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

March 23, 2011

Backing Up Your Genealogy Data Webinar

I am really looking forward to attending the Backup Up Your Genealogy Data webinar with presenter Thomas MacEntee tomorrow.  I've decided I'll just use my lunch break to attend; it'll by my first "live" webinar as the previous ones I attended were done via the archive.

I have no doubt the info Thomas presents will be outstanding and very useful.  And what could be more important than learning the best ways to back up your precious, important data!!

If you haven't registered, you should!  It will be well worth it, and best of all, it's FREE!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 22, 2011

Random Act of Kindness

This post doesn't directly relate to genealogy, but I think it does speak to the wider attitude that I've experienced throughout the genealogical community.

This afternoon I was on my way home for lunch and decided to stop at one of my favorite (tastes great, but probably isn't the best for my waist) restaurants.  I was in the drive-thru line and when I got to the window to pay, I was informed that the lady (whom I did not know) in the car ahead of me had actually paid for my lunch!  She left a card which didn't give her name, but rather a note to "pay it forward."

Wow!  How cool was that?  This small act gave me a renewed spirit for the rest of the day!  As I reflected on it this evening, I realized that this sort of random act does seem to happen all the time in the genealogical community.  I can't wait until I have a chance to pay this act, feeling, and excitement forward!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 20, 2011

An Award!

I was quite surprised when I checked my email yesterday morning to find that Betty from Betty's Boneyard Genealogy Blog had nominated my blog for the "One Lovely Blog Award!"  I am truly honored and I appreciate the thought Betty!  Having just recently added several "new" blogs to my Google Reader, I have enjoyed getting to read so many different, informative, and fun blogs, Betty's of course being one!!

The "rules" for this award suggest that I should nominate 15 other blogs and to be honest, it appears that everyone I'm following in Google Reader has already received this award at least once, so...I thought I'd just list the blogs I'm reading daily as they are all very deserving!!

A Tale of Two Ancestors - Amanda Perrine

AnceStories:  The Stories of My Ancestors - Miriam

Betty's Boneyard Genealogy Blog - Betty

Climbing My Family Tree - Jen

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog - Myrt

Destination:  Austin Family - Thomas MacEntee

Digital Cemetery Walk - Gale Wall

Family Stories - Caroline Pointer

Genealogy by Ginger's Blog - Ginger Smith

GeneaWebinars - various

Ginisology - Gini

Greta's Genealogy Bog - Greta Koehl

Leaves for Trees - Heather Kuhn Roelker

Shaking Leaves:  My Adventures in Genealogy

Sharon's Family and Other Stuff - Sharon

West in New England - Bill West

If you're not reading these blogs, you should be in my opinion.  They are all just wonderful!

Happy first day of Spring everyone!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 18, 2011

Geneabloggers Radio: Irish Roots - A St. Patrick's Day Celebration

I'm currently listening to the weekly Geneabloggers Radio with Thomas MacEntee. This episode is all about Ireland...a great topic for me to learn about since I have little knowledge about how to find, search, and use Irish records.

Irish Roots - A St. Patricks Day Celebration 3/18/2011 - GeneaBloggers | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary (Molly) E. and Olah Odom

Mary E. and Olah Odom headstones - Brush Hill Cemetery, McIntosh County, Oklahoma

Mary (Molly) E. LENNING was born 18 March 1863 in Pickens County, Georgia to James Monroe LENNING and Margaret Elizabeth SOSEBEE.  Mary married William "Doc" Lenthicum ODOM, my 2nd great-grand uncle, on 25 February 1886 in Sebastian County, Arkansas.  Mary died 14 April 1898 in McIntosh County, Indian Territory and is buried in Brush Hill Cemetery.

Olah ODOM was born 28 December 1886 in Arkansas to William and Mary.  She was their first child and the sister of Herman Robert ODOM (whom I previously blogged about).  Tragically, Olah died 11 March 1897 in McIntosh County, Indian Territory after her dress caught fire in the family home. She too is buried in Brush Hill Cemetery.

After Mary's passing, William went on to marry Ida Ruth CLEVELAND to which a son, Martin ODOM, was born.  Martin was the only child to live into full adulthood.  His half-brother, Herman, tragically died at age 21, during the Crazy Snake Uprising in McIntosh County.  Herman was a deputy trying to apprehend Crazy Snake/Chitto HARJO; William was the sheriff at the time.

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 14, 2011

2 Year Blogiversary

It's hard to believe I set this blog up 2 years ago!  I had great expectations for it then, but as sometimes happens, my day-to-day life took me away from genealogy for a while.

For this next year, my goals and renewed spirit are pushing me forward and I've committed to blogging more.  And I have to say, I'm excited about the prospect!  In the last week, I've already listened to some archived webinars, signed up to attend more, picked up two followers, and added numerous blogs to Google Reader!  The genealogy community is such an amazing and addictive one.  It's always a treat to interact with others out there who may or may not have shared ancestral lines, but who always have a shared interest!

Has anyone else gotten away from their family tree for a bit, but is now taking up the challenge again?  Any tips or pointers?

It's with much excitement that I look forward to breaking down some genealogical brick walls in 2011; and reconnecting with a great community along the way!

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 10, 2011

Great News for Northeast Arkansas

While going over all the great articles in Google Reader this morning, I found the following.  Thanks to Dick Eastman at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for this bit of info that I'm sharing.  If you haven't subscribed to his blog, you should...it's terrific!

This is great news for anyone who has relatives and ancestors in Northeast Arkansas!  I've been to the Powhatan Historic State Park and it's a beautiful area.

March 10, 2011

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

March 07, 2011

Legacy Family Tree Webinars

It's been a long time since I posted anything, but I've gotten excited again about blogging having just attended 2 recent webinars (via the archive) over at Legacy Family Tree Webinars.  DearMyrtle taught both:  Blogging for Beginners and More Blogging for Beginners.  I can't say enough great things about these webinars!  They were fantastic.

Even though I wasn't really a beginner, I learned a lot of useful, easy tips, particularly in the More... webinar.  As you can see, I've added a disclosure page and a Google search bar...all due to the webinar!  And the tips on Google Reader were outstanding!

Thanks so much DearMyrtle and Legacy Family Tree for this great series.  I've already registered for the next 3 webinars with Thomas MacEntee (geneabloggers.com) and can't wait.  Hopefully I'll be able to attend these live.

© 2011, copyright Chris Odom

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