Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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Family Search Indexing

Today was grape harvest day, but we chose to be lame and not go help out. We have an intense aversion to farming of any sort, and while we're actually pretty sure we could have handled it better this year than last (by being smart enough to wake up early enough to get breakfast), we were kind of hoping people wouldn't ask us if we wanted to go. We were asked a few times, actually, and we said no to all but one of them.

See, we were talking to Mom about how we seem to be right back exactly where we were at the end of July, with the money problems and the Mimsy injuries, and we were wondering if we were stuck in a loop, like in Groundhog Day, or probably more like Higurashi, since it's a whole month, only without the gruesome killings. Anyway, whenever that stuff happens in TV and the movies, you have to do something to break out of the loop, and Mom suggested the grape harvest. And our answer to that was, "We were hoping nobody would suggest that." But we thought about it and decided that if anybody asked us again, we would go. Nobody did, though they did talk about the fact that they were going, which maybe we should have taken as a hint. Something about not having to be commanded in all things.

As justification, the grape harvest doesn't happen every month, so it doesn't quite work that not blowing it off this time would get us out of the month-long loop.

Anyway, we had decided long ago that if we were going to be lame enough not to go to the grape harvest, we needed to do some other kind of service instead. Some of you may remember our picking up a book on knitting. We haven't completely given up on the whole knitting thing, but we decided to check the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website to see exactly what kind of service they wanted. And that's how we were reminded of this thing we get told about anytime we start talking about family history... which actually hasn't been in a while. Maybe because our ward started a family history class.

Anyway, geneology and stuff is really important to the Church, and as a way to help people everywhere (not just LDS people) research their family history, they've got like a bazillion volunteers helping with indexing. That means they're taking all the hand-written census records for the past few hundred years and making a digital database. So what the volunteers get to do is look at a scan of a census page and type all the information into the database. It's got step by step instructions, and it's actually really easy, except for the deciphering handwriting part, which can be pretty near impossible in some cases. That's why they have a "mark unreadable" option. But it's pretty fun, and you can think about the life stories of the people as you type up their information. Like I was typing in the information for this one guy who still lived with his parents, and then the information for his wife who was only 18 (this was 1920, so it wasn't like long long ago when they got married at like 14), and they didn't have any children, so it was like, "Oh! I wonder if they just got married! How exciting!"

And that's pretty much how we've spent our day, which makes me a little sad that we've done so little of it. But we're just getting started, so I think it's okay. Anyway, anybody can volunteer, so if you're interested, check it out!

Another reason it was lame of us not to go to the grape harvest, though (randomly changing the subject back), is that our ward was chosen by... um... some people in Salt Lake City... maybe general authorities... I'm not sure. But anyway, there was a film crew here making a documentary about the grape harvest, focusing on our ward! Neat! We thought about volunteering to help the film crew (anything but farming), but chickened out because we don't have our own transportation. I wonder how it turned out...

Today I'm thankful for alternative volunteer methods, getting to be inside during this hot hot weather, Mom and Steve being kind enough to pay for our cat supplies last night (we got some of that cat gravy we saw at PetSmart the other day in an attempt to give Mimsy something she doesn't have to chew, but even Oreo turned his nose at it, alas), getting to read manga last night (we might not be able to buy new manga, but we still have a decent-sized pile of unread books, eheh), and our ward being featured in the grape harvest documentary thing.
Tags: church, indexing
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