A hobby is "An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure." (www.thefreedictionary.com) Under this definition, I have had many hobbies during my adult life including woodworking, scuba diving, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. Now entering my retirement years, I am focusing on these activities:
Home improvement projects
I love to work on home improvement projects. In 2010, we moved into a circa 1970 ranch house and I have been almost continuously engaged in one project or another. I am comfortable with carpentry and electrical projects - but not plumbing. Since we moved in, I have installed two track light systems, nine ceiling fans, a new interior door in an existing wall, insulation in the crawl space, downspouts, rain barrels, and repaired gutters (during which I took a fall and shattered my left wrist). My motto has been that "any home improvement project worth its salt will draw blood." My most satisfying project has bee installing a set of PVC extensions to outdoor faucets and several hundred feet of flexible tubing to deploy a micro-irrigation system for Carol's gardens across the entire lot.
I began serious work on my family history in 1990. My in-laws had been engaged in the activity for some years and I felt that my daughter, then only three, might be interested in knowing how her history meshed with what she would learn in school. I began with materials my father and mother had set down - limited as they were and largely based upon family lore. My father's mother and her sisters and their mother had assembled materials, too. My father also had a cache of photos and a few documents passed down through his father and mother.
The early years of my work were intensive and uncovered quite a bit of material. Most research required going to the local Mormon LDS library branch, the Newberry Library in Chicago, and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I visited cemeteries, courthouses, and country libraries from Illiois to western Pennsylvania. My in-laws and I visited the central Mormon Library in Salt Lake City for a week of dawn-to-dusk study of microfilm. I amassed a great deal of material about both my father's and mother's ancestries. In 1993, I assembled a narrative history of the work for my siblings and cousins, which I sent to them along with CD-ROM of my grandparents' photographs.
Since 1993, progress has slowed. I continue sporatic research using the Internet. Thanks to Ancestry.com, I no longer have to drive three and one-half hours to Fort Wayne to use the US Census, and increasingly, valuable cemetery and other county records are appearing online. Over the past year, I have posted a significant amount of material to Ancestry.com concerning descendents of Revolutionar War veterans in my family. This helps me connect with relatives who may have information valuable to my research. If you are interested in my research, please click on the "Genealogy" button.
Growing up as I did during the "British Invasion" of Beatles, Stones, and The Who, I have always enjoyed singing, but singing in an ensemble or solo for a crowd is another thing entirely. When I joined the church choir in 1994, I began an education which continues to this day singing all sorts of sacred music. I owe a great debt to Dr. Robert Harris, choirmaster at Trinity until 2004, and Eric West, my tenor section leader for over ten years. On August 1, 2008, I offered my first solo, "Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn", a tenor solo from Bach's Cantata #4, "Christ Lag in Totesbanden". Later that year, I began taking singing lessons from Julia Davids to improve in my technique, range, and understanding of sacred music. Since April 2009, I have offered solo pieces in over 60 worship settings, including works from Baroque, Romantic, Spiritual, and Contemporary Christian music.
I have played golf for over 50 years, learning from my father - who is an avid student of the game and the golf swing itself. After I left home and moved to the Midwest, I did not play very frequently, instead engaging in other outdoor activities such as bicycling and cross-country skiing. I have recently taken up the game again. Thanks to my father, I have a good basic golf swing and some tools to self-diagnose and correct problems. In December 2014, I began lessons at GolfTec. That has really helped my game and I am looking to shoot par every round.
I practice every day, sometimes both at the Sportsmans driving range and at the Anetsberger chipping and putting area. I usually play the Anetsberger par-3 nine-hole course two or three times a week to work on my short game and putting. I had my first hole-in-one in August 2015.
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