Wednesday, June 7, 2006

A cure for insomnia

My first foray into genealogy research on the Internet was on the Prodigy internet service in 1992. I soon found a community of fellow researchers with a wealth of information and experience, especially in New England, which was one of my primary research areas.

Over time, I got to know many of the other researchers fairly well, to the extent that we shared family news and did genealogy research for each other. Since I was in San Diego and most of them were in New England, I often did research at my local FHC for them and they did cemetery or other research for me.

Linda T. was one of the people I got to know fairly well, and since she was in Middlesex County MA, she offered to find tombstones in cemeteries in the area for many of us. She went out every weekend with her husband or daughter, and was very successful at finding ancestral stones for me and others, and she took pictures and sent them to us. Then she got the bright idea that she should make a videotape of her rambles around the yards and the stones. Linda T. made a tape with two hours of cemetery ramblings, made copies of the video, and sent one to me.

I was really excited to see the settings of the burial places of my ancestors, and watched the videotape avidly. My wife wandered in one night before bedtime and wondered what I was watching. I said “The cemetery tape that I got from Linda T.” Wanting to be more involved in my genealogy research, she sat on the couch to watch it. Her only comment was “this is sure boring…” Before long, she had fallen asleep on the couch, and slept through the last hour of the tape. Of course, the tape held my interest throughout.

She finally woke up and went right to bed, but now she couldn’t sleep. I told her that I would show the tape again as a cure for her insomnia. She refused and said again “that tape is so boring…” Of course, it took hours for her to get back to sleep, when I knew the tape would have had her snoozing within minutes.

Every since, my wife has complained occasionally of not being able to go to sleep, and my usual response is “I’ll get the cemetery tape out.” She always refuses to watch it – I guess I’ll never understand her logic – surely it would work as a cure for insomnia again.

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