During the time I was AWOL from this blog, I found plenty of activities to keep me busy. Some of them were things I chose to do, but at least one tedious task was a result of switching from a PC to a Mac.
Some of you know that genealogy is a passion for me, one that began when I found some notes my grandmother left behind when she died in late-1988. The genealogy software I used for for all those years was Family Tree Maker. It did a wonderful job of organizing family records and creating interesting reports, and I couldn’t have been happier with it. What I didn’t know until I’d decided to buy the iMac is that Family Tree Maker isn’t available for Macs.
So, based on online reviews, I purchased Reunion genealogy software for Mac the same day I bought the new computer. Reunion, too, does a fine job, and it was really easy to transfer my family file from Family Tree Maker to Reunion. All the names, dates and places made the move flawlessly. The notes, however, were a different story. Those pages and paragraphs of narrative attached to many of the names didn’t make the transition as smoothly. All the words of the notes were transferred, but many of the spaces between the words didn’t make it.
After more than 20 years of research, there are 6,787 names in my genealogy database now, and I had to go through them all one by one, read every word of every note, and insert spaces as needed. It was extremely time-consuming but, most of the time, not too difficult.
Then came a sentence that stumped me: “He was betrayed by his Flemishallies.” What? What the heck are Flemishallies and how did they betray him? A quick second glance made it obvious I needed to insert a space: "Flemish allies."
Everything in the database is back in order, which pleases me immensely. Still, I must admit that thinking about Flemishallies pleases me almost as much, in a whimsical way. I imagine them as some kind of magical, mildly malevolent creatures of the sort Harry Potter might have encountered in the woods around Hogwarts.
I think that in the future, on those days when one thing after another seems to go wrong, I might choose to blame it on the Flemishallies. It would take some pressure off me, and, after all, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve caused trouble for my family.