Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lectures This Week

This week I gave two really fun lectures about my book. First, on Wednesday I spoke to the Genealogy Club of Newtown (Connecticut). I drove up early and enjoyed a delicious dinner with Ray and Mary Maki, the founders, and Marian Wood, the program chair. Both Mary and Marian have blogs. You can read about the lecture on Mary’s blog or at Marian’s blog. The group meets at the Newtown library, which has a really interesting history. The money to build the library (and several other buildings in town) was left by a wealthy woman who lived in Newtown around the turn of the twentieth century. The library even has a genealogy room. The group was fabulous – so fun and interactive. As a speaker, it really makes a difference to have an audience that is responsive. (And it sure beats having someone snoring on the front row – which I have also had happen!)

Then on Friday, I went to my daughter’s fifth grade class at Chestnut Hill. I had a blast talking to those fifth graders. I got so many questions! On just one slide, there would be about six kids with their hands in the air. They wanted to know why our ancestors had so many children, what would have happened if my ancestors’ parents threw him overboard, if people gave their children Tylenol back then, if my ancestor got typhoid fever at the same time her mother died from it, and what would happen if a kid sneaked onto one of the covered wagons to ride when crossing the plains when he was supposed to be walking. Some of those are certainly questions I had never been asked before!

By the way, if you are thinking of ordering The Journey Takers as a Christmas present, you should consider ordering it from Deseret Book or Seagull Book (it’s cheapest here - $17.95). Amazon says they can’t guarantee it will arrive on time for Christmas. (Who knows why….)

My little Christian finally seems like himself today. He has been so sad and clingy all week. I could tell he felt better today because he spent his time roaming around the kitchen, opening all the cupboards and pulling everything out. As I was trying to help my other kids decorate Christmas cookies, Christian took several pot lids into the bathroom (I don’t know why) and of course dumped all the spaghetti noodles out again (I ought to smarten up and move those noodles, don’t you think?) That’s the Christian we know and love.

Two more days until we leave for Hawaii! Yesterday when my kids got on the bus to go to school, it was 3 degrees. On Tuesday, I will be sitting on the beach in flip flops and short sleeves. Amazing.

Maybe I should move to Hawaii.


  1. Lecturing is always so rewarding. I remember giving a talk to my daughter's fifth grade class. I took some microfiche with me to pass around. (This was a few years ago.) They loved it but couldn't look at it and listen to me at the same time. I remember great questions too.

    Glad your son is on the mend and that he is up to his old trick. If you moved the noodles, wouldn't you miss the fun of picking them up?

    I'll be thinking of you in Hawaii. Bring back some of that sunshine!

    -- Elissa

  2. Leslie: We so enjoyed your lecture in Newtown, CT - have a wonderful time in Hawaii, but please don't move there. We need you here!!