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What would you pull a ‘Rip Van Winkle’ for?

Rip Van Winkle got so tied up in what he was doing (not sure if it was sleeping, hunting, bowling, or just traipsing through the woods) that it caused him to lose track of time and re-enter his life years later, nearly forgotten by those he loved.

Certain activities can cause me to pull a Rip Van Winkle.

Those activities, from canning, to gardening, to running, to writing, to spinning yarn to — you get the picture, have all captured my attention and sucked my down the rabbit hole at one time or another. When I land on one of these ‘interesting activities,’ like a cat on a mouse, I turn neither to the right hand (housework), nor to the left hand (any other responsibility that can be put off), till I pass out from sheer exhaustion. Seriously. Once during my gardening days I did pass out from heat exhaustion because I had to clean out ‘just one more flower bed’ and I’d be done for the day, and then I’d go in for some water, for sure. (Yeah, I couldn’t even stop to go in for water.) When I finally started seeing stars I crawled into the house and passed out on the couch.

But the mother of all ‘RipVanWinkle’ activities for me is family history. It is easier for me to lose weight when I’m on a family history binge than at any other time. I literally have no interest in food. Years ago, I would go on a Saturday to the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, be waiting at the door when it opened at 8 a.m., spend all day, not even stopping for a meal, (sucking a life savor to quiet tummy rumbles), and I’d have to be kicked out when they closed at 10 p.m.

My mother recently gave me a book of a portion of her family tree that she has put together which turned my head back to the unfinished work on my paternal side. (In my book, the definition of family history is “unfinished”!)

Her book sparked my interest again with a resurgence of that old familair passion. I discovered a new web site that has indexed old newspapers and scanned in original newspaper copy to be viewed online. And I’m lost to the world again!

I’m adding stories of house fires and weddings and muggings (my gr.gr.gr. grandmother assaulted, just months before she died!), to the information that I have so far. Greatfully I have a few pounds to lose and a hotel room with a laptop and free wifi as I cut myself off from the world, again.

What activities can make you to pull a Rip Van Winkle?

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Vennesa May 20, 2011, 10:48 am

    A good book!
    I’d like to know the website you found that has old newspapers.
    Vennesa recently posted…5K 2011My Profile

  • Janiel Miller May 20, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Great post!

    Writing does it for me. And watching movies with my kids. And travelling. And laughing with my fam. And hanging with my cool peeps. And performing.

    I’m sorry, but all of that is much more fun to me than cleaning bathrooms or weeding flowerbeds. And clearly, Darcee, you are a much deeper person than am I. For you lose it when you are serving. I lose it being self-absorbed.

    Janiel Miller recently posted…Carol Cronin of Dunquin Paints the OceanMy Profile

  • Darcee Yates May 20, 2011, 5:50 pm

    Vanessa, I posted that web address in a comment on your 5K 2011 page.
    Darcee Yates recently posted…Sleeping through a SessionMy Profile

  • Darcee Yates May 20, 2011, 5:52 pm

    Janiel- and I think you take the higher road- being with people. I tend to shut myself off from the world.
    Darcee Yates recently posted…Sleeping through a SessionMy Profile

  • Christie June 2, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Ah, how I can relate! From getting “sucked into the 4th floor” at the library at BYU (back when that’s where it was), to taking the first bus up and the last bus back and not stopping to eat at the FHL.
    After I graduated and moved out to TX to teach it turned into summer roadtrips all over the US, visiting libraries and cemeteries, camping in state parks all along the way.
    With 3 kids 5 and under it gets pretty ugly when I get sucked in these days…even if Daddy is home!
    And I’ve always said it’s easier to serve the dead than the living.

  • Darcee Yates June 3, 2011, 9:05 pm

    Christie- Hi! yes, you are a girl after my own heart! I’ve recently been trying to get my 20 years of research onto a blog for my children to peruse at thier leisure. I’ve spent nearly all my time off work this week figureing the ins and outs of making the hierarchy of it all flow just right on a blog format. But then, my children are grown now. I only have to feel guilty about ignoring my husband. I do not deserve him. He’s way tooo patient with me.
    Darcee Yates recently posted…Name that Space Age AirportMy Profile

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