Sunday, May 18, 2008

In *WAY* Over My Head

About 3 years ago, my dear husband, who was then the Leader of our High Priests' Group at church, and therefore responsible for temple work, suggested to the Bishop that he knew someone who would do a GREAT job of exciting people about doing their genealogy - - - me! The Bishop agreed, and I was extended my 5th concurrent church calling: Family History Consultant.

"All we want is a cheerleader!" I was told. "Just someone to light a fire and get people enthused about doing their genealogy." I commented at the time that I feared I smelled "Camel's Nose," but I was assured that, no, I would *not* have to teach genealogy classes, or anything like that . . . . even though that *was* part of the job description in the instruction manual . . .

Well, I believe in being prepared, and I have never been content with my understanding of how to do genealogy research. So, with the impetus of the new calling to inspire me, I took a "Beginners Genealogy Class" through City College with a friend 3 years ago this coming Sept. - - - and it was WONDERFUL! I no longer feel like a complete idiot.

One day during class, our fabulous teacher, Patsy Brock, mentioned that anyone lucky enough to join the Daughters of the American Revolution would have access to an incredible store of records available nowhere else, but that their entry requirements were exceedingly rigorous. And I remembered that my grandmother had said she had been a member . . . but I never followed up on it. So I decided to set myself a "Final Exam" and see if I could pull together the necessary documentation to join the DAR. I figured, if I could do that, I would learn enough in the process to tackle anything that might come up during my tenure as Family History Consultant.

So, I went to the DAR website and left my name and email information.

Boy, oh, boy, did they see me coming, as my dad used to say! Within a couple of weeks, I had an invitation to come to the local Chapter's monthly luncheon, where I met my now-GREAT-friend, Marie-Louise, who was and is our Registrar. Talk about a CHEERLEADER!!! That lady is indefatigable! With her tireless aid and some INCREDIBLE luck, I found myself being sworn in as a REAL Daughter just over a year ago!!!

I have found the most incredible group of women in the DAR. As might be expected, most of them are older at this point. But each one I have had a chance to talk to has had the most fascinating stories to tell; each has achieved the most spectacular things - - - it is an honor to associate with them. And during the past year I have enjoyed participating in very small ways --- as befits my brand-spanking-new status ---in their meetings, reading various reports by assignment from time to time, etc. So, when the opportunity came up several months ago to serve the Chapter as Webmaster for our fledgeling website, I thought that would be just about perfect. I've been Assistant Webmaster for the ward website for several years now -- this would give me a chance to get involved, find out and keep up on what was going on and where, and really get my feet wet.

And *then* I went to New York to help with Hyrum, and my *dear* friend, Woo, phoned me in the middle of the night while I was watching him and, on behalf of the nominating committee, asked me to be REGENT!!!!!!!!

I was *sure* she was joking - - - how can someone only a year old be Regent?!

But she said, "No! We seriously want you and ONLY you to be Regent for the next 2 years. It's a lot of fun, and I'll help!"

Well, I read the job description, and I can conduct meetings and turn in reports. . . . So, I agreed.

And last Thursday, at our luncheon, SO DID EVERYBODY ELSE!!!

I arrived at the luncheon a Lame Duck Insginia Chairman and Prospective Webmaster, and left with a gavel and a van full of boxes and treasures and the Regent's Insignia that had been worn by our Chapter FOUNDER, Miss Jameson!!!!

(. . . and the start of a migraine, brought on by too many hours in a room with no ventilation and the temperature well over 90 . . .)

I was still stunned by it all the next morning at 9 AM when my phone began to ring, and I discovered that I was not going to have a couple of months to figure things out, as I had hoped, before we began our regular meetings again . . . but I would first need to get Good Citizen Awards ready to present to half a dozen local schools in about 2 weeks, none of which I was aware of before that moment.

Plus, I find out I don't have the software to run the webpage; can't buy it because it's not being made anymore; don't want the "upgrade" they *are* selling because it's WAY too expensive for what I want to use it for. . . . . Derrin *could* translate everything into the software he uses for HIS webpages, but it, too, is old and no longer supported; and if he bought an upgrade he could only install it on HIS computer, which wouldn't do ME any good . . . . . So, we're up a creek with no oars and a leaky boat!! Fortunately, the designer of our website (whose wife is on my new board) has kindly consented to upload everything so we can get going, and somehow we'll work this out between us.

Of course, I knew when I took the gavel that the out-going Regent hadn't made any preparations for our Chapter to take part in this year's 4th of July parade, and my new Board had decided we needed to correct that ASAP, so I had *thought* THAT would be my first order of business . . . along with finding a new, cooler, roomier place to hold our meetings.

So, as I'm unloading boxes and BOXES of materials from the car and trying to find a safe place to store them, and beginning to sort through the Regent's Book and divine all the appointments and expectations that are already set up for "me," I suddenly realize, I'M IN *WAY* OVER MY HEAD!!!

Thank GOODNESS I'm not planning to go anywhere for awhile, and (if I can just figure out who they are!) I had so many kind offers of help as our meeting last Thursday adjourned!

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