Looking back over the almost-forty years that I’ve been researching my family tree, I’d say there have been some times when curiosity has overtaken my common sense–like the time I struggled to keep my boots on while wading through thigh-high snow, hoping to find a cemetery stone that was, in all likelihood one of the ones covered with drifts, right?
That turned out to be a pretty laughable experience–no frostbite, no lost footwear, and, as evidenced by this blog post, I lived to tell. But, there have been other times when a temporary lapse of judgement has, theoretically, put me at risk in the name of research.
Sometimes, it’s been small things. Like the time I wandered a cemetery for over an hour in a biting winter wind without thinking to protect my face from wind burn. (Yes, ouch!) Or the times I’ve given no thought to the air I was breathing as I handled records covered in thick dust. (I now realize it would be a good idea to pack a mask.)
Other times, it’s been more significant things. Like the time I decided, on a whim, to take an alternate route home from a repository and discovered it ran through an area where I didn’t feel safe. (Fortunately, my car didn’t break down.) Or the many times I’ve wandered remote cemeteries alone. (What if I’d twisted my ankle? Or worse?)
Genealogy isn’t exactly a hazardous occupation or hobby, but when we get caught up in the research moment, it’s easy to overlook the tried and true safety advice that we would apply in other situations.
This blog post is a gentle reminder to think ahead and plan ways to stay safe when we’re out on our research adventures.