4) Very involved with my church in the choir, bell choir, Vestry (governing body), stewardship, webpage, and renovating a 100 year old house
5) Seen my dad regain happiness when he married a new, wonderful lady
6) Added some new, dear friends to my list of people most dear to me
7) And most importantly, truly happy 99% of the time!

Two of my closest, most important friends took me to dinner tonight at a Mexican restaurant, as is our yearly custom, where we raised a glass to her memory.  Mom loved Mexican food and passed that onto me, so I can think of no better way to remember her in early October.  It was a beautiful evening and we dined al fresco with their 3 children making us laugh the whole time.  We even indulged in making mustaches out of whipped cream!  The mood very much matched how I felt 6 years ago today when I last saw Mom alive, in the O'Hare airport.  I have no doubt she was somewhere smiling at me tonight and marveling, just like me, at how far I've come in 6 short years!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

September 30, 2011

Getting Off the Fence

Taking a cue from DearMyrtle, I decided to finally "get off the fence" and order a copy of The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy so I can better participate in the Just Genealogy Second Life book club.  So now I'm fervently checking my email for the download link.  I'm hoping to carve out some time this weekend to delve into it!

I couldn't make the last discussion, but the first one in August was outstanding!  I'm really beginning to enjoy collaborating online to discuss, consider, and explore ways to improve my research.  Many times my genealogy research has been kind of solitary, but between blogs, Facebook, Google+, webinars, and now Second Life, connecting with others has never been easier, or more fun!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

September 20, 2011

Fall is in the air, and on a stick!

Fall must finally be approaching in central Arkansas as the Faulkner County Fair opens today!  I used to avoid the parade and midway at all costs, but now that I have nieces and nephews, the fair is something I look forward to.

Not only will I be able to wave at the kids as they ride on a float past my hours-ago-staked-out parade viewing spot, but I'll get to see the excitement and thrill in their eyes while they pilot a bumper car, see a sheep up close, and snack on cotton candy!

Just one corn dog won't hurt, right?

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Kia Scott Odom and Ray Odom

My great-grandmother, Kia, and my grandfather, Ray.  Taken in Checotah, Oklahoma.

 © 2011, copyright Chris Odom

May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Charles Luther Odom

Charles Luther Odom
Corporal, Company B, 105th Engineers
died in France during WWI

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

Ever since 2006, Mother's Day has been a bittersweet holiday for me.  My mom unexpectedly passed away in October 2005 at the young age of 60 and certainly that first Mother's Day afterward was hard.  Each year, the pain subsides more and the tears are fewer, but there is still a twinge of heartache when everyone else celebrates their moms and I'm left unable to physically hug or kiss mine.

My mom and I were quite close and I am SO similar to her in many ways that it's scary.  In fact, if I look in the mirror, there she is.  When I first started working on my family tree in college, Mom was so supportive.  She'd go with me to cemeteries, libraries, court houses, basements, and old general stores in the middle of nowhere because she not only thought it was fun, but she loved being around me; the feeling was mutual.

After I graduated and started really being "an adult," she started working on her own family tree (I had been mainly working on my paternal side at the time).  She'd excitedly call or email me when she connected with a new long-lost cousin, received a photograph from someone far away, or had family "gossip" to share.  She'd found yet another thing that brought joy into her life (she had quite a few!).

In October 2005, Mom, Dad, and I went on vacation to the Washington, D.C. area.  Dad had meetings to attend and we made a weeklong trip out of it.  The journey started just outside Richmond where many of her family had settled back in the Revolutionary period.  The Sanders family gathered in honor of us and a big potluck lunch was presented just because the "Texas" family (Mom was originally a Texan) had come to visit.  Later in the week, while Dad was in meetings, Mom and I tooled across the Virginia and Maryland countryside tracing the escape route of John Wilkes Booth; visiting the Congressional Cemetery where many patriots, Congressmen, and notable figures are interred; and laughing the whole time.

The trip came to an end and we parted ways at O'Hare Airport in Chicago; their plane going to Tulsa, mine to Little Rock.  I called her after I'd landed and we laughed again about our trip.  The next day, I received the call that she'd passed away taking a nap.

The next week was a blur as we prepared for the funeral, but by the time it occurred, the deep sadness had passed and we were able to savor our memories.  So many people whose lives had been touched by Mom either called, wrote, or came to the service.  It was amazing to hear stories I'd not heard before and to realize what an impact she'd had on a vast group of people.  Love was in the air that day and my family was lifted up because of it.

With each new Mother's Day without Mom, it gets easier to greet others with a heartfelt, "Happy Mother's Day!"  I've been so fortunate to have many strong motherly figures in my life; all of which I consider true friends.  In the time since Mom's death, I've also become an uncle, godfather, and "Uncle" which has brought more joy than I ever thought possible, helping to fill the gap left by Mom.

Today will be mixed with some sadness, but a lot of happiness as well.  We'll celebrate moms at church and honor them with a reception afterwards and I'll see many friends who are truly awesome mothers.  I'll reflect on the memories of Mom and marvel at some amazing moms' accomplishments.

To Dianne, Caroline, Becky, Carole, Marianne, Donna, Lynne, and each and every mother out there:  Happy Mother's Day!

Sandra Clarke Odom (1945-2005)
28 September, 2005 - Arlington, VA

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

April 25, 2011

Storms and Tornadoes

We here in Conway, Arkansas were very fortunate tonight.  Tornadoes went around us while our sirens sounded for approximately 3 hours.  Unfortunately, our neighbors 10 miles east in Vilonia weren't so lucky.  Indications are they they took the full brunt of an EF5 tornado (ripped pavement up).  Only 2 fatalities so far in the state; if this doesn't grow, it'll be a very good thing.

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

April 06, 2011

Building a Research Toolbox Webinar

So here I am again getting ready for a new and exciting webinar presented by Legacy Family Tree and Thomas MacEntee.  The topic today is one in which I have a real deficit!  I'm not even sure what a research toolbox is, how to make one, or how to use it.  I have no doubt I'll be much smarter by 2:00 pm CDT!

If you haven't registered, there's still time!  Make your way over to:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/926215616.  You won't be sorry!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 29, 2011

FamilySearch Indexing

Based on a lot of the blogs I read, I checked into the FamilySearch Indexing site because I really wanted to start giving back to the genealogical community.  I just have to say that I LOVE doing this volunteer work...it's so much fun and is rewarding too!  I've only done about 3 sessions and I'm already up to 152 points!

Have any of you volunteered your time to transcribe the records for FamilySearch?  Have you enjoyed it as much as me?  Would you recommend it to others?

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

Creative Commons License This work by Chris Odom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.