Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the Bonner County Genealogical Society Conference at the East Bonner County Library in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho. The building itself is spacious, bright, and modern and you can view photos of the exterior and interior here. The BCGS is a small but enthusiastic group who is doing well to become more visible and inviting to their community by collaborating with the library district and the local Family History Center, as well as the neighboring Kootenai County Genealogical Society (several members from that group were also in attendance).
My presentations were "Local Genealogical Resources You Can't Afford to Ignore," "Getting It Together: Organizing Your Files," and "Goals and Strategies: Organizing Your Research." Although my focus was aimed at the intermediate and experienced researcher, I did answer many questions from some obvious beginners, and encouraged them to attend society meetings to learn more. I especially stressed this in my first presentation, as the local resources I mentioned were: your local genealogical society, your local library, your local Family History Center, and the Internet. I felt a lot of energy from the attendees, and hoped they enjoyed themselves and much as I did! After the conference, several members of the board generously took me to lunch, and we had great conversations on the future of genealogical societies, trips to Salt Lake City, and upcoming area genealogy conferences.
The trip to Sandpoint was a refreshing experience in itself. I drove up Highway 2 under a cloudless sky, with little traffic and the sparkle of the Priest River on my right. It was later in the morning, so I didn't have to worry about deer and little critters being on the road, but still early enough to just enjoy bright morning sun, the radio cranked up (yes, Randy, it was country music!), cup of coffee on hand, and the road beneath my wheels! A friend recently reminded me that the West is God's Country, and I as took in the woods, mountains, farms, and old railroad, lumber, and mining communities, I was filled with gratitude for being able to live in the gorgeous Inland Northwest. The country began only 10 minutes from my doorstep.
My travel homeward was a bit slower, with more traffic and clouds quick to cast their shadows below. My mind was filled with the events of the day, wisps of conversations flittering about, anxious to return home and unwind. A day like this comes by once in a while to call attention to the great blessings in our lives, and I was listening.